Jacob's VowBro. David Chancellor
5/2/2004 6:00 PM
And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place: and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone t hat he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my fathers house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be Gods house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Gods people are considered to be the bride of Christ. Jacobs vow (given here) wasnt a very good commitment. He said, If youll give me what I need, Ill be your servant. His vow was a selfish vow. What is our vow to God? What is our thought in regard to serving him? Do we picture it like most newlyweds, Happily ever after? Do we picture salvation as life without trouble? Most people make the marriage vow thinking, Im getting a really good deal here. They dont consider the work involved. Marriages fail because of this. If salvation is approached this way, people will fail. This is where most people start, but it needs to go further than that. When you make your vow to God, think about what youre committing to.
When it comes to giving, were giving back to God. How many husbands would like their wives to make a vow like Jacob made? Its as if the wife would say, Give me your whole paycheck, and Ill give you 10 percent back. What God gives us, he wants us to use most effectively for his purpose, all of it, not just 10 percent. Theres a relationship we have with God where he has given us certain things, and he expects certain things from it. A marriage where both are thinking about the other will succeed. Many people dont think about God and what he wants from them. God allows troubles to come. If you think salvation brings a life with no trouble, you need to think again. Troubles come to help you put down some roots. Gods way is best whether it looks like the easiest way or not. Will you stay with God when the hard times come?
Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand? Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
This is the kind of commitment that we need to have. Job had known a life of ease and comfort, but when he said this, he was suffering greatly. He had gone through trouble upon trouble. If everything is breaking down, that isnt the time to quit marriage or salvation. Trouble doesnt mean that God doesnt care. Is our commitment what it needs to be? Do we run when troubles come? The trials and troubles come for our good. They come to draw us closer to God. Difficulties pull people together if people will let them. If theres no tear in the eyes, theres no rainbow in the soul. The real benefit to serving God is in the rough times.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
While verse 22 of this passage is the most often emphasized, the important message here is to the church about being committed to God. To the husband who demands his wife to submit, the question we ask is, Why should she submit to you? Do you really care about her? When she submits, she needs to be submitting to one who has her best interest in mind. Jacob could commit to God because of the promise that God made to him. When the husband asks the wife to submit, he should make sure that her best interest is in mind. The husband has a responsibility, too. We have responsibilities and obligations concerning God. A good wife can bring honor to her husband and enhance his life. If both lives arent improved by marriage, its better that they stay single. It takes both pulling together for the life to be better. We need to give back to God. We need to help others realize what a loving Father God is. Be committed to walk with God, regardless of what comes. We will endure some things for God. Have it settled to be faithful to God. God made a commitment to us. Our commitment is equally important. Keep your commitment to God even when the trouble comes. Life can have some very hard things, but if we really love God, we can keep our commitment to him. We need a deeper walk with God.
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all Jacob made a good (although selfish) start. We may make a similar start, but our experience needs to go deeper. It needs to grow into a love for God. It needs to be more than self-interest. We should want to go through even the hard times with him. God helps us go to a deeper experience in sanctification. It can go beyond what we had pictured. Desire to be faithful to him. Be committed to him all the way through. Start walking, determined to stay true. We can have real love for God and a real commitment to his cause.