From the first encounter with God at Bethel in Genesis 28 to his return and another encounter with God as explained in Genesis 35, Jacob was surrounded by things that took his total focus away from God. He had been influenced by others who were going down the wrong path.
Jacob went through years of struggle; working for his father-in-law who was not a believer and forcing Jacob to work as a servant for seven years before he could marry his daughter. Then being tricked by his father-in-law who gave a different daughter to him in marriage.
Jacob gained wealth only through God’s providence. He was hated by his jealous brother-in-laws and faced many challenges until being directed by God to go down the right path. As he returns to his homeland, he has another encounter with God at Bethel. God blessed him and gave him a new name. His new name would be Israel and God told him to be fruitful and increase in number (v. 11). God told him that a nation and a community of nations would come from his descendants.
In today’s passage, Jacob encounters God and we have that same opportunity each day. He can get our attention in many ways; shouting to us in a thunderstorm or by painting a beautiful rainbow in the sky. I remember once driving to work on a Friday morning and seeing a double rainbow in the sky. I got out of my truck and started walking up the hill to my office when I realized that I left my badge in my truck so I walked back to my truck and again noticed the rainbow. This time, I took a few seconds to aim my smart phone to get this picture of the rainbow.
If we focus on our Creator, we are able to make it through anything and realize that at the end of the rainbow of life, there is the pot of gold with eternal riches because we have accepted Christ our Savior.
In today’s passage, we read how God’s promises were being fulfilled in and through Jacob. This day with God, a lesson for us is that our Father can make the impossible possible. The world wants to tell us that God is not real but the ONE who created the rainbows we see from time to time communicates His Truth. He can change and restore a life through Christ; changing anybody, anytime, and anywhere.