The Presence of God in this New Year
The LORD makes promise to Jacob. “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (v. 15).
The context of this verse is a sibling rivalry between Jacob and his firstborn twin bother Esau. Jacob had deceived his blind father into thinking he was Esau. He pretended he was his brother Esau to steal Esau’s birthright to get their father’s blessing. This verse comes from Jacob’s dream as he sleeps while fleeing from his brother Esau. Jacob fears retaliation from Esau for stealing his inheritance birthright. And ‘Jacob’s ladder’ is the dream he has during his flight from Esau.
This verse is a source of comfort and encouragement since it reminds us God is always in control. No matter what the circumstances are, God ultimately is behind all outcomes. Worrying like Jacob is often futile as larger forces that only God can influence are at work. When we have faith in God that things will work out for the best, we find unparalleled peace of mind.
God finishes with a beautiful, compassionate promise that He would always be with Jacob – He will watch over Jacob and He will fulfill that which is promised to him. It reminds me of the promise that Yeshua gave to us, His followers, when He charged us with the honor of making disciples of all nations, which is actually very similar to the call of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God’s blessing would reach to all nations, as He promised, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt 28: 20b