Journey to a Safe Place

Journey to a Safe Place
Genesis 29:1-8
Pastor Aaron Robinson

Have you ever been caught in a storm while walking outside? Have you ever been in a space or place where you felt unsafe? Have you ever felt like you just wanted to get to the safety of your home?

In the text Jacob is seeking a safe place. He has caused the storm in his father's house and he is wandering in Aram to find safety. In the preceding chapter his mother Rebecca has told him to go to his uncle’s house until his brother calms down. Jacob is seeking a safe place. He has been on a long journey and has encountered a stairwell to heaven and been reminded that God is with him and will keep him safe. Jacob is on the run looking for are safe place.

Jacob has traveled east and is now in the territory where his uncle Laban lives. He comes to a well where three flocks of sheep are waiting to be watered. At this well Jacob meets his cousin Rachel whom he will later marry.  At this watering hole Jacob finds his safe place.

To really understand this text, one has to understand the danger in the fact that Jacob was traveling alone. In those days an individual who traveled without family put themselves in harm's way. Jacob has escaped danger and is now in the safe place he sought.  Jacob has found his mother's family and feels safe.

Our Lenten journey is about making it to a safe place.  We may not be like Jacob running for our lives because we've done someone wrong, but we do know that the enemy is after us. Satan is after us not because of the bad things that we've done but because of the good that we are doing. Satan desires to get us off of our purpose God has placed in us.  Many of us are like Jacob on this journey, we are unsure where we will wind up. We don't know what the end will bring but our prayer is that God walks with us. Jacob helps us journey to our safe place with the examples laid out in chapters 28 and 29.
The first thing the text tells us is that Jacob recognized the danger that he was in. We all must recognize the dangers around us and make proper assessment. Jacob also recognized the presence of God. Even in the midst of his uncertainty he saw how God was moving in his life.

When we recognize the danger, we must retreat to safety.  Jacob was willing to retreat to somewhere he'd never been because he understood it was a safe place. Too often, we are afraid to retreat to the places we haven't been. We will stay in the company of danger just because it's familiar.  

On Jacob’s journey he also rested. One of the biggest mistakes we make is when trouble surrounds us is that we fail to rest. In the chapter before our text it reminds us that Jacob rested his mind and met God.   When we are rested, we're able to move with a clear mind.

Finally, Jacob reminds us to keep rolling. Jacob inquires about his uncle with the shepherds at the well, he even inquires about them doing their job correctly. Jacob was still rolling on with his life. The text also tells us that he rolls away the stone by himself. The shepherds implied that multiple men were needed to roll away the stone but Jacob rolls away the stone single handedly. I think what the text is telling us is to get to our safe places we have to be willing to roll away some stones. Jacob actions will help him in the eyes of his soon to be father-in-law.

Most gracious and merciful God, thank you for providing a safe place. Even when we pass it by because we lose focus, thank you for always providing for us on our journey. Amen.
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