ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 54


Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. At sundown
he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night.
Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he
slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven.
And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord,
the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac.
The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your
descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth!
They will spread out in all d­ irections—­to the west and the east, to the north
and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you
and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you
wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave
you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this
place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he was also afraid and said, “What
an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very
gateway to heaven!”
The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had
rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he
poured olive oil over it. He named that place Bethel (which means “house
of God”), although it was previously called Luz.
Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect
me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and
if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my
God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”
Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east. He saw a well
in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside
it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.
It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be
placed back over the mouth of the well. Jacob went over to the shepherds
and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
“Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he

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