Jacob is on his way to Haran. 70 miles down the road, in Luz, he ends up camping because it had gotten dark. This is probably a 3-4 day journey from Beersheba under normal circumstances so even though he is “running” from Esau I don’t think he could have travelled this far on the first day. (Also, Esau wasn’t planning to “kill him” until after Isaac died and was mourned so running may not have been an issue as to timing.)
The word that grabs me is dark – “because the sun had set”. He stopped because evening was upon him. He had no plans to necessarily stop there, but it got dark so he stopped. He probably didn’t know this was even a special place. (Abraham, his grandfather had stopped and worshipped here. Gen 12:8. Actually a place Abe had stopped after God told him he would be given the land and right before he went to Egypt to escape the famine.)
This is often when I stop too – when everything around me has gone dark. I can no longer see how to move forward, I can’t travel even if I wanted to, I am without any light. In my journey I could plan for the overnight places, where I would just stay while it was dark outside. I’d probably get there early enough to register, have dinner, check out the pool, relax, read and then sleep through the dark time – no big deal. But when life stops because I’ve been over taken by the dark – I don’t sleep well. My pillow feels like a rock and my mind whirls in spite of my trying to clench closed my eyes.
God has me, a captive audience of one and He has something to say.
To Jacob a vision and a promise. Here is the doorway to Me – and Me coming to you. Jacob did not seek this encounter. Neither have I. God has initiated both His presence AND the darkness that has stopped me in my tracks.
Jacob is running. It’s a positive sort of running to find a wife but none the less instigated by his less than stellar life choices. God stops him to say – I am here – choose me; I will be with you.
I’m usually running too, when the darkness falls all around me. When all that I fear seems to be in that darkness. God is trying to speak the same words to me – “I am here – choose me; I will be with you.”
God is all about having some one on one time with each of us.
Being in the dark can be the best time to really see the Light.
About the World?
Sometimes sleeping on a rock can be en-Lightening.