How to Study the Bible

How to Study the Bible

Nicole Unice

Jacob: God Is Committed to Dwelling with Us (Genesis 28:10-22)

October 10, 2022   ●   22 min

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We are part of a very big story. Every single one of us who calls on Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is a living stone. Every single one of us has a precious and important part to play in creating this spiritual house, this place where God dwells. I am living my life out as a piece of the dwelling place of God! I take my little piece everywhere I go.

Everywhere you go, you bring a dwelling place of God with you.


Jacob’s Dream at Bethel - Genesis 28:10-22:
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[a] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[b] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

18 Early the next morning, Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[c] though the city used to be called Luz.

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord[d] will be my God 22 and[e] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Questions you might ask the text:

1. What does the dream mean?
2. Jacob receives the blessing?
3. Do the stones matter?
4. Call the place Bethel?


1. Standard approach: humans quake with fear when God shows up
2. Same blessing is again repeated--maybe we also need to hear things a lot to believe them, especially when they take faith.
3. Gen 28:13-15: Sounds like a covenant
4. Gen 28: 20-21: IF God is with me… Jacob is not totally sold?
5. Gen 28:22: Promised sanctuary, the stone is the consecration…


1. Jacob’s childhood and adolescence - he has swindled his brother out of this birthright AND blessing
2. His father Isaac sends him away and confers God’s blessing on him
3. God then confirms the blessing through the dream.


1. God is committed to making the earth his dwelling place.
2. This story is linked to the bigger story of lineage in Genesis, which is linked to the BIGGER story of a coming king, which is the story of Jesus and the story of you and me.


1. God is committed to dwelling with us.
2. Are you committed to dwelling with him?
3. Jacob’s stone is a signpost pointing us toward the promised sanctuary in 1 Peter 2:4-6:

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”


Check out Nicole’s book Help! My Bible Is Alive: 30 Days of Learning to Love and Understand God’s Word -


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