Bible Study Outline – Jacob – The Fugitive

Summer Sermon Series on Genesis

Pentecost 5A-The Fugitive  

July 16/17, 2011

Genesis 28:10-19a

Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!

Last we saw Jacob…

Place: middle of nowhere

Time: night

What does he see:

Dream: not nightmare of his shameful past; but dream of alternative future with God

Ladder-ramp – Mesoptamian ziggurat

Jacob thought he was all alone – but his travels on earth are not cut off from God

Angels: messengers of God – the kingdom of God is now at work – kingdom of fear is being overcome; God comes where he’s not expected

What does God say:

promise: land and offspring; same as Abraham and Isaac – but more than that –promise of protection (Abraham and Isaac didn’t need)

3 parts:

  1. I am with you: presence
  2. I will keep you – image of a shepherd who will protect Jacob; reminder of Cain and Abel story – am I my brother’s keeper?
    1. traditional blessing:  “May the Lord bless you and keep you…”
  3. I will bring you back to this land:  homecoming

Jacob’s Response – continues beyond lectionary

–          receives God’s promise – repents

–          makes a memorial – calls place Bethel – house of God

–          makes a vow – but vow is conditional – “If” – Jacob will be Jacob – still the bargain hunter


Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!

–          all of us on a journey

–          seems like wilderness sometimes – alone

–          when we’re open to it, we see a glimpse – a dream of a ladder – a sign of God’s presence here among us

  • promising presence, protection, homecoming

–          and we can say Surely the Lord is in this place – and I did not know it!


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