And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.…
I. THE WANDERER. It had been a desolate day, and there was only desolation at night. In his weariness he slept, and as he slept, he dreamed. If dreams reflect the thoughts of the day, a new life must have begun within him. It was not Esau, or the plotting mother, or the aged father, upon whom he looked. The old tent was not over him, nor did he long for the pillows of home. It was a new experience, and the story of his vision has been told all down the centuries for more than three and a half thousand years. What does it mean?
II. THE MEETING-PLACE. It was upon the barren mountainside. Tier on tier of rocks reaching to the mountain-summit were the stairs of nature's cathedral. The winds of the mountains roused him not. The audience of that night was asleep. If the beasts came forth from their retreats, they did not disturb him. His own sin had driven him into solitude. Voice of friend or foe, there was none. He was alone; but God was there even when he knew it not. What meetings there have been alone with God I What night-scenes of grandeur and awe! Amid sufferings from sin, in deepest trials and in roughest places, many a soul has exclaimed with the waking Jacob, "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
III. THE VISION AND THE DIVINE COVENANT. Two thoughts are suggested at the outset by this vision: the reaching up of earth to heaven, and the reaching down of heaven to earth.
IV. THE PILLAR OF REMEMBRANCE. Gratitude should be the very first fruit of religion. What less has God reason to expect? What else can man prefer to give?
(D. O. Mears, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.