Posted In: #blueflame47blog Written on May 1, 2020.
When Jacob awoke from His sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.” Genesis 28:16
When Jacob was stirred from bed of earth and rock and shed the strands of night’s glue, he was more fully awake than He had ever been. In the crisp of morn, he stood, loamy clay in the hands of the one who delivers day.
No longer was he unconscious on his feet, for awakening is awe when dream and reality meet each other and meld majestically. Slumber spun a tether from dimensions to day. Jacob had been in two places at once as He wrestled with the Lord in his physical placement and deep in dream. Current and coming became one as Jacob was rapt with rest. His awakened state brought an acute awareness of a God he hadn’t truly seen, but longed to fully know.
When dayshine came, Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of Heaven.”
Just sentences earlier, we are told where Jacob was geographically, but more important was the place he reached. A certain place. A place of certainty. For when rest resides, we become Heaven’s gate, God’s home. Placed perfectly.
There are numerous words in Hebrew for “place” that each spring from related roots. Qom, qama, Qumran, yequm and maqom are all rapids from the same river.
To be in a place does mean a to be present in a set location or station. The Hebrew people though, use the notion of place to explore their relationship with God (and each other). Space holds a sense of purpose, rather than an emptiness to fill. An expanse is simply a place where something belongs. The intent of an extent is to be or become a place of worship.
A place of awakening begins a journey and beckons the testimony that will come with it.
God knew what (and who) Jacob was facing, but He also knew where he was going. Feeling exiled didn’t mean Jacob had no home. For exile to exist, place must be present. There must be a “from or of” that our hearts would ache for return. A season away allows us to remember home as Him who never leaves.
Genesis 7:4 uses the word ‘yeqem’ for place and carries the meaning of “substance or existence”. Sometimes, like Jacob, we need to be reminded how extraordinary it is to breathe within short lengths and shallow depths.
Rooted in a spatial sense is ‘leqaddesh’ which is a word for “place” meaning “to be set apart”. It is the sacred space in which something is made holy or consecrated. Here the hunger for home harkens, not to knock upon its door but to become anchored abode of God. Our God who dwells and delves, moving and molding as He designs and decorates.
Until these moments, Jacob was more interested in what he could take from where he was, than giving of himself to the place he was in. But he found a place he never wanted to leave. A certain place with the capacity to arouse Him to the truth that God was active in every phase of his life. What he hadn’t discerned, he now desired. Why lose rest when He is in control?
Jacob walked the path of tribes who often camped, but rarely lived. Till they rested. The rock upon which he laid his head, in a place sowed certain, became an altar for his resistance.
To be placed means to carry on or continue. And here we are. Not put in uncertain times, but placed in certainty of who He is to us and who we will choose to be in our own ‘leqaddesh’ or sweet sabbath. A journey has come. Pappa knows what we face, yet He draws us to His place. To gaze at glory until all becomes clear. And we care to continue what He creates and cultivates.
At 2020’s begin, we gave it the name of “transparent”. Maybe that view isn’t about chaos and conspiracy that swirls and spins. Maybe its about our choice to see Him in ways we haven’t yet. Though we haven’t seen Him constantly clear, we ardently ache to know Him. And make Him known.
Some may remember 2020 as the year of the big germ (as Knightley calls it). But I think it might just be the year we see clearly and certainly. And that it might just be known as the the year we helped each other. To see.
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