Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2020 Genesis 28:20.

Genesis 28:20.    ​If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:

 

Come Sunday morning, my fellow saints and I, will gather together for sweet fellowship, around our electronic devices, to sing and praise and thank and exalt our wonderful God, for all that He’s done for us! Oh for sure, no social distancing and locking of sanctuary doors will stop us from worshipping Him on His day with singing and dancing, hearing His Word, and receiving His joy, confidence and assurance to help us get through another week of pandemic panic! 

So let’s get going with a song of worship, most appropriate to these times nuh, a song written by Sarah Flowers in the 19th century, titled ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ And do we all ever need to draw close and closer to our Creator and Provider my people! Our lives have become so sinful, haphazard and disobedient that it’s only by drawing closer to Him that we can ever get them cleaned up and set right again. So with true sincerity in our hearts, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial song, soulful and sweet. 

‘Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, Darkness be over me, my rest a stone; Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There let the way appear, steps unto Heav’n; All that Thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n; Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! 

Then, with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise; So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! Or, if on joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! There in my Father’s home, safe and at rest, There in my Savior’s LOVE, perfectly blest; Age after age to be nearer, my God, to Thee. Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!’ 

Oh friends, our singing was most excellent, let’s hope that the Lord saw genuine sincerity when He looked at our hearts. Yes precious people, we need the One and Only True Living God, every minute of every day, whether we’re down here on earth or in heaven above. One commentary put’s it this way: ‘Even when we cannot see or feel Him, the Lord never leaves our side. As we walk through each day, let us remember to call upon His name and give Him thanks. The beautiful lyrics of ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ are the perfect call to the Lord.’ And are they ever my friends! 

And someone also noted the irony that in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, as the British Passenger Liner, the Titanic was sinking, the bandleader chose to play ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ The irony comes from the earlier boast of the ship owners and builders that the Titanic was a ship that ‘even God Himself could not sink.’ But as they were going under, God’s Spirit moved miraculously to turn their thoughts to Him, their Creator and Saviour. It was reputed that the song was written to accompany a pastor’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, generally known as the story of Jacob’s ladder, or dream. 

The Good Book tells us that Isaac sent Jacob to Padan-aram from his home in Canaan to marry one of his uncle Laban’s daughters because he didn’t want him marrying a Canaanite woman. One night along the way, he slept in a certain deserted place and had a dream, as of a ladder going up from earth to heaven, with angels of God ascending and descending it. ‘And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants). And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ (Gen. 28:13-14) 

Oh friends, doesn’t that sound mighty familiar? It surely does, because it was the same basic promise the Lord made to Abraham back in Genesis 12. And out of the seed of Jacob, the Lord’s promise to Abraham would begin to come true, after He changed His name to Israel, the father of many nations, through the twelve tribes of Israel. But the Lord didn’t stop there in Jacob’s dream, He continued: ‘And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee; until I have done that which I have spoken to thee.’ (Gen 28:15) 

No wonder Jacob was so blessed. But yuh see who the Lord used to bring Abraham’s dream to pass; Jacob, the ole crook and con man. Just goes to show that the Lord is no respecter of people, and will use the most unexpected people to do His bidding. Obviously Jacob awoke afraid, and said: ‘Surely, the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.’ (Gen. 28:15) Then when he got up, he took the stone he’d used for his pillow, set it up for a pillar, poured oil upon it, and called the place Bethel (House of God), although it was already named Luz. 

Then he vowed a vow saying, ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth (a tithe) unto thee.’ (Gen. 28:16-22) And apparently the Lord kept His promise to Jacob, and Jacob kept His vow to God. 

But my people, how many of us have vowed vows to God, made promises that we’ve never kept eh; either when He’s blessed us, or when we’ve asked Him for blessings? Too many, I suspect. But please remember these wise words of Cousin Sol: ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5) That’s wisdom in spades! Much LOVE!

…He who has ears to hear…let him hear…

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