When God Stands
13And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” —Genesis 28:13-15
I love it that God reminds me of His promises. It’s also what He does for Jacob. Above the angels, at the top of the ladder, at the entrance to heaven was the Lord Himself. Genesis 28:13 says, “And behold, the Lordstood above it.”The word “Lord” there, all caps, is Yahweh, God’s covenant name. The word “behold” is used over a thousand times in Scripture. But only in a couple of places do you see the word “behold” used repeatedly like in Genesis 28:12-13. This major thing is going on and worth beholding! Today, we would say, “Wow, just look at that!” In Jacob’s dream, it was like, “Wow, a ladder to heaven! And wow, angels! And wow, the Lord Himself!”
The text makes the point that God “stood.” This is one of the only places in Scripture where we see God standing. God hardly ever stands. Almost every time we see God in Scripture, He’s sitting down. And you know why He’s sitting down? Because He can! God is ruling the universe with His feet up! He’s not stressed, He’s not pacing back and forth, He’s not, “What are We gonna do tomorrow?” He’s the King! And He’s ruling!
There are a few instances like Amos 9:1 and Isaiah 3:13 that describe God standing in awesome judgment, but the rest of the time, when God does stand, He is reaching out to you and me for relationship. That’s what brings God off the throne—relationship. Genesis 3 and Exodus 34 are amazing examples! And here in Genesis 28:13, He stands for Jacob, reaching out to him and communicating His promise of relationship: “And behold, the Lord stood above it and said,“I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac.”
What is God saying? He’s saying, “I will never change. Do you remember what I was like for your grandfather? Do you remember how I proved Myself true? I’m still just like that. And think about your father Isaac and My faithfulness to him. I haven’t changed.” Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He never changes.
And God hasn’t changed in His thoughts toward you. He stands ready to participate in His relationship with you in ways you can hardly imagine!—James MacDonald
· How does the picture of God standing to greet, encourage, and assure me of His love affect the way I want to live my life?
Prayer: O Father, trying to imagine You standing for me makes me want to get on my face before You. There is no reason in me that would cause You to reach out toward me—only Your amazing love and grace toward one You created and have chosen to redeem. Let me thank You in worship; let me thank You with my life. Let me pass my moments with the enduring idea that You stand attentively over me. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Lord unto me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.