Bethel: House of God (Genesis 28)

Welcome to Real Life. Unfortunately, I am not at all observant. I often miss things happening right in front of me. Jacob had the same problem … until God opened his eyes. 

Jacob is traveling alone. He is going to Haran to seek a wife among his mother’s people. As the sun sets, he stops for the night. He finds a smooth rock to use for a pillow and falls asleep. Jacob dreams of a stairway to heaven.[1] Angels are ascending and descending the stairs. At the top stands the Lord. He speaks to Jacob, renewing the promises he made to Jacob’s father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.[2] He tells Jacob, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” In the morning, Jacob awakens with this thought, 

“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 

He calls the place “Bethel” which means “house of God.” 

We live in a physical world of people, places and things that we can touch and see. But, this is not the only world that exists. God opened Jacob’s eyes to the spiritual world. It’s a realm that many sense, but few are privileged to see. It is real nonetheless.

Often in prayer, God’s Spirit will whisper to me, “Yes, I am with you.” I need the reminder. Just as God was with Jacob, he is always with me. How often am I aware of it?

When I placed my faith in Christ, he came to dwell within me by his Holy Spirit.[3] He promised to never leave or forsake me.[4] My very body became a Bethel, a house of God, a temple of his Holy Spirit.[5] God’s presence is not housed in a church building. Followers of Jesus Christ carry his presence everywhere we go. Do others sense God’s presence in my presence?

Surely, the Lord is in this place. He is with me right here, right now. Am I aware of it?

Give me eyes to see you today, Lord. 

Take it further …

  • How aware of God’s presence are you? Get quiet. Close your eyes. Think about his presence with you. David said to the Lord, “You are with me.”[6]
  • Open the Eyes of My Heart” performed by Michael W. Smith. 
[1] Unlike Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” this one is free.
[2] Genesis 28:13-14
[3] Galatians 2:20
[4] John 14:16-17
[5] 1 Corinthians 3:16
[6] Portion of Psalm 23:4 (NLT)



  1. Hi Peggi,
    This is a wonderful morning meditation and I passed it along in my twitter community. I personally love the plea from David in Psalm 119 where he wrote and I paraphase it into my own words, LORD, open my eyes that I may see and behold the wonderous works of your law.

    It is so beautiful knowing that I have a God who is personal, who cares and is there 24/7 for me.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Patricia,

    Your words nourished my soul! Thanks for sharing Psalm 119. I prayed it this morning.

    You have such a powerful ministry of encouragement and wisdom, Patricia. I am blessed to learn from you. :)

    Thanks, Peggi


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