A Demonstration of Expectation of God’s Favor
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” 18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Genesis 28:16-22 NKJV
“[God] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or [expect], according to the power that works in us . . .” (Eph. 3:20). What precedes sincere expectation is a demonstration—a demonstration of expectation of God’s favor. In our scripture text, Jacob makes a vow of stewardship. Good stewardship begins not after you receive a blessing but in expectation of God’s favor. A good steward recognizes that: (1) God owns everything, (2) he must be accountable, and, (3) he must be faithful to God in all things.
Jacob’s demonstration of expectation was a pledge and promise to give God a tenth (tithe) of all that God would blessed him with. The Scriptures teaches that tithing is an eternal principle—it was before the Law, during the Law, and after the Law. Abraham, the father of our faith, was the first to pay a tithe to God. But Jacob, the father of the sons of Israel was the first to promise a tithe to God. Neither Abraham nor Jacob tithed out of commandment or legal requirement; they tithed out of a revelation of God and a relationship with God.
As Jacob awaked out of his sleep, believers must awake out of their spiritual sleep and slumber and come to their “house of Bethel” and recognize that they are no longer in a place of “Luz”, i.e., a place of decline, departing, and separation. God truly desires to bless and favor, but often there is a wait and see attitude on the part of believers rather than a demonstration of expectation of God’s favor. Like in Jacob’s case, tithing and the giving of offerings are excellent demonstrations of faith in expectation of God’s favor.
Jacob’s vow to God was not a bargain with God but a pledge made in expectation of God’s favor. After all, who is in a position to bargain or dicker with God since God owns everything. Vows are very serious demonstrations of expectation of God’s favor that God doesn’t take lightly (Eccl. 5:4, 5).
Like God promised to Jacob, He will be with you to protect you, to feed you and clothe you before, during, and after your sincere demonstration of expectation. And until the expected favor comes as a reality in your life, be therewith content (1 Tim. 6:8; Phil. 4:11). Contentment isn’t necessarily being satisfied, but having a right mental attitude of sufficiency in God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God but with every demonstration of expectation, you must believe that God exist and that he is a rewarder of much favor (Heb. 11:6).