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A Fine Mess

Exploring the implications of God's presence

This sermon is part of the sermon series A Messy, Blessed Life.See series.


What a great promise from God: "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go." We talked about this great promise in the last sermon—a promise God makes to all who are his, all who commit their ways to him. But you might not realize what comes with this promise.

A running commentary on Genesis 29:1-30

We've been studying the life of Jacob in Genesis. Last week we looked at the famous story of Jacob's ladder. In our passage for today, Jacob is on his way to Haran once again, a place nearly 600 miles northeast of his home in Beersheba. I want to read our passage and offer a little commentary along the way. First verses 1-8:

Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. There he saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well. Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?" "We're from Haran," they replied. He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" "Yes, we know him," they answered. Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?" "Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep." "Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture." "We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep."

In these verses we find that God guides Jacob to the place ...

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Lee Eclov is pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire in Lake Forest, Illinois and author of Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers). Eclov also leads a gathering of pastors for mutual support and learning called Pastors' Gatherings. To find out more about these Gatherings visit his site

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Sermon Outline:


I. A running commentary on Genesis 29:1-30

II. Since God is always with us, pray him into your story.

III. Since God is always with us, we will experience his discipline.

IV. Since God is always with us, we are part of his grand plan.