Scripture Reading: Genesis 28:11
“And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.” (Genesis 28:11)
The Hebrew word for lighted is “to entreat.” The Talmud deduces from this message that Joseph prayed there for Divine Protection, and that by so doing he instituted the Evening Prayer.
It is always good to pray when we reach the end of a day’s journey, whether it is when we are on a journey, or when we are just fulfilling an average day’s activity. Before we lay our heads down for the night, let us talk to God. Close your day with a benediction, an expression of gratitude, and a request for safety during the night, and teach your children to do the same.
Where did Jacob stop for the night? It wasn’t just A place! It was THE PLACE! The Rabbis stress the definite article in the Hebrew idiom, and state it was Mt. Moriah. There is only one “The Place”: to the Jew, and that is the Temple Mount. To them it is the most important place in all the world. It is the place where the Shekinah — the Divine Presence rested.
After Jacob’s long and weary journey he laid down to sleep in The Place.
It is so wonderful to stop your days activity, and lay down in the Presence of God. It doesn’t matter where you may be — in Capetown, Hong Kong, Delhi, Shanghai, New York City or Buenos Aires, or the Gobi Desert — when you walk with God, wherever you lay down your head at night, hotel or hovel, or humble cottage, you are in “The Place” because God is there!
In the Beginning by Gwen Shaw
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