WORD STUDY – PLACE
Genesis 28:16 “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.”
Place – Hebrew: qom – awaken, arise, place of awakening or arising
The word for “place” is “qom” which has a Beth and Mem in front of it. The root word means to awaken, or arise. With beth and Mem it has the idea of a “place of awakening or arising.” In a way Jacob was covering a lot of ground in making this statement. The Lord was not only in the physical place he was at, the Lord was in the dream he just had and in his very life and future. He awoke to an awareness of God that he did not have prior to his nap.
The word for “sleep” is “yashen” which has the idea of sleeping but in its primitive form it has the idea of maturing or renewing. Sleep is a time to not only renew us physically but spiritually as well. The word is spelled “yod” – enlightenment, “shin” – completeness, and “nun” – understanding. In other words sleep is meant to enlighten us and bring us to a complete understanding of our purpose and service to God.
When Jesus learned that Lazarus had died, he said that Lazarus was only sleeping and the people mocked him. Yet, Jesus was speaking as a rabbi and most likely speaking in Aramaic if not Hebrew. He would have used the word “yashen” (sleep) rather than “moth” (death). Moth carries the idea of an end where “yashen” carries the idea of renewal and complete understanding. Jesus had a greater understanding of death than the people did, because Jesus knew exactly what lay on the other side. The word “moth” only applies to those who are separated from God. But for one like Lazarus who loved God and sought to come into a complete understanding of God he, like us, will never die in the Hebraic sense of death. Our experience is not just an end to the physical world, but a renewal into the full understanding of God.
Like Jacob, before he slept, he did not have an understanding of God or his purpose in life. Upon awakening, he had come into a full knowledge of the activity of God in his life.
One day we will “sleep” and when we awake we will have enter into the complete understanding of God and will realize the workings of God in our lives. What Jacob was really saying in Genesis 28:6 is: “Surely the Lord has been active in every phase of my life and I didn’t even realize it.” One day we are going to realize that we wasted an awful lot of time worrying and fretting over things that God had under his complete control. We will look back on our experiences of distress and fear and wonder: “Now why did I lose sleep over that issue when God was in complete control.” One day I will “qom” and when I do Jesus and I are going to go out and sit on a street corner together and He will explain a few things to me.
WORD STUDY – PLACE