This is an old hymn that is often sing in every Christian funeral. It is often links to the ship Titantic as it was reputed to be the final hymn played by the Titanic Band before the ship sinks. Although there was always some dispute as some of the survivors heard a different hymn. But the Band Leader Hartley reportedly said to a friend if he was on a sinking ship “Nearer, My God, to Thee” would be one of the songs he would play.

This song is written in the context of the story of Jacob found in Genesis 28:10-20.

Jacob story began at Gen 25. He started to contend with his bro over who is the firstborn even in the mothers womb (Gen 25:21-22) There God already said that the older will serve the younger. Then Rebekah their mother gave birth to this twins, one called Esau and One Called Jacob. Although Jacob must have heard Gods prophesy, but he did not really care about God.. God to him was the God of his fathers. He depended alot on his own deceptiveness. He once cheated his brother of his birthright (Gen 25:29-33).

Later on, Rebekah his mother heard Issac their father asking Esau to hunt for food. so that Issac can eat the game and bless him. Rebekah wanted Jacob to deceive his father to get the blessing. Rebekah dressed Jacob up in his Brothers clothing, used sheep hair to disguise Jacob to make him feel hairy. Rebekah prepared food and asked Jacob to bring it to Issac. Issac blessed Jacob instead of Esau (Gen 27:30-35).

This actions incurred the wrath of Esau the brother, and he vowed to kill Jacob. At this time Rebekah heard Esau and have to send Jacob away from his home. This is the first time Jacob is left on his own in a foreign land. He had never really learn to trust God, and there he comes, setting a stone as his pillow he fell asleep.

Title: Nearer My God To Thee (The Words in Italics are not found on our hymnbook)

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear steps unto heav’n;
All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv’n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

That is when this God, that he never ever tried to know, appeared before him, he saw for himself a great staircase, which lead to heaven. And Angels are ascending and descending from it. And God said

“I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen 28:13-15)

Jacob wakes up, and he marveled at this, however, he did not called God his God (Gen 31:42).. But he made an agreement with God, that if he were to return here safely, he would come and offer his offerings to God. Thus he found the strength to move on with his life onward

Over here we can see how much God loved Jacob, although Jacob doesn’t really knows him, he still choose to protect Jacob, and comfort Jacob. He promised him never to leave him. Long before Jacob even called him “My God”. This offer is extended to us today (Rom 5:7-9)

It is up to us to receive the love of God, to trust him once again, and believe that he cares for us (1 Pet 5:7)