Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13There above it stood the Lord, and he 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. 14 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. 15 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.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
When we read this scripture we can find a few truths’ embedded within its text. The first truth is that if you use a stone as a pillow you will have strange dreams and probably a stiff neck in the morning. The second truth is the ladder in Jacob’s dream symbolizes the connection that exists between heaven and earth. The angels move up and down, bearing our needs to God and carrying his provisions to us. It would take hundreds of years later for the full realization of this dream to unfold when Jesus exclaimed to Nathanael in John 1: 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” Before the coming of Christ, our connection between heaven and earth had been damaged by our disobedience, through Jesus the ladder was fully repaired for all of God’s creation. The infinite distance between a Holy God and sinful human beings was bridged by a Savior that actually lives within his people.
When you feel distance between you and God remember Jacobs ladder built by Christ that stretches from our hearts to the heart of God, that through Christ the way is always open, a two way street that not only leads to God from us but also that we can receive blessings from God, the manna that will ease our grief for today, the daily bread that will help sustain us for another day. When I feel like I need some reassurance from God I like to picture an angel carrying down that ladder a steaming cup of living water, hot from God’s kettle, to heal me, to make me feel cozy, to make me feel whole. Try that image today and feel the presence of God’s love and care for you today.
Pastor Scott and Pastor Jenny
Prayers for the men’s retreat this weekend.
Pray for those struggling with cancer.
Pray for those who are far away from home.
Pray for our brother and sisters in Christ across the globe.