< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Jacob's Ladder

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jacob's Ladder

Genesis 28: 10-11 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.

Beersheba is situated southwest of the Dead Sea. He was alone and probably very sad; feeling apart from both his parents and God.

Genesis 28: 12-22 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. 13 There 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.”

18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Angels  of God are described in the Bible as being messengers of God and in Jacob’s dream he sees them going up and down the ladder between Jacob on earth and God in Heaven.

Jesus spoke of this in John 1:51 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.

He Himself would be man’s representative to God and God’s representative to man. According to this Gospel Jesus says He will take the place of the ladder! Because He is the way and the ONLY way to God.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jacob didn’t just see the way open between he and God, he got a verbal promise given to him personally upon which his faith could rest. He got the same fourfold promises given to Abraham and Isaac.

  1. The actual physical land where Jacob now was.
  2. His seed would multiply
  3. That the Messiah would come from his line “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”
  4. That God would personally be with Jacob and that He loved him.
This experience was the turning point in Jacob’s life. It might be compared to our own conversion. He sets up the stone so he could always remember this important place as the holy place where he met God. And he anoints it with oil (always used to symbolize the Holy Spirit and consecration to God in Scriptures.) Bethel means House of God.

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