Friday, June 2, 2017

Behold, There Was a Ladder

 (submitted by Kerry Patton)
Jacob left Beersheba, and went toward Haran. He came to the place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 
 Genesis 28:10- 12
What is God Doing?
Let’s all sing together… Here we go:
“We are…climbing…Jacob’s ladder.  We are…climbing…Jacob’s ladder.  We are…climbing…Jacob’s ladder.  Children…of the…Lord.”
We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder is a spiritual song dating back perhaps as far as the mid 1700’s.  In classic ‘call and response’ form, the song equates Jacob’s ladder and the body of Christ.  The singer views the climbing of the ladder as that striving nature…living to pass the tests of this hard life, progressing in following Jesus upward toward our reward in heaven. 
I recall singing the song many years ago back in Bible school.  Looking back, I remember trying to figure out exactly what it was we were singing about.  At that young age, it seemed to be about: climbing a ladder, loving Jesus, and being a good boy.  Actually, I wasn’t far off.  The words of the verses emphasize Christian growth, knowledge of God and Christian service.  And moreover – Jacob’s ladder lends hope that the God of Jacob would lead the suffering slave into freedom and rest:
1.    We are climbing Jacob’s ladder
2.    Every round goes higher, higher
3.    Sinner, do you love my Jesus
4.    If you love Him, why not serve Him?
Looking at the passage from Genesis 28, what ELSE is going on there than just the ladder?
Dream a Little Dream with Me
Isaac has given Jacob his blessing and is sending his son off to marry and establish his own life.  It is on this journey that he comes to “a certain place”, and upon falling asleep (using a stone as a pillow), Jacob has his dream of a ladder stretching up to heaven…and of the angels ascending and descending on the ladder.
In this dream, Jacob is personally introduced to the God of his fathers.  God tells Jacob that the very land he is sleeping on will be his, and that God is going to greatly multiply a family through him.  Finally, God speaks to Jacob and says: “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…”
Because Jacob’s story has already unfolded across the pages of history, consider these questions: Did God keep his promises to Jacob?  Did Jacob inherit the land?  Did God greatly multiply his family?  Did God watch over Jacob and stay with him on his journey?  You may have to read the whole of scripture to fully see the answer to these questions unfold.  Let me help you out…The answer to the questions is “yes.”  God was ever faithful to Jacob and fulfilled every facet of His promises.
Here are some questions for you to consider today:
1.    Is God with you, watching over you, as he did Jacob?
2.    Consider the blessings you have from God.  Has he met your needs thus far in life?  Have you food, shelter, and clothing?
3.    God had plans for Jacob and his family.  Have you considered that God also has plans for you?  What might those be?  What are you doing to seek out those plans and purposes?
My final thought from this 28th chapter of Genesis is this: After awakening from his dream, Jacob considered all that God had shown him and he declared:
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 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD will be my God.
Have you fully considered God’s promises to you, and assessed all he has done for you?  If so, have you come to that “certain place” where you have fully committed to your relationship with Him… Where the LORD will be your God?  What therefore are the markers…the pillars that your life exhibits to suggest your commitment?


Almighty God, Jacob set up a pillar…a marker to effectively state: “Here I encountered God.”   Today, Father, let me encounter you.  Let me remember all you have done for your children.  I am so very thankful to be included among them!  Lord, let me declare with every action of my life that the LORD is my God, and his son Jesus is my Savior!  Litter my life with pillars that testify to the world: “Here I encountered the Living God!”  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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