I was reflecting about when I graduated from college and I was sitting in rush hour traffic on my way to my first day of my first “career” job. I started crying. Unusual for me. I was about to start a corporate job and this commute would be my new life. What on earth was I doing? I needed to flee to a mountain somewhere. God spoke to me in that moment comforting my soul and reassuring me that I was exactly where he wanted me to be. I promised to stay at that job until he let me go. It was 13 years before I put in my resignation letter. Jacob the grandson of Abraham is leaving home under difficult and unplanned circumstances and God drops him an emotional lifeline. Jacob’s ladder is a Bible lesson about God moving us to be the person we need to be.
12 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! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Genesis 1:12-13 ESV
God is There
Jacob left home under threat that his brother might kill him for tricking their father into blessing Jacob the younger son. In order to avoid a rift in the family Jacob is asked to travel to his mother’s family and find a wife. About 70 miles into that journey Jacob is probably crying and alone for the first time in his life. He then has a dream “Jacob’s Ladder” where God makes a promise to him that he had also made to Abraham and Isaac.
[Isaac] Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. Genesis 26:3 ESV
[Abraham] “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. Genesis 13:14-15 ESV
In the Place God Wants
Jacob who had lived at home under his parent’s rules and under his parent’s authority knew God but had never experienced God in a firsthand way. God introduces himself to Jacob personally at this moment when Jacob’s attention is available. Life comes fast sometimes and God needed to bring Jacob out of the messy family dynamics to mold him and shape him into the man God needed him to be.
15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:15-17 ESV
Changed by God
When we encounter God in these moments of life perspective changes. How can we meet God and not be impacted by it? Jacob awakes from his dream and recognizes that there is something greater than himself.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, Genesis 28:20-12 ESV
Has God Moved You?
Dear reader is God real to you? Have you encountered him in the transitional moments of your life? Is your perspective changed and clear as was Jacob? The vision Jacob saw was a path to heaven where God’s Angels are carrying out God’s plans. What part of this plan are you included in?
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Psalms 103:15-19 ESV
Thank you for reading. I pray this was helpful to your daily devotional or small group bible study.