18. Jacob’s Ladder

Well, Sarah did have a baby boy, just like God said she would. Isaac grew up and had twins, Jacob and Esau. Now we are up to Genesis 28, and Jacob has already stolen Esau’s birthright. What a scoundrel. They say that traits skip generations. You can see it here.

Abraham, the first patriarch of the faith, was so very flawed. He made bad decisions (Wonder) which displayed his immaturity and lack of character.

Next up, we have obedient Isaac, firstborn of the nation of Hebrews, who is nearly slain by his own father when just a boy. But hold on, Isaac does to Rebekah exactly what his father did to Sarah. Genesis 26 tells of another famine which causes Isaac to leave the safety of his land. He travels into Philistine territory and tells King Abimelech that beautiful Rebekah is his sister. Of course the truth comes out, and God provided the protection He promised, despite Isaac’s cowardly attempt to save his own skin.

Then we have the next generation, Abraham’s grandsons, the twins. Jacob and Esau were engaged in a power struggle from the very start, which made for a difficult pregnancy and birth for poor Rebecca. Jacob tricks his father and steals the birthright from his brother. Esau, however, is no saint. He worships idols, and purposely marries Ishmael’s daughter just to spite his family and keep the troubled pot stirred up.

In Chapter 28 Jacob is travelling out of town to meet up with his future bride. On the way he has a crazy dream. As he sleeps on his pillow of stone (how does one do that?) he sees a ladder to Heaven. Angels are climbing up and down that ladder, and God Himself stands at the top and speaks to Jacob.

Dreams are weird. Sleeping is weird. For the most part, I like to be in control of myself. But for 7-8 hours straight every night I fall into a subconscious state and can’t even control my muscles. How vulnerable sleep makes us! We can’t control our dreams either. And sometimes there are nightmares.

Here’s where I remind myself that God is in control. He created us, and obviously He built in sleeping and dreaming along with eating and drinking for our survival. Even scientific research agrees that we have to dream and sleep in order to maintain sanity. So I need to recognize that dreams are a part of God’s design. I don’t pay attention to my dreams, and perhaps I’m missing out.

God uses dreams when He needs to tell us things that are really important. And anything God says is really important, isn’t it? In this case, God is using this dream to proclaim His promise of prosperity for Jacob in the promised land. The passage ends with these wonderful words of comfort:

v. 15 – “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go … for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Wouldn’t you just love to receive this important message from God?

Well, you just did. It has been written down in sacred scripture. We have the Bible, which Jacob did not. Nor did any other dreamers and visionaries we read about. God needed to communicate, so He sent angels and used visions and dreams. He still does, although I haven’t any personal experiences to share. But I have the most amazing communique of all – the infallible word of God.

Block 18 – Jacob’s Ladder

The photo doesn’t pick up the fabric colors. They both have a faint lavender hue.

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