A sunset. Can it have this kind of impact? Yes, when God is the key player in the drama.
The sun had set when Jacob rested his head on a stone pillow. He then had a dream. A ladder touching heaven and resting on earth. Angels of God were going up and down on it.
What a glorious dream. But we miss the point if we forget that the LORD stood above it. We miss the point again if we forget that Jacob at that point in time was what his name meant—deceiver! So it is not because Jacob was a perfect person that the dream came to him.
We miss the point again if we forget that the ladder represented Jesus himself (John 1: 51) the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Jacob’s response as he woke up was: “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it (Genesis 28:16).”
To Jacob that place becomes Bethel, the house of God; the gate of heaven. This was so unique an experience that God later said to Jacob, “I am the God of Bethel (Genesis 31:13).”
See, there comes moments like this in each one of our lives when the curtains are moved back to allow us a glimpse of heaven. So often we become talkative about seeing angels. Jacob, however, talked about God who appeared to him. His focus was on God himself.
Resting one’s head on a stone pillow seems to be an unlikely place to have such a dream. But dear friend, God often touches you with a foretaste of heaven in the most ordinary and unlikely of circumstances and situations.
Above all, the purpose of this dream was to let Jacob know that he was a key player in God blessing all peoples on earth through Jesus. See, you were in God’s heart and mind when Jacob was given this dream. A great spiritual insight given to you is to bless others through it.
And of course what gives you strength to go on in the daily grind and labour and toil and tensions of life is God’s promise “I am with you and watch over you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15). See Jacob had a very difficult time ahead. But the God of Bethel was with him. And he is with you. Amen.
(based on Genesis 28:10—22).