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Jacob Saw a Ladder

By Dr. Shana Wise

Genesis 28:10-22, Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 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 spoken to 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!” 18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

This dream and encounter with God happened right after Jacob left home after stealing Esau’s blessing. God spoke to Jacob in the dream and made him the same promise that he made to his father and grandfather.

When God speaks and reveals something to us, He is always looking for a response. Jacob chose to recognize God (Gen. 28:16-17), build and alter and name it Bethel (Gen. 28:18-19), and make a vow (Gen. 28:20-22).

What has been your response when God has spoken and revealed something to you?

Jacob had to worship God for himself as his father and grandfather did.

Isaac worships God in Beersheba

Gen. 26:23-25 Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

Abraham (Abram) worships God near Bethel

Gen. 12:8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Gen. 13:3-4 And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.

Notice how Isaac and Abram built an altar and called on the name of the Lord. Jacob took it a step further, he not only acknowledged God, but He named the altar and it became known as the house of God, and it became a city. Jacob was building on the foundation of faith set before him and due to this, what he did lasted throughout the generations and stood the through the test of time.

What, if any foundation of faith has been laid before you (family, friends, church, etc.), and how have you continued to build on it?

It is interesting how God chose to reveal himself to Jacob. He did so through a dream and showed him a ladder of angels ascending and descending on it. At the top of the ladder, Jacob saw the Lord standing above it.

Once Jacob saw, God spoke.

Have you been hearing from God lately? If not, look for His goodness in every area of your life and praise Him for what He has done and what He is doing.

Jesus is the Ladder

1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

The ladder that Jacob saw in Genesis represented Jesus being the mediator between sinful man and God. The angels represent the presence of holiness and servanthood unto God.

Oxford’s definition of a mediator: is a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement; a go-between.

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

In this scripture, Jesus is proclaiming that He was in the beginning. Jesus always was and is and is to come (Rev. 1:8). We see Jesus throughout the entire Bible, starting in the book of Genesis.

John 1:47-5, Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

In the text, we see how Nathanael first became a disciple of Christ. Nathanael responded to Jesus that he is the Son of God and the King of Israel, just because Jesus saw him under a fig tree. Jesus responded to Nathanael by the paralleling scripture of Jacob’s dream. He wanted Nathanael and the other disciples to understand that more was going to be revealed to them about who Jesus was.

Jesus coming down to earth to be born, die, and resurrect for us to be reconciled back to the Father is the connection to Jacob’s dream. In Jacob’s dream, the Lord was standing at the top of the ladder, in heaven; in the New Testament, Jesus is speaking down on earth.

The prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament from the Old Testament all through one man named Jesus Christ.

Like Nathanael and the other disciples, Jesus wants us to know him as the Mediator. He wants us to see Him as the gate to heaven.

Jacob worshipped God when he encountered him in a dream at Bethel. Jesus wants us to have an encounter with Him that will cause us to worship God.

When was the last time you encountered Jesus? What did he reveal to you? What did he speak to you?

Jacob’s dream mentions angels ascending and descending on the ladder; which represents their service/work between heaven and earth. The angels follow Jesus wherever he goes, and they follow us as well.

Psalm 91:11, For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.

Psalm 104:4, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.

The angels also worship God. They set a pattern of worship for us from the heavens to the earth.

Revelation 7:11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

Psalm 148:2, Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!

When was the last time you praised and worshipped God? How did you feel?

More scriptures to read and meditate on that relate to this message:

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Hebrews 2:5-17, For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. ”For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

About the Author

Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor that founded and oversees Wise Choice Ministries with her husband Deacon Ron Wise. She is also the CEO and founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network. Dr. Wise is the author of Women’s Devotionals Acts of Intercession and Chief Women Arise, The Impact of Your Election, and the Basic Ministry Training Manual (all available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets. Shana is married and has four children.

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Acts of Intercession

The Impact of Your Election

Basic Ministry Training Manual

Chief Women Arise

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