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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Jacob's Ladder

Today’s Verse:

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. ~Genesis 28:12


The United States Coast Guard will sometimes use a rescue device referred to as Jacob’s Ladder. This ladder is let down from a helicopter to a person who is struggling in rough ocean water. The helicopter will descend as low as possible without placing the pilot and crew at risk, and then, the ladder is let down within the reach of the person in peril. Once this person is able to reach and hang on to the ladder, the pilot will ascend upwards and away from the storm. This device derives its name from the incident involving Jacob and God. Jacob was hurriedly sent out of his home by his mother and father. His life was in great danger from his brother Esau. It was the first night that he was away. He was alone in a rugged, desolate area with nothing but rocks and wilderness around him. It was here from a dream about this ladder where Jacob met God for the first time in his life. This incident begs the question for each of us: where is Jacob’s ladder in your life?

There is the exposure from this ladder.

When Jacob saw this ladder, he was at a low point in his life. His deceit and trickery had gotten him into a lot of trouble at home, especially with Esau. He received a message from God at the place where he saw the ladder. When he awoke, he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.” The dream about this ladder revealed to Jacob who he was in relation to God. He saw the holiness of God and his own terrible sinfulness. It was there that Jacob was exposed. The life that he had lived up to that point was a house of cards ready to collapse. Now, he was at Bethel, the house of God. He was exposed in his wickedness, his weakness, and his need. Is God exposing something to you about your life?

There is the experience from this ladder.

This ladder awakened him to the fact that God is sovereign. It awakened him to the fact that God alone is worthy of our devotion and worship. He said, “How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” God came to Jacob! God comes to you! God comes to you to save you. God comes to you to sustain you. God comes to you to draw you closer to Him. The ladder was the gateway to Heaven. He had to come by way of the ladder in order to be close to God. Have you been in God’s presence and beheld the awesomeness of Who God is?

There is the explanation through this ladder.

The ladder is a picture of our prayers to God. The angels of God are ministering spirits sent by God to help us. The picture is of the angels ascending and descending on it. Our prayers go up and the answers come down. There is constant, ongoing activity on that ladder. Prayer is not restricted to a time and place. We are to pray without ceasing. We are to pray often and much. We can never pray too much, but we can always pray too little. We can never run out of things and people to pray for, but we can always stop short in praying as thoroughly as we should. What is the ladder teaching you about your praying?

There is the exaltation through his ladder.

The ladder represents Jesus! Jacob worshipped God at that location and named it Bethel, the house of God. He took the stones and set them up for a pillar, and then, he poured oil upon them. It pictured the foundation and the anointing of the Christian life being Christ. He gave a tithe at that place. He was worshipping the Lord in all His glory. Later, in John 1:51, Jesus told Nathaniel that he would see the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Jesus deserves all of our worship!

The ladder is close by and beckoning you to draw near. It’s time to awaken and allow the Lord to change you through His power.

Have a blessed God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 14-16

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