Lesson 28

Jacob's Ladder Dream

"There stood a flight of steps rising from earth, till it reached high heaven! And there were God’s angels ascending it and descending."
Genesis 28:12 (Moffatt Translation)

Jacob and Esau were twin brothers, but they neither looked nor acted alike. Esau (who was born first) was a strong, athletic boy and enjoyed hunting more than anything else in the world. Jacob was quiet and gentle. He often thought of God and his promises and knew he would rather have God’s blessing than anything else in the world.

One day when Esau came home from hunting he was extremely hungry. Jacob was cooking a thick vegetable and meat stew (pottage) which looked and smelled delicious. He begged Jacob to give him the stew.

Jacob had always realized the great value of the promise God had made to Abraham and then to Isaac. He felt it was more important than the earthly riches which were also part of the firstborn son’s inheritance. He asked Esau to give him his birthright promise in exchange for the pottage. Esau cared little for God’s promises at the time; he was only interested in something to eat. He agreed to the exchange.

Later Jacob deceived Isaac, who was now blind, into believing he was Esau so his father would give him the blessing. When Esau found out, he wanted to kill Jacob, for now the birthright seemed more valuable than when he had sold it.

Jacob fled from Esau’s anger. That night he found a quiet place and, using a stone for a pillow, wrapped himself in his warm cloak and went to sleep. God encouraged Jacob by giving him a dream.

In the dream he saw a ladder extending from earth to heaven. It was crowded with angels coming and going. At its further end he saw the God of glory and heard him speak. God assured him that he had secured his father Isaac’s blessing and God now recognized Jacob as the legal heir to the great Abrahamic promise.

The dream was a picture of the fulfillment of this promise made to Abraham (Genesis 28:14 and Acts 3:25). It will bring about, once again, peace and fellowship between heaven and earth, between God and man.

| next | index |