effect on Jacob and us as we consider a most exciting and informative
picture of Christ and the relationship that He has with His people in
both communion and provision.
AIM: That we
may have such a realization of the living and loving relationship that
God through Christ has brought us to enjoy wherein we might ever realize
that even now all heavenly communion and benefit is ascending and
descending on Him and that we are in His presence.
INTR: We come
again to familiar narrative in the Old Testament Scriptures wherein we
find Christ both prefigured and manifested so preciously to us.
subject of Bible stories and, of course, the familiar children's song,
"We are climbing Jacob’s ladder." Like many other things the thought is
admirable, but it is not true to the scriptures.
2. It may be assumed
that while Jacob was aware of the Lord and the covenant that had been
confirmed to his father Isaac and now to him that he had no personal and
spiritual relationship with the Lord.
3. While the event here is
characterized as a dream; that it is of God is borne out in the truth
expressed and the identification of Christ with it.
THESIS: Salvation and all that attends
it proceeds from God and is the reason of all. The promise of Christ
herein given to Jacob (as it had been given to Abraham and Isaac before)
also included the revelation of the Lord in it all. Of this that is
promised we are included.
I. The Dream and its effect on Jacob
1. Even though he does not express himself at this time as to his
condition he would later reveal that his beginnings with the Lord had
found him as a penniless fugitive.
1) He had arrived there after a
time of deception and lying to his father even though the will of the
Lord was done.
2) His mother had warned him, and his brother had
threatened his life
3) Like Abraham he was unfamiliar with his
destination (not that we would attribute his actions to faith).
His was an uncertain future to say the least.
2. He awakened to an
overpowering sense of the presence of God
1) He experienced fear (he
was afraid) at the sight which revealed his own sinfulness - remembering
that he had been a party to an elaborate scheme to deceive!
2) He was
fully in awe of God and the revelation that the dream was not mere
fantasy but was a true representation of the Lord and His salvation.
3) He saw the place as sanctified by such a revelation - not that he had
a dream there, but that the Lord was there. The "House of God" and the
"Gate (or court) of Heaven!!
4) He erected a pillar and anointed it.
3. It elicited a need to vow in submission to the Lord - not that Jacob
could do anything, but rather that if God would supply what was required
he would openly serve as an object of grace!
II. What Jacob saw
1. Above all else he saw Heaven open and the Lord
speaking directly to him.
2. He understood that the Lord had a vested
interest in his life and prosperity in the way
3. He was made to
realize that all of the heavenly host had an interest in what he was
about and would be the means of providing.
1) Jacob would long retain
this vision and would reference it years later and
2) He furthermore
would have the assurance that what he saw in that dream was actually
occurring even then and would continue throughout his life.
never before there would be a God-consciousness within and evident
5. Faith was brought forth in that the covenant
first given to Abraham was now confirmed to Him. See verses 14 and 15.
III. An unmistakable reference
1. Neither Jacob nor any other is
capable of climbing that ladder - that is why the Ladder came to him. It
was the angels that ascended and descended.
1) Our transport to
Heaven is in Christ not through any work or ability in men!
it pictured the essential link between the High and Holy One and the
lowly undeserving fugitive - and I am not talking only about Jacob but
me as well!!!
2. That gulf admits to no other means of crossing.
1) We are reminded of And beside all this, between us and you there is a
great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you
cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Luke
3. Of any other way: He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;
but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36
4. Who shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and
from the glory of his power; 2 Thessalonians 1:9
5. Two functions in
one revelation: And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and
descending upon the Son of man. John 1:51.
1) The thought of some is
that the picture is of the providence of God wherein all the affairs of
this present world are ordered in such a way as to accomplish all His
will and purpose which includes His glory in Christ and the good of His
2) The thought of others is that it pictures the incarnation
and mediation of Christ who was the man on earth and God the Son
identified fully with His Father.
3) I don't know that the two
thoughts can be separated in that apart from the incarnation and
mediation of Christ assuring salvation there is no need of the mystery
4) Consider the angels who are described as doing the
bidding of heaven and bearing the communication from earth all on the
merits of Christ our Lord: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent
forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:14
6. Christ is not climbing the Ladder - He is the Ladder and no man comes
to the Father but by Him and by this Ladder salvation descended to Jacob
and us and every blessing is received and our praise and prayers are
borne up to Him.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen