He witnessed the stairway to heaven. He heard the voice of God confer upon him the blessing to Abraham
Christ is the staircase. Christ is the doorway to heaven.
I will give you and your descendant the land on which you are lying… I will bring you back to this land
will be like the dust of the earth, you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south
All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and watch over you wherever you go.
I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised
Surely the Lord is in this place. How awesome is this place. This is none other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven
God fulfills all of his promises. He is with us always.
My Daily Journal:
I was so happy that in the children’s program we did homiletics over verses 11-22. There are so many great truths and applications that come out of these verses that we so often miss.
Even the very opening line spoke to me. Verse 11 says, “when he reached a certain place he stopped for the night because the sun had set.” I picture Jacob wandering. He has a place he has left and a place he is going, but his mind would have been miles away. He didn’t leave with a detailed trip itinerary. He didn’t have lodging reservations in places along the way. He just wandered. Where did he stop for the night? A certain place. Why there? Because it was dark. How often am I going through life just like this? I have tasks to do, places to go, a life to live and a God to serve, but my mind is distracted by all of the events that have occurred, by my fears and anxieties, by my regrets and repentance, by my hopes and plans for the future. I’m not living in the moment. Where am I? Just at some certain place.
Seth Godin described this situation in an interview I recently listened to promoting his newest book. He used the analogy of driving a car. We go on autopilot, our brain disengaged from what we are doing, we are aware of our surroundings, but not really aware, we are there, but not fully present. But, when a blow-out tire occurs we are immediately back in the moment, our senses at full alert. We are immediately cognizant of everything in our environment, the cars around us, the feel of the car, the opportunities to get off the road safely, our gauges, sights, smells.
Look at how this occurs with Jacob. Verses 16-17: When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
But here is the interesting thing, to me: Nothing about this place had changed. In the middle of the night it didn’t become a place where the Lord was, it didn’t become the house of God, the gate of heaven wasn’t created in that moment. It wasn’t that God or the angels or the stairs showed up. It was that Jacob woke up to what was already around him. It was that he became aware.
There isn’t something unique about Bethel, that it alone provides a stairway connecting earth and heaven. God is everywhere, angels are with us, the gate of heaven is open and God is speaking to us, but we are asleep and unaware. All of this activity and this glory goes on around us every day and we miss it because we are just wandering, our thoughts adrift in where we have been and where we are going.
How can you and I awaken to the miracles happening around us? How can we become more aware of the fact that God is in this place? Joan Rivers is quoted as saying: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.”