Jacob’s ladder is an interesting passage in the Bible found in Genesis 28, describing his first encounter with God.
He had just left his father’s house and was on the run. This was the first time away from home, frightened, alone, and unsure of himself, he happened on a little village called Bethel. It was nighttime and he decide to rest there, as his destination Harran was still a few days away.
As he propped his head on a stone, a make shift pillow he drifted off to sleep. While asleep he had a dream. He saw heaven open up, and a ladder from the earth to the heaven that was being used as a stair way by angels. These angels glorious in appearance, descended and ascended up the stairs, from heaven to earth, and vice versa. At the end of this divine encounter, God spoke to Jacob, and reaffirmed that he was not alone.
Can I encourage you today by saying that you are not alone. God is with you.Maybe like Jacob you are on the run. Not literally but emotionally. You may find it difficult to stay in a relationship, or to get close to anyone, or to find your place in life. I believe God wants to meet you at your Bethel. You see, Bethel meant the house of God. Jacob commemorated this place, as his grandfather had decades earlier, because of a prior encounter with God.
God wants to meet you and I at Bethel. Maybe not a literal place, since in the New Covenant under Christ, places aren’t necessarily divinely sanctified. Yet God can still meet you in the place where you are at. Wherever that is. Bethel is wherever you meet God. For me Bethel is every morning when I sit on my favourite couch and I meditate on his goodness. For you it may be to go back to that song where he touched your heart, or a visit to your local church sanctuary where you find him on your knees. Bethel is anywhere where we reach out to God, and where he meets us.
Learning from Jacob, what made Bethel so special? It was a place that had already known the worship of God, since Abraham had stopped there and offered a sacrifice to God years earlier. This tells me Bethel must be a place of sacrifice. For you and I, it’s not easy to get up early in the morning, but a heart of sacrifice makes it happen and there you encounter God at Bethel. Similarly it’s not easy to carve out consistent time to have family devotions, but doing this regularly provides a Bethel opportunity for you and your loved ones.
There at Bethel, God will speak to you like he did to Jacob. Did you know God hasn’t stopped speaking. In fact he said, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3). Today, this week, this season, I challenge you to take the necessary steps, sacrifice time and effort to go to Bethel, to hear God’s loving voice affirm the destiny divinely planned for you.
– Pastor Olu Jegede