October 11, 2012

Angels on a ladder

Some of my dreams are outlandish, but nothing as amazing as one dream Jacob had. He was on his way to a city where his ancestor Abraham had lived. Night fell so using a stone for a pillow, he laid down and slept.
And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! (Genesis 28:12)
In this dream, God renewed the promise of many descendents that He had given Abraham. Jacob would also be blessed personally, for God told him…
“Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:14–17)
Jacob’s ladder is depicted in paintings even though no one but Jacob actually knows what it looked like. In my mind, what it represents is more important. Angels are the messengers of God. They take prayer from earth to heaven and God’s response from heaven to earth. In this dream, Jacob was given the privilege of seeing that in action. Perhaps this was to help him understand that his dream was indeed from God. 

When I wake after having an unusual dream, my emotions are affected. Sometimes the dream scares me, or is bad enough to give my emotions a twist. However, I often wake up laughing. In Jacob’s case, he awoke certain that God had spoken to him. He was afraid, but his fear was not terror. He was filled with reverence and awe; God had met with him.

Jacob’s responded by building an altar and worshiping his God. This convicts me. When God answers my prayers, I am grateful, but am far too quick to go on with life rather than stop and acknowledge that He is with me, protecting me, answering my prayers and keeping His promises. I should be more like Jacob. This man realized that he deserved nothing from God, so any answer to prayer or any word from him warranted a deep and heart-felt response. 

Lord, You take care of us in a myriad of ways. We had safe flights yesterday. My husband’s lost suitcase was found and returned by taxi this morning. After being up from 2 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. we were granted sleep. We have food in the kitchen and a warm home on this wintery day. No doubt Your angels are always at work. Besides speaking to my heart from Your Word in so many personal and timely ways, You make sure that nothing happens in my life that You cannot use for good. I am grateful and ask You to forgive the many times that I take Your loving care for granted.

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