Friday, August 8, 2008

Jacob's Ladder

Thursday night is our mid-week bible study at church.
Our family (and accompanying neighborhood children) love Thursday nights. We've dubbed it Thirsty Thursday and we look forward to it all week long. The fact that we meet in a coffee shop is fun. But that's not why we love it. Everybody gets to order coffee, tea or a milkshake but that's not why we call it Thirsty.

The reason for the Thirsty and the reason we love Thursdays is simply because we love learning the Scriptures. On Thursdays we study the Old Testament (New Testament on Sundays) and we are going through Genesis. But more importantly, Genesis is going through us. Verse-by verse we learn not only the stories of the bible but we learn of the heart of God behind those stories. In the process, our hearts are being changed.

We studied chapters 28 & 29 last night. The life of Jacob, soon to be named Israel by God.

In verse 12 of chapter 28, a snoozing Jacob dreams of a ladder that was set on earth and reached to heaven. The angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

I've been really, really cranky lately. No good reason for it. Just out of sorts.
I've felt depleted in my spirit. My heart's been troubled and my mind too busy.

I needed the reminder that a ladder has been set up between heaven and earth that allows me to communicate freely with my Father in heaven.
In John 1:51, Jesus says, "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."

Jesus is that ladder that Jacob dreamed of and He is the seed that "all the families of the earth be blessed" by. (Gen 28:14) From Jacob came Judah. Through Judah's line came Jesus.
From Jesus comes salvation and life abundant.

As I read the familiar story of Jacob, I marveled that God was giving vision and promise of something that would take place thousands of years later.
I was again awed that God cares enough about us to reach down and make a way for restoration.
I sighed as I recognized myself in Jacob as he said upon waking, "Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not."

My spirit has been "sleeping" for the last couple of weeks. But even then the Lord was with me even though I knew it not.
Why was He with me? Because He is faithful, always, always faithful.

After church, I felt better than I had in weeks. I felt like I could smile. Not only with my face but with my heart. I remembered that I didn't need to do anything to earn God's favor.
He gives it freely. I remembered that I just simply needed to turn to Him and
"come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we [I] may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

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