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.”
The Stairway to Heaven
His name was Jacob, and he was on the run. He had fled his home and the angry threats of his brother, whom he had cheated. He was headed to the family home of his mother. He was all alone. He was anxious about his present circumstances and was uncertain about his future. He was a fearful fugitive. But he had to stop for rest. With a stone for a pillow he drifted off to sleep.
Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway that was resting on earth and reaching to heaven. Angels were going up and down on the stairway, and the LORD was at the top. He spoke to Jacob, repeating some important promises that were made to Jacob’s father and grandfather. “I will be with you. I will watch over you. I will bring you and your family back to this place. I will bless all people through you!” The experience startled him and opened his eyes to some important realities: The LORD is real. The LORD is here. The LORD has shown me the gate to heaven.
God and heaven, his presence and promises, often seem very distant and dream-like. But he wants us to know him the way Jacob knew him—as the LORD who is near, who makes beautiful promises, and who shows us the way to heaven. But how? God never promised to speak to us in dreams and visions. But he has spoken to us clearly in his Word, the Bible. There he shows us the real and only stairway to heaven, Jesus.
Our sinfulness would keep us separated from God. But Jesus is the one who makes a way for sinners through the forgiveness of sins. He is the stairway God has provided on which to reach him and his heavenly home. And while we walk the journey of faith in this world, he promises to be with us every step of the way. When we feel alone, he reminds us of his presence. When we feel anxious, he reminds us that he watches over us. When we feel uncertain of the future, he reminds us that it is known to him and in his control.
Lord God, how awesome are your promises to us in Jesus Christ, your Son. Help us to look always to him as the true stairway to heaven. Help us to find in him your certain promises for our life in this world. In his name we pray. Amen.
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