Monday, December 10, 2012

Jesse Tree: December 7

December 7:
Hang ornament with Ladder
Genesis 28:10-17

We have talked about Abraham, Isaac, and today we will talk about Jacob.  Do you remember that these men are referred to as the Patriarchs?  

The story of Jacob is an interesting one.  Remember, Jacob had a twin brother named Esau.  When our reading for today takes place, Jacob has tricked both his brother and his father into giving him the birthright and blessing, and now he is fleeing for his life out in the wilderness.  

God, because of His mercy and kindness, did not let Jacob get eaten or killed out in the wilderness; instead, he came to him in a dream.  We will read about it from Genesis chapter 28:

10 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 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.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 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.”
God chose to bless a selfish trickster, and God even promised that in Jacob and his descendants all the families of the earth would be blessed.  What a wonderful reminder of God’s willingness to redeem us and give us life even while we are dead in sins.  

This ladder in Jacob’s dream, which is often referred to as “Jacob’s Ladder,” is our symbol today.  It reminds us of how God does all things for His glory, and it can also remind us of the way that Christ goes to the Father on our behalf.  That is called MEDIATION.  We can read about this dream and think about Christ as the ladder.  

He is this ladder, the foot on earth in his human nature, the top of the ladder in heaven being His divine nature.  Everything that goes on between heaven and earth since the fall is by this ladder.

Christ is the way; all God’s blessings come to us, and all our services go to him by Christ.  We have no way of getting to heaven, but by this ladder; if we climb up any other way, we are thieves and robbers.  

Christ refers to this picture of Himself in the book of John when he speaks of the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man.  All of the kind things the angels do, and the benefits we receive by their works are all because of Christ.  Jesus has reconciled things on earth and things in heaven and made them all meet in Himself. (Paraphrased from Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Genesis 28:10-15)

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