Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. He came to a certain place and camped for the night since the sun had set. He took one of the stones there, set it under his head and lay down to sleep. And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground and it reached all the way to the sky; angels of God were going up and going down on it. Then God was right before him, saying, “I am God, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. I’m giving the ground on which you are sleeping to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as the dust of the Earth; they’ll stretch from west to east and from north to south. All the families of the Earth will bless themselves in you and your descendants. Yes. I’ll stay with you, I’ll protect you wherever you go, and I’ll bring you back to this very ground. I’ll stick with you until I’ve done everything I promised you.” Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, “God is in this place–truly. And I didn’t even know it!” He was terrified. He whispered in awe, “Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God’s House. This is the Gate of Heaven.” Jacob was up first thing in the morning. He took the stone he had used for his pillow and stood it up as a memorial pillar and poured oil over it. He christened the place Bethel (God’s House). The name of the town had been Luz until then. Jacob vowed a vow: “If God stands by me and protects me on this journey on which I’m setting out, keeps me in food and clothing, Genesis 28:10-20
Jacob was the slyest, trickiest and most deceitful character in the Old Testament. A wanderer in the land of Luz, hatefully driven from the family homestead because of cruel trickery, he was forced to flee in order to survive. As a fugitive and exiled in a strange country, homeless and friendless because of scheming and deceit. God revealed Himself to Jacob in a night vision. He saw a vision of a ladder, set-up on earth reaching to Heaven. On this staircase, he noted ascending and descending. When He woke he had experienced an encounter with the living God and He would never be the same again.
John 1:51 says “Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.” A promised hope for everyone who has reached rock-bottom. God reached down to Jacob, showing him that reconciliation was possible, even for the worst of us. A special message for those of us who may be struggling in the process of recovery. Thinking, “I’m never going to get there.” “Recovery is impossible for me.”
When we bow in humility at the foot of the Cross it’s power lifts us onto a new positive life-track. Into a new two-way relationship with God that needs to be kept alive through prayer, meditation, worship of and obedience to Him. Through the process of recovery, we need to accept all God has in store for us and is directing us to and move forward in His strength to be all He is calling us to be.