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Jacob’s Ladder

LaddersAs a child I remember singing the spiritual,  Jacob’s Ladder. We sang the words. But I never thought much about them.

Now, many years later, I find that I’m ready for another look. I’ll need you to be patient with me because the story turns out to get a little involved. But I’ve found some unexpected turns and surprises along the way.

After committing fraud to obtain the family inheritance, Jacob leaves home to avoid being killed by the older brother he has cheated.

When night comes, he makes a pillow out of some rocks, falls asleep, and dreams of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. On this ladder he sees angels going up and  down (Gen 28:10-12). Above the ladder Jacob sees one who identifies himself as the LORD and God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac.

In his dream, Jacob hears God say words very similar to what Abraham had once heard. The LORD  tells Jacob that he is going to give him the land on which he is sleeping; that he is going to multiply and bless Jacob’s children, and that through Jacob’s family all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 28:13-14).

Then God assures Jacob, the fugitive, that he is going to be with him, and that he will protect him, until he does all that he is promising to do (Gen 28:15).

When Jacob wakes up from his sleep he is overwhelmed with the sense of being in a house of God, and at the gate of heaven (Gen 28:16-17).

As Jacob’s journey unfolds, he finds a place to stay and work with a Syrian relative of his mother. As it turns out, in this relative, Jacob meets his match.

The Syrian whose name is Laban, tricks Jacob into marrying a daughter that Jacob doesn’t love. Over the next 20 years, this shrewd and dishonest father-in-law gets Jacob to work 14 years in exchange for two wives, and six more years for cattle. During that time Laban withholds promised wages 10 times. In the end Jacob tells Laban that if God hadn’t been taking care of him, he knows that Laban would have left him with nothing (Gen 28:41-42).

As it turns out, however, Jacob returns to his homeland with 2 wives,  the sons who would eventually become the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel, and a big herd of cattle.

As this large and growing family of children left Syria for Jacob’s homeland, Laban made a pile of rocks and proposed a covenant saying, “May the Lord watch between us while we are apart” (Gen 28:49).

The words sound gracious and hospitable today. But they were  words that expressed the distrust that Laban and Jacob had for one another. After 20 years of living together, Laban the Syrian, and Jacob the father of what we now know as Israel, sensed how much they needed God to protect them from one another (Gen 28:50-52).

Yet Jacob is not done being deceived. The sons he brings home betray him in his old age.  They sell one of their youngest brothers to slave traders, and tell their father his favorite son was killed by a wild animal.

That younger brother (Joseph) ends up in Egypt where he eventually is promoted to rule over the whole land,  second in command to the Pharaoh. From that position he is used by God to become the Savior not only to the Egyptian people during seven years of severe famine, but also to become the protector and provider of  the brothers who, long before, had betrayed and sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver.

Now fast forward to the New Testament. As Jesus begins three years of public life, he introduces himself to “an Israelite in whom there is no guile” (deceit) (John 1:46).  The man, whose name is Nathanael, gets involved in a brief conversation with Jesus that leads him to recognize that Jesus isn’t just a son of Israel, Joseph, and Nazareth (John 1:45), but rather the Son of God (John 1:49).

Then Jesus says something that sounds very familiar (John 1:51). He predicts that Nathanael will see “heaven open and angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Seemingly out of the blue, a clear reference to Jacob’s ladder. How do we begin to put all of this together?

Who among us can’t identify with the fearful, self-protective, deceitful hearts of Jacob and Laban? Who doesn’t need the God who promises to be with a man like Jacob, to protect him, and to provide for him– until he fulfills his plan to bring good, and blessing through him– to all the families of the world.

Jacob shows us our own heart. Nathanael points us to the One who gives fulness of meaning to Jacob’s ladder.

Heaven and earth coming together in One who gives us a better Father, a better Son, and a better Spirit.

I don’t know about you, but the more I see the way the whole story of the Bible comes together in Jesus, and the more I see how gracious he is in coming to the rescue of people like Jacob– the more I feel like I am “in the house of God” , at “the Gate of heaven”, at the foot of a ladder that is the One we were made for.





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80 Responses to “Jacob’s Ladder”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Cherielyn, you did good, and it shows that God always planned to bless Jacob.

    Nothing can stop the will of God.

    It also is intriguing to then wonder why Rebekah thought that she had to *help* the younger son get what God already had planned for him.

    There are several lessons that come from this story including Esau selling his birthright for a meal (Genesis 25:31, 32).

    It is remembered that Esau was Jacobs favorite and Jacob Rebekah’s (Genesis 25:27, 28).

    Yet in Scripture I still haven’t seen where God say’s He empowers the father to pronounce blessings upon any of their children and it become so. I certainly can agree fathers should *speak* blessings unto any and all of their children and so impart good tiding into their lives. However to give a father prophetic power to impart blessings or see their futures belongs only to God the Father and any such action would have to come from Him.

    There is a great divide between the descendants of Abraham , and one of the dividing points is that the descendants of Israel corrupted the story so as to show favor to Jacob/Israel.

    It is they who believe parts of the story, but not all of the story. It is they who to this day hate Israel and strive to wipe them from the face of the earth.

    This point in Biblical history has huge significance and affects the world and peace to this very hour.

    I agree Mart why would someone trying to make Israel look perfect tell a tale that made him look less unless the story be true.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Summer-like day yesterday in the Great Smokies. Choruses of birds singing highest praise to God this morning.

    I think of Jacob dreaming at Bethel and I imagine some of the Lord’s servants who “looked up and saw the heavens opened.” Stephen saw the wonder of the Almighty enthroned. Ezekiel saw the presence of God coming on a dynamic angelic chariot. And John of Patmos saw “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” John saw “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of the heaven from God,” (Rev 21:1-2)

    It seems to me Jacob’s ladder was a gift to this man who had come so far in understanding what it means to live with and to work with the living God. We may grow to believe that through Jesus Christ we are citizens of the New Jerusalem even today. We labor to share the hope we have with whoever we meet. We simply introduce our new friend to the one Nathanael recognized as “the Son of God, the King of Israel.”

    We are invited to enter the fellowship of “a better father, a better son, and a better spirit to bring the promise of blessing through one family to every family on earth,” as you expressed it, Mart.


  3. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve brought my morning comment over to this new/continuing topic so it would not be lost and it has merit as we segue into this topic of Jacob and his adventures.

    I agree Mart it is through Jesus of Nazareth that all of the world can come together in peace. A fulfillment of God’s desire for all people of the earth.

    I also can’t ignore that just as Jesus stated He came to divide, and this world is divided, and will remain so until that “great and terrible day of the Lord” when God divides all people into the two places He has in store for each and so creates a utopia for all whom He has chosen to share it with.

    In the mean time we *Christians* are shouldered with the responsibility of telling everyone of every culture and religion there is only *one* way to be saved from judgment and the possibility of hell and that is by accepting Jesus of Nazareth a Jew to be the Son of God.

    We can tell them, we can try and argue our points from Scripture, we can pray for them and we can plead with them, but that decision is ultimately up to them.

    We can not adopt the practice of deceit or guile in presenting Christ to the world, only honesty and truth can open the eyes of the unbeliever.

    We can and will be ridiculed, hated, shunned and killed for presenting Christ in some places of the world, but we must be bold not diplomatic and use the strengths God has empowered us to have in telling the story of how God offers a way to be reconciled to Him.


  4. remarutho says:

    It will be seen in days to come that the only hope for old Jerusalem is the new Jerusalem — for God is the king of the whole universe. And all authority has been given to the resurrected Son, Jesus. Maru

  5. BruceC says:

    I will be gone until later today. But when I think of Jacob’s Ladder I see it as a way out of the pit. It represents Christ and that He is the only way out of eternal death into eternal life. And once again we see that offer being made to someone just as flawed as we are. In all the deceit we read about what I see is God telling people what He is going to do; and then they go out and try to do it on their own power. And then God makes those attempts to work out as He planned. That sounds confusing; but shows that His will WILL be done regardless of what man says or tries.

    Bruce C
    Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. tracey5tgbtg says:

    This post is a great way to show how everything eventually points back to Jesus Christ. He was before all things and the Creator of all things. There is so much to learn with reading and contemplating God’s word. We truly cannot fathom God.

    Mart – you wrote, “the more I see the way the whole story of the Bible comes together in Jesus, and the more I see how gracious he is in coming to the rescue of people like Jacob– the more I feel like I am “in the house of God” , at “the Gate of heaven”, at the foot of a ladder that is the One we were made for.”

    I’m always amazed at how gracious God is to rescue us. His love is amazing. “Amazing love, how can it be, that You, my King, would die for me.”

  7. foreverblessed says:

    Jacob shows us who we are. And despite the fact who Jacob was, God worked with him. It is not to think: I can do what I want anyway, because God will work with me anyhow. No, but it is God’s work from the beginning to the end.
    And Jacob turned out to be a gracious man, a man who blessed Pharaoh, a thing Abraham nor Isaac had done when they met foreign kings, the king of Gerar f.i.

    The ladder was shown to Jacob, just when he had cheated his father. God did not say a word about his misdeeds!
    Think of that, when I find out that my son was cheating, would I not say a word about it? Would I say a word of blessing over him? But this is what God did, showering blessings on Jacob-
    This is true for everyone of us: while we were still sinners Jesus died for us.

    But after we have been saved, God is starting to discipline us, as He disciplined Jacob with this hard treatment of Laban.
    Jacob was a believer in God, from his youth, but was busy dealing himself with his life: he himself saw to it that he got the blessing, which after all God had promised to him,
    Jacob was doing a very good thing so it seemed: he had to help God to do what He had promised.
    Are we as christians not like Jacob? Are we not often doing the same thing: helping God a little here and there, otherwise His plan would be blocked?
    -Instead of waiting for God to come in action-
    Yes, and that is why we have to be disciplined by God, and angels are with us, coming up and down the ladder, while we are tried and tested, till we come to the point where Jacob was: I do not know God, You do it, You have Your way with me.
    Let Isaac bless Esau, You will find a way to fulfill Your Plan.

    (Mart, I have to meditate a little further on Nathanael and the ladder.)

  8. foreverblessed says:

    Bruce C, you say what I wanted to say, but in so much less words. God is Sovereign, God is All Powerful: All power has been given to Jesus John 13:3, nothing can thwart His Plans!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Maru springtime in the mountains of Appalachia is a joy to experience. The warmth of just a couple days have started the grass to green up and the buds of the trees to swell. I also enjoy the singing of the birds as they welcome the dawn and sing I always say praises to God.

    It is interesting that when Nathaniel acknowledged Jesus to be the Son of God that he, Nathaniel, did not get the same or similar comment from Jesus as did Peter for saying the same thing.

    Did Jesus imply that Nathaniel had deduced that Jesus was the Son of God via of Scripture and reasoning and not by way of the Holy Spirit’s intervening?

    Did Nathaniel possess something Peter didn’t?


  10. fadingman says:

    Like Jacob suddenly realizing he was in God’s presence, Nate also had an ‘ah-ha’ moment just prior to what Jesus said.

    I wonder when Nathaniel personally saw the fulfillment of this prophecy.

    – Andrew

  11. narrowpathseeker says:

    The first thing that came to me this morning was that we reap what we sow and that we see the sins of others more clearly than our own. Then, that the only hope for ALL of us, is in mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ our savior. It seems that my failing mind can no longer endure excessive thought and I must be content with the basics.

    Just want you all to know that I read here daily and continue to pray for everyone…I just can’t always think or put what I do think into words anymore… it is nothing physical…just as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, sister to so many with each their own problems which become my problems. I think age has little to do with it…I understand well why Abraham separated his LARGE family. ;-)

  12. poohpity says:

    The Bible says that Nathanael believed because the Lord had seen where he was before Philip found him and knew that he was an honest man (knew his heart). (John 1:47-48) It seems that as Jesus called each disciple and new them individually inside and out, relating to each as their own personalities dictated.

    It would be nice to say that I could not identify with the hearts of Jacob and Laban but I would be only deceiving myself but because of that identification I find comfort an the foot of that ladder.

    Learning to trust and turn things over to the One who can make all things beautiful is a hard process and letting go has produced many scratch marks on the things I hold on to rather than placing them into the hands of an all knowing, all powerful God and trusting Him to fulfill all His promises. That is even after learning that how I would do things has produced some very harsh consequences from not trusting in God and His ways which have proven good results.

  13. phpatato says:

    Deb what a great visual….”letting go has produced many scratch marks on the things I hold on”. Someone told me years ago that we should accept everything given to us with an open palm. That way when God wants to take it back, He won’t have to wrestle us for it.

    I’m sad to say I have scratch marks on things I hold on to. Even cutting my nails didn’t stop them.

    We are in a winter storm watch for Thurs and Fri. Freezing rain, ice pellets and snow are in the forecast. Give me snow any day over freezing rain.

    Hugs to all


  14. poohpity says:

    I have actually never heard the song before but as I listened to it I realized that is actually what Jacob did. Every round in life he rose and grew to a higher understanding of God and gave more and more over to Him. He went from Jacob the deceiver to Israel the Prince with God. What a transformation!

  15. poohpity says:

    Pat, we went from 94 degrees to 65 in a matter of a few days. It seems the weather all over is very undependable just like the people we trust. Only God deserves our trust and dependence.

  16. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All –

    It seems to me Nathanael received a promise from Jesus at the moment of his witness to Jesus’ identity – “the Son of God, the King of Israel.” It is not unique, for Peter bore witness to Jesus’ messiah-ship as it is told in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus declares that Peter is blessed because he has received this understanding not from humans, but from God. (Luke 16:15, 16, 17) The thing these disciples, Nathanael and Peter, have is a spiritual understanding of the Son of God, based on faith.

    Have been reading the eighth chapter of John’s gospel this week. Jesus surely spoke prophetically to those temple leaders who argued with him about being sons of Abraham, and therefore slaves to nothing, most especially not slaves to sin. As I read the discussion in the text, it seems the church leaders cannot hear Jesus’ words, can’t make any sense of them.

    Jesus tells them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.” (John 8:28) That “lifting up” is surely about nailing Jesus to a cross and lifting the cross high for a public execution. But, might the words “lifting up” be to bear witness – to testify about Jesus by our lives and our words? The text goes on to say that as Jesus was saying these things, many believed in him. (John 8:30)

    Have to consider the power and the effect of being a witness to Jesus Christ. The messengers coming and going upon Jacob’s ladder are truly bringing messages from heaven!


  17. remarutho says:

    My gospel reference is Matthew 16:15, 16, 17)– apologies to any who read the Scripture in my previous post, since it will make little sense. Maru

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Have you ever wondered what God was doing *with* the rest of humanity while He was interacting with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

    I could probably find a number of humans that populated the earth at the time of these people; do you think it possible that while we only have this written account of this one family that God may have also been intervening in the lives of others elsewhere?

    From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 this entire story is all about God and as we read on and learn all about His Son Jesus of Nazareth.

    We learn why we are here, why things are the way they are, where we are headed and most important we learn of the personality and nature of our creator, what He expects of us and how He will take care of *all* our needs including our eternal future.

    However while breeding a human family line to produce Jesus, what else was God doing with mankind?

    We read of God developing kings and other nations for the purpose of punishing or aiding Israel, but don’t you ever wonder about how He may have been aiding, interacting and caring for all the rest of the world while this story was going on?

    Or do you think that God just let the rest of humanity live on lost and apart from Him awaiting the coming of Christ into the world?

    Albeit Christ came into the world so that all men could re-establish a relationship with God, an accurate relationship. But that didn’t keep God from interacting with the lost world, only many ability to come to Him through the front door.

    I too had a *Jacob’s ladder* dream when I was a young boy; it was similar but different.

    In my dream I was walking up a rugged and difficult pathway up a familiar east facing mountain in the dark with only the faint soft light given off by a lamp to show the way.

    I was with other people and we were led by a bearded older man who was helping us find our way past the boulders and bushes that blocked our way.

    The sky above me was pitch black and I could hear a whooshing sound over head, so I ask the leader of our group what that sound was, he explained to me it was the sound of angels as they flew back and forth from God to the earth to do the will of God.

    I said “hey, I want a pair of wings so I can just fly on up to heaven and not have to go through this struggle and difficult pathway”.

    A voice from above me said “No Steven you have to go this way, but do not worry you will make it.”

    This dream and others have helped me through many a difficult stretch in my life, I hope you enjoyed my little story.


  19. BruceC says:


    I enjoyed the story about your dream. In it you learned to trust the Lord and that led to where you are today in Christ.
    I too have wondered about “others” that the Bible does not mention. I think there is a verse about God winking at their ignorance at some time. I cannot recall it now. But I trust God who knows all hearts and that His judgment is true and just. Someday we will know.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  20. BruceC says:

    Please, would everyone keep me in prayer. Since the temperature dropped and the humidity has soared; Arthur Itis has been doing a good job of beating me up. The last two days I have felt like I was in auto wreck. And I know from experience in my more foolish days exactly what that feels like.
    Thanks all!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce that old joke, “If I had known I would live this long I would have taken better care of my body.” Certainly rings true as we enter this age of our lives.

    We went from snow to summer and I too jumped right into trying to clean up my world of fallen trees thanks to our Halloween *trick*. Every night I am reminded of my age and every morning I forget again.

    I pray God gives you all the answers to all your prayers in a way favorable to your desires.


  22. oneg2dblu says:

    Beloved…I do not see any Soul that knows Christ as their Savior to be at the foot of the ladder any longer, but rather fastened and ascended a to rung by their Faith in Him, where they now firmly stand upon it.
    If there are nail marks anywhere, they are produced by our constant slipping and grasping as we are tempted to decend back to where we once were.
    At the base of the ladder is the world with all its power of temptation that tries to ever pull us down again.
    We can resist this pulling however, through the Helper that God provides us in His Holy Spirit. If we could only release our grip and allow Him to help us ascend another rung.
    Be Lifted, Gary

  23. poohpity says:

    I think that if we look at God’s Word in light of Genesis through Revelation rather from the beginning of time until the end we may notice that all kinds of people from all over the world from the East, West, North and South are all mentioned. Many different tribes, clans and we even get to know how all the different languages came into being but the focus is on the line of Jesus and how our God is. Remembering we get to read a history book when time began and that includes all peoples of the world and then how they became separated into waring cultures because of pride and no need for God. Israel was not even Israel yet until after Jacobs ladder.

    If one has a map and looks at the world as it was and then even how the Land masses have changed over time I think it gives us a better glimpse of how much world the Bible does cover.

  24. poohpity says:

    If one believes in the Bible then we understand that all peoples of the world came from the same ancestors through Noah then on from there. We all have common blood and are related, all the peoples of the world. Or we could believe it is all a fantasy and is not true. People evolved to the type of terrain they lived in over time since they were separated into different language groups that is my understanding.

  25. poohpity says:

    Gary, I thought it was the angels who were ascending and descending on the ladder of which we are at the bottom and the Lord is at the top. Gen 28:12; John 1:51. If we are at the bottom then it reminds us to continuously look up. When people tried to build something to reach the heavens Gen 11:4 NLT they became proud so for me I will stay at the bottom.

  26. poohpity says:

    Steve, sounds like the Lord gave you a glimpse of the road ahead and to count on Him through it all.

    Getting older is not for sissies. Bruce the reason ice companies love us older folks is because we are always having to ice up our ouchies. Praying for relief.

    Please also pray for relief from my broken heart too!! Gary’s memorial service is this Saturday and I am not having very much good will towards my oldest son right now and I need help to have patience and love towards him rather than wanting to give him a swift kick in the rear if my legs worked well.

  27. poohpity says:

    Do not regret growing old it is a privileged denied to many.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh we will certainly be in prayer for you and your boy’s Saturday. No matter how prepared we try to be the death of a loved one always hurts.

    Another old adage is this “When your children are young they step on your toes, but when they grow up they step on your heart.”

    I always equate how I have hurt God when dealt with my children hurting me and so learned to forgive and forget no matter how bad the offence, just like He did for me.

    Just incase any of you are confused, though Matthew is my only son I did raise a foster daughter from 14 through college.

    Matt just finished getting another 12 miles on his bike in 30 minutes; our neighbors came to watch so he really showed off as best he could.

    Best blessings for you Deb I will indeed remember you Saturday.


  29. oneg2dblu says:

    I thought I would share a word picture, or a vision if you will, but if some here can not receive anything from me, that may be because they look for the faults in me instead.
    Where Steve’s vision is applauded mine is rebuked.
    I was not attempting to defy or cancel out any scriptural references in my word picture. I am sorry if I’ve offended, or tested others by my post.
    In my word picture that I thought I would share that Christ is the ladder we stand upon, the only way to Heaven.
    Have and share a vision with those you love and leave all the consequences to Him who gives you all things… Gary

  30. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, dear friend allow me to offer you some advice if you will.

    I have been the Mayor of my little town for now over 40 years and if I have learned anything it is that you can not please everyone and you will always be criticized.

    Having said that, make your comments and let them rest. If anyone wishes to debate you don’t be hurt just be prepared for an exchange of ideas, defend your comments or say nothing; don’t let criticism become a personal attack against you.

    I have been bruised by many, but Jesus was bruised for me, so I have learned to let it go and let God sort it out.


  31. poohpity says:

    Gary, I was not in anyway criticizing you I could have sworn you were replying to what Pat and I said about hanging on to things so tightly they have scratch marks from our nails and I was replying back in the differences of how we think about things that does not mean you were wrong and I am right just the differences that makes us who we are and the way we think. No one rebuked you, you shared how you think and I shared how I think. We do not all have to think a like to be loved and accepted which I do both toward you and everyone who comments on here. Is it OK that I think like I do? It is OK with me for you to think as you do and let the Lord transform our thinking to be more like Him, both of us and all of us.

  32. phpatato says:

    For what it’s worth…..Gary I understood completely what you were saying. Christ is a ladder and indeed He works with each of us to help us to the next rung up. We are not all on the same rung and only when He knows we are ready will he “boost” us up.

    Steve tell Matt that I am so proud of him. When I was 35 I doubt I could have done that in that amount of time. Good for him!!!!

    Hugs to all


  33. phpatato says:

    Sorry for the typo…Only when He knows we are ready will”He” boost us up. He is so deserving of having all mentions of Him in a capital letter.

    The way I see it anyway.

  34. foreverblessed says:

    To be more like Jesus, be transformed in our thinking,
    some advice, it is hard, but this is how Jesus was: He was scorned and yet did not say a word, He did not retaliate. We can tall Him all our hurts, lay them at His feet, and leave it to Him to solve the matter. Commenting here is very good for our own ego, our old man. A very good training ground!
    When we have the heart and mind of Jesus our rest is in Him not in ourselves. Our self must die before we can really say: I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.
    This is hard stuff, but we do not have to do it on ourselves, but ask help: Jesus came all the way down from heaven, down the ladder so to speak, to pick us up.

    I am still busy with that ladder, what is the meaning for me today? To picture Jesus as being on top in heaven, yes, He is in heaven, but He came down to our level, and yes even deeper, no matter how deep the hell within us, Jesus goes even deeper.
    Not that I want to gainsay anybody, but just venting what comes up in me. What to do with this ladder.
    Or was it a sign for Nathanael to show who the Messiah was, that already in Jacob’s time this sign was being set up? We know now who He is, but at that time it was new.

  35. foreverblessed says:

    And this story of Jacob, and Isaac blessing him, it is such unbelievable story!
    to name a few, just some thoughts:
    It is mentioned in Hebrews 11 that Isaac blessed Jacob out of faith.
    It was a faith question! But when you read the story in Genesis you see that Isaac trembled violantly when he found out that he had not blessed Esau! What a story!
    Then Esa begs for another blessing, the blessing is thin (better some then not at all). As when Jacob blesses all his sons, there are 12, there are enough blessings, they all get some sort of it.
    Why would Jacob fight and fraud for the blessing, as it was already told to his mother that he was the chosen one? As I said before, are we not all like Jacob, don’t we think that God is not doing very well in handling our situation, and we have to help Him a little. Like Steve’s story, do we think God is doing a good job? God bless you Steve for trusting God He is doing very well, and bless your family, and Matt in particular! He sends angels up and down to assist you!

  36. remarutho says:

    Deb —

    Remembering you as you and your children celebrate Gary’s life on Saturday. May God’s grace and mercy enfold all who gather together for this service of death and resurrection.

    Yours in Christ,

    PS Please pray for safe travels as I head home Friday (tomorrow). Hope to miss the t-storms headed east tonight!

  37. poohpity says:

    I think and feel if at any time we have a chance as a human being to get a one up on anyone pride will creep in. To think we are all on different rungs of a ladder I see one of those times that could give pride a foot hold but to consider we are all in the same place at the bottom and only angels having the privilege to carry messages from the Lord to us by giving us the image of a ladder then send those angels we all could sure use them all around us with words from our Lord and Savior. Hopefully we will keep those ladders clear so that nothing impedes the Lord’s messengers from reaching us.

  38. poohpity says:

    Thank you Steve and Maru for the blessings!!

  39. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps I should have just commented on Jacob’s dream only. Stayed within the guidelines instead of sharing my word picture as well, and the feelings that the following comments from others can bring on so quickly. But, wouldn’t keeping my mouth shut not be what others here have done in the past. Let the first one who has no comment, make it now. If we all throw our thoughts away, then no one gets to express themselves freely?
    Mum may be the word issued mwe, but then, how do we ever express ourselves using this format.
    Steve thanks for your imput, for you certainly could have held your tongue as well, but chose not to.
    Just a thought… Gary

  40. phpatato says:

    Deb let me clarify my thoughts. What I said about being on different rungs of the ladder does not mean that the person on the next rung up is more “lofty” than the person under him. By being helped by the Holy Spirit to the next rung up means that the person is ready to eat more meat…their understanding becomes a little deeper. Each of us are not all on the same page/same rung when it comes to our walk with Him. He feeds us according to our understanding and when He knows we are ready for more, He’ll bless us with more to advance us on to becoming more like Him. And yes I agree, He meets us at the foot of the Cross for there is no other way to climb past.

    Hope this helps.

    Please know that I will most definitely be praying for you and your family on Sat. My thoughts are with you.

    Maru wishing you a safe trip home tomorrow. I’ll remember you in prayer.

    Hugs to everyone


  41. SFDBWV says:

    As I once again read over Mart’s posting once again I come to the last sentence or rather a part of the last sentence; “at the foot of a ladder that is the One we were made for.”

    Admittedly I was confused by that statement until I re read it a few times, it seems Gary was on to it all along.

    Jesus used terms and word pictures all the time in order to be understood by the people he was speaking to, especially in a way they could relate to or understand.

    We understand that Jesus is the front door, the narrow gate, the only way. Why not also the ladder, the pathway, the legitimate passageway, trail, or entrance into God’s presence, His Kingdom, into the Throne Room and to the very face of God.

    Use whatever term one can relate to or understand, but the point is Jesus of Nazareth is the way to God. The only way.

    As Gary used the idea that we begin one rung at a time, one could only agree we have to start at the beginning.

    Much thought also goes into the very last words of Mart’s statement; “the One we were made for.”

    See, our purpose is not *for* us, but rather *for* Him. This idea may make your life seem insignificant until you realize the significance of being so special as to existing *for* God.


  42. oneg2dblu says:

    phpatato… thanks for your comment that does not have to register a degree of pride in everything expressed here.
    We can each humbly come out of our silence and render heartfelt expression in this discussion without having to label everything as a pride driven issue.
    P-R-I-D-E: as seen by some here, is to me nothing but, Praiseworthy, Revealed, Innocently, Driven, Expression,
    and nothing more!
    The only risen thing, held above others, that I see here in this ladder scenario, is Christ.
    In Him, I am no longer a continuous bottom dweller.
    I am His possession, and no longer am I fixed to the earth, but elevated beyond my earthly ability, my earthly thoughts, my earthly ways, because He alone has lifted me out of the mire, He shaped me in His Image, where I choose to Soar with Him, daily.
    Be Lifted, Gary

  43. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… you’ve found me out, and judged me correctly in that I was portraying the ladder as Christ also.
    Thank you for taking that second look, finding truth,
    and then expressing it freely. Gary

  44. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… Strength for today and hope for tomorrow, will be yours in Him, as He overcomes. Blessings, Gary

  45. poohpity says:

    Thank you for the blessings Gary and Pat!

    Apples and oranges! Did Jesus use it to describe Himself to us as in the way and the door? To me He used it to describe the distance between God and us that only the angels trod before Pentecost.

  46. poohpity says:

    To me when he was talking to Nathanael it may have been describing what he will see when the end times come and the great war that will be fought and the angels will be coming and going on the earth as the Messiah sends them to do His bidding.

  47. SFDBWV says:

    This is that place in my routine whereas it is too early to do my weather reports, Matt has had his breakfast and is resting awaiting his next planned event, the paper isn’t here yet and when I have time to put comments up on the blog.

    Yet it is also late in the blog subject and so I am cautious to write anything as often after spending time doing so Mart Changes the topic and it was all for naught.

    The story of Jacob’s ladder reminds me of how God allows us to see or understand matters we may not be prepared to describe.

    In this story Jacob sees a simple ladder, but Ezekiel saw a wheel (Ezekiel 1:16) and Elisha a chariot and horses of fire (2 Kings 2:11).

    Out of such attempts to transcribe what the eyes have seen come a great many imaginations of just how God or His angels pop in and out of the earth to exact the will of God.

    The very Day of Pentecost was ushered in with a “mighty wind” (Acts 2:2).

    Yet there are several events whereas angels appeared with out such fanfare and even the person of the Lord.

    I am wondering have any of you been privileged to *see* the ladder, the pathway, the door, or mechanism that leads to God?


  48. bubbles says:

    Pooh, You and your sons were in my prayers this morning. Thinking of you on this difficult day. Take care. May the Lord comfort and give you and your boys peace today.

  49. SFDBWV says:

    No Christian is going to argue against the idea that Jesus of Nazareth is the only *way* to God.

    However the Scripture references of flaming chariots and ladders as a way of being transported to heaven and back has left open much discussion on what it is these men may have been trying to describe seen from today’s eyes.

    Well over 40 years ago I heard Billy Graham say he believed the UFO sightings and phenomena to be demonic in nature.

    My Uncle Fred told me of a dark vision he had encountered as a young man, so moved was he by the event, it led him to believe that *ghost’s* were evil spirits.

    Two phenomena that all people of every language and culture share are UFO sightings and ghosts.

    The Scripture relates a story of the Witch of Endor conjuring up Samuel for Saul to talk to and clearly Jesus exorcised spirits out of the bodies of men found to be *possessed* of them.

    The point is do we ignore these events given in Scripture or do we see them as real and relevant to what events are witnessed today? Are the prophesies that “old men shall dream dreams and young men shall see visions” not for us today? (Joel 2:28)


  50. bubbles says:

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

    What this is saying to me is Jesus tells us believing in Him is the only way to Heaven~~He is our salvation, and no other. And we pray to the Father through Jesus because He is our mediator, our High Priest who is sat down on the right hand of God.

    Enoch, who it is said he walked with God, and Elijah were taken before death, but they were believers.

  51. poohpity says:

    Thank you bubbles!!

    My most recent vision was of a scarlet cord/rope. I was unable to see what was at the top or the bottom, it was just hanging vertically against what seemed to be a tan wall. This happened this morning and brought me great comfort.

    Saul got into so much trouble asking the seerer to bring up Samuel and the next day he and his son’s died.

  52. poohpity says:

    Speaking of so much darkness does not benefit or encourage anyone so could it be from the Lord in my opinion, no! He is the light of the world and in Him there is no darkness. Spending time even thinking about such things seems to be contrary to what we are to fill our minds with.

    Again I do not see a ladder as a way to be transported to heaven it seems to be only mentioned in Jacob’s dream with angels using it not human beings.

  53. poohpity says:

    This reminds me of the point in the post about “What’s the Difference?” with the comparison of the three umpires.

  54. foreverblessed says:

    Blessing is such an important thing. From the moment Mart talked about Isaac and Jacob, it rings in my head. Blessing. Saying positive words about God, about ourselves, about each other, singing positive songs, words out of the bible, Jesus is Victorious, He is our Victor in Him we are saved!
    God bless you all.
    Even Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4,5-6
    Bless the Lord, o my soul
    David tells his own soul to bless the Lord,
    wow, I thought we needed God’s blessing, but here we are told: bless the Lord!
    (In the Hebrew of the biblos site, it really says: bless!)
    We were singing this song 10 000 reasons, bless the Lord o my soul.
    I was singing this last night when I realized: I was blessing God, and it made me happier and happier, it really worked! this is such good advice, start blessing God, have you ever thought about that. Have I missed this advice? And bless yourself after that, and after that bless other people around you, people who come up in your heart, and believe in the power of God working for what we ask in Jesus name.

    Pooh, I pray that you can bless your son, even if things are not harmoniously.
    Just as God blessed Jacob, when the ladder was shown to him, just after he had treated his father and brother treacherously.
    God still blesses him! Of course God would not leave Jacob to be that way, God would discipline him in the years to come.

    Steve, there is so much we do not know, I was just reading that we can even bless our plants in the garden or sing positive songs to them, and they will grow better? Never heard of that, but I have a pear tree which is not doing well, I am going to bless him in the name of Jesus. I will ask God to bless the tree too. I feel like being weird, but why not? Blessing in Jesus name, what could be wrong with that?

  55. BruceC says:


    Sorry I did not post a prayer for you yesterday. But before I retired last evening I thought of you and yours and asked God to send comfort. May He be with you.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  56. BruceC says:


    I have heard Missler speak of UFO sightings and abductions as likely being demonic in nature too. I agree with your post friend. Much of what I see today in the world I think is demoniacally planned and inspired; using the unknowing and unbelieving as puppets. (Although there are likely more that are willing than we know) They influence through anger, hatred, and deception. Our Lord on the other hand works through truth, love, grace, and mercy. And soon this lop-sided confrontation will draw to a close.God bless all; be back later.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  57. cherielyn says:

    Deb (Pooh),

    First, wanted you to know that you were especially in my prayers yesterday. How did the Memorial Service go?

    Reading your post, of yesterday, about your dream of the red cord, brought to mind the story of Rahab, in Joshua 2, being promised that she & her family would be saved from the ultimate destruction of Jericho for helping the spies, but she had to hang a red thread (cord) from her window. In Joshua 6:22-25(KJV) she receives the salvation from that destruction. Wonder if there is any correlation between your dream & that story?

    Not able to attend church this morning because I am down with a nasty cold, so thought I would take the time to catch up on BTA.

  58. SFDBWV says:

    After getting the chicken ready to cook and in the fridge with Matt all kicked back snugged up in his chair I went about a couple duties of the morning.

    I set traps for unwanted varmints and cleared off some more limbs to later load up in the truck to haul away.

    The rain we had a day ago coupled with the early warm weather has accelerated the growing things around here, spring is here.

    Claudia I was especially glad to see your very eloquent post and hear from you. How are things with your husband?

    Foreverblessed I had written a nice response to your yesterday post last evening only for it to disappear into whatever glitch the BTA system has.

    I will tell you this that every living thing is in the hand of God and our prayers as well as our curses affect them. I enjoyed your comments.

    I hope Bill up in Grand Rapids is ok as we haven’t heard from him for a while.

    Pat I hope the Robins have made it up your way; they have already began their special spring dance here and nest building to follow.

    Blessings to all.


  59. oneg2dblu says:

    I do not care what vision is granted anyone here, other than the fact that they are willing to share it.
    For God can use anything that helps us get there, be it a ladder, a stairway, a scarlet rope, a three twined cord, an anchor, an eagle, a highway, whatever.
    In Steven’s case during his stoning God used nothing but the Opening of Heaven, no Angels, no ladder, and certainly no tower build by any human hands, but only a path provided by the Spirit within us alone.
    Today I’ll use the well worn pathway of Prayer to reach up to my God and find his is right here with me. No earthly man made tools required.
    So, we do not have to deny others their given vision any more than we should deny them their Lord.
    We bring nothing, we need nothing, we already have all we need in Him, Praise God! Gary

  60. poohpity says:

    cherielyn, I think that may have been why I felt the comfort in seeing the cords and the prayers of the Saints. The service went very well even with all the folks that were having family feuds they held their issues for the time we shared our memories and meal together which was a real blessing. I have to say I am not doing real well with all the sorrow that is in my heart. I actually came home shut all the blinds and have not stopped telling the Lord all my feelings and some were not very pretty. All the sorrows over the last few years are very heavy on my heart and I feel pretty beat up right now as well as feeling all alone. I need to go to church if I can put one foot in foot of the other to get there.

    Thank you everyone for all the prayers, this time may be a little harder to bounce back at least it feels that way right now. Even reading this morning is quite a struggle. Maybe the Lord could use that cord to tie around me so I do not get lost.

  61. poohpity says:

    It was due to this man running out on me and the boys that I ran into the hands of the Lord which was a blessing to all of us 23 years ago. Then I was not very happy about it but it turned into something beautiful and we developed into pretty good friends first just because of the kids but then it taught me forgiveness then the friendship grew because of the what the Lord had done in my life. He watched and then accepted the forgiveness Christ for himself. It is odd how things turn around when Jesus touches any one.

    He got out of the hospital three days before I came home with my knee and left the comfort of his home to care for me. Then after about 4 weeks he got sicker and sicker till it was time for him to be with the Lord.

  62. poohpity says:

    If Jacob had lived his early years any different and was forgiven so much he would have never loved the Lord so much to go from the deceiver to the Prince with God, Israel. God knew what he could be, just like he knew the heart of Nathanael. He takes us as we are then turns us into someone who is willing to do His will and touch the lives of others. It is no wonder that His message has grown and grown.

  63. phpatato says:

    Steve I was thinking I would never see a robin this spring. I saw my first just last week. Spring in this neck of the woods hasn’t come yet. It’s been below normal temperatures and very little sun. There is a joke being shared on facebook about how the computer installation of Spring failed and is not available in my country. I will be content to enjoy spring through reading your comments of spring cleanup and things growing. Today is calling for showers and a high of 7c.

    I too was wondering about our dear friend Bill. He must be busy travelling again and isn’t able to sit at his local Panera with his cell beside his coffee cup. :-) Miss you Bill. In fact there are several more regulars that are missing. See spring has made it to other places. They must be busy out enjoying the weather after a long dark winter.

    Gary, welcome back my dear brother!

    Deb I will continue to pray for you. I am still grieving my Dad (his memorial service is May 4) so I know exactly how you are feeling. Wish I were closer so that I could give you a big long hug.

    Cherielyn I pray your cold is short-lived. I think of Mike and wonder, how is he doing?

    Claudia, Forever, Bubbles, Bruce – as always I enjoy reading your comments…as I do with everyone who does.

    Hugs to all

  64. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    Got “there and back again,” by grace. Thanks to all who prayed. Felt it especially when there was a delay for mechanical problems. Long journey to Carolina from the W. Coast!

    Remembering you in your grief, Deb. God is faithful in every thing great and small. You mentioned running to Jesus in the days of being suddenly alone with your children. Perhaps growing into the one who can cope with more than they thought they could is just that — God’s work in us in troubles.

    Guess the Lord has to get us out of our comfort zone sometimes. It might have been that way for both Jacob and Nathanael: very uncomfortable to experience the first time God saw deep into their being. God stirs things up. Maru

  65. SFDBWV says:

    All of us have dreams; some are remembered most are not. What do you suppose is the criteria for knowing the difference between a normal dream and an epiphany?

    Is it as mentioned concerning Jacobs dream that he had a sense of being in the house of God at the gate of heaven?

    Can we trust our *senses*? Does sometimes our eagerness to be in the house of God at the gate to heaven produce a false sense of actually being so?

    How do we make certain that God has indeed given us a special look into whatever realm He wanted to share with us?

    Jacob had a dream; it wouldn’t be his last whereby God helped him see.

    Joseph, Jacobs’s son and Daniel a descendant were able to interpret dreams.

    Dreams it seems has a special place in God’s interacting with men, how then can we be certain they are from God and not from our own imaginations?

    Visions (waking dreams) are different, once again how do we know the difference between a God given vision and a hallucination?

    I assume both must align with Scripture, but seeing how Scripture can be interpreted so widely different. So does it come down to a special *knowing* in our spirit that aligns with the Holy Spirit in such a way that we just *know* without any other influence?

    Just thinking this morning, glad to hear from all.


  66. poohpity says:

    I think all the basics in scripture remain the same only prophecies when people try and read more into them than is really given are what some folks try to interpret. Those seem to be the areas that the so called interpreters use as a hook to draw folks to themselves to lead others to think they know more than they do especially feeding off of people who are not that familiar with scripture. It seems the majority of the other parts are explained through other scripture to give a pretty good picture of things at least what we are able to handle knowing like Pat and Gary said in our rungs of growth.

  67. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Jacob’s dream and Nathanael’s personal epiphany under the fig tree are examples first, of a prophetic dream while sleeping and second, a waking vision of God’s glory. Both are borne out in the lives and ministry of the ones dreaming.

    Steve, I agree that the Lord frequently communicates with his people by dreams and visions. Surely God does not lightly convey a message in this way, but sends word first to those like Jacob, Nathanael, Joseph, Daniel and John of Patmos who are charged to lead God’s people to the place God has chosen. Second, some believers receive dreams and visions for comfort, assurance, guidance, correction…all sorts of reasons.

    It seems to me there are basic tools of discernment we all adhere to in order to take up a message as from God — or to leave the thing behind as a random notion:

    1) Is the message in harmony with God’s Word, the Bible?
    2) Was the message clear and/or repeated more than once?
    3) Is it meant to be shared — or is it only for personal edification?
    4) If and when the message is shared with other believers, does it build up the body of Christ?

    Saw a rainbow the other day and counted it as a personal blessing. Yet, that rainbow is for all creation as a reminder of God’s covenant of the seasons and God’s promise never again to wipe out all living creatures by a flood. In the worldly way of thinking the rainbow is simply a phenomenon. To those seeking God in Christ it is a beautiful promise remembered every time it appears.

    Seems to me John’s counsel still holds: Test the spirits. (1 John 4:1, 2)


  68. poohpity says:

    Satan used misinterpretation of scripture to try and confound Jesus and Adam/Eve but Jesus confronted Satan with the real interpretation of scripture. (Matt 4:4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

    Speaking of scripture how is your chronological reading going Bruce? Satan will do anything in his power to get our noses out of it.

  69. poohpity says:

    Maru, excellent questions to ask for discernment because there are many who would lead others astray, many. Those are also good questions when reading books from different authors.

  70. remarutho says:

    Yes Pooh!

    Got excited by the work of a philosopher who teaches at a major university. Downloaded one of his books, and sad to say it does not pass the scratch and sniff test.

    I will read it, but as you point out, will apply those questions at every turn. He basically questions faith in the first place.

    “The First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.
    The Second Law of Philosophy: They’re both wrong.” ;o)
    No offense to the philosophers here, but much of what passes for wisdom is mired in a materialistic view of the universe. Maru

  71. poohpity says:

    If deception were easy to spot it would not be like a thief in the night. We really have to be aware and on our toes like shrewd as a snake while being harmless as doves. Matt 10:16

  72. SFDBWV says:

    A cold wet day forces me not to do extra outside work, so I have a little time to do some visiting here while Matt rests and his pizza is in the oven.

    Maru I agree with you and your criteria for *delivered* dreams.

    Many of us pray for direction or encouragement and especially comfort. Jesus wants these actions to come from you and I given toward other people as they stumble, hurt or seek answers, though I believe that sometimes He has to do the work Himself as sometimes it is all that will fill the need.

    Sometimes they come in rainbows, sunrises or sunsets, in the sound of silence or the chorus of creation all around us.

    Too often in the echo of things we say to others are found the answers to some of the questions we seek. It is in those moments that we suddenly hear what we are saying and almost stop in mid sentence realizing the comments were meant for ourselves to hear.

    That still small voice in our hearts comes through loud and clear.

    Jesus accused the leaders of Israel of always *looking* for a sign then told them they would receive no sign except that of Jonah referring of His death and resurrection.

    Instead of recognizing the *sign* He foretold them off they sought ways to discredit it.

    I often wonder how many times He tries to help people get along by dreams and visions only to have them ignored or unbelieved.

    One of the saddest things I can imagine are the lost opportunities God intended for us that we didn’t heed and the matter given to another to carry out.

    Attention to God in all areas of our life an ear to the wind and eyes fixed on Him; He is able to get our attention if we are willing to listen.


  73. poohpity says:

    That is so true Steve, “if we are willing to listen.” Most times it seems the sound of our own voices drowns out the sound of His.

  74. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    I agree that our forefather Jacob was given a major insight when the Lord showed him the ladder with going and coming from heaven. As Pooh points out, we must be alive and awake to what the Holy Spirit is doing in us and through us in the body of Christ and in the world.

    Steve, you wrote:
    “One of the saddest things I can imagine are the lost opportunities God intended for us that we didn’t heed and the matter given to another to carry out.”

    Uncle Mordecai gave Esther such a challenge when Haman was preparing to wipe out the Jews in Babylon. Mordecai told her, “Who knows, perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” The message to the queen was a call to immediate action. (Esther 4:13, 14) No vision or dream was involved in this case.

    It seems to me when we succumb to indecision and indifference, we position ourselves to miss God’s blessing — the blessing of serving him, bringing his message, allowing him to move into a situation and transform it and us. Mordecai’s challenge to Esther brings in the divine supernatural aspect of God’s will: It will not be suppressed or diverted. God’s will ultimately prevails. Maru

  75. phpatato says:

    Thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by the tragedy in Boston. God help us all.

  76. remarutho says:

    Amen Pat —

    Gives me shivers to consider the horror of the event. Praying for the families of the dead — and for the wounded. Lord have mercy on us.


  77. northseeker says:

    Thanks Mart for your presentation! Although I read through many of the comments here, my heart hasn’t dwelled on them enough to make proper comments. I believe people communicate more trustworthy by their hearts than by their brains, especially when it comes to understanding scripture. So I will let my heart simmer over all that was said and thank everyone for their comments driven by their obvious love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    For those who suffer by Arthur, I would remind you that God has provided far greater kings and queens in Mother Nature that have dominion over your aches and ailments. I pray that all hearts hear the silence and dwell in the Love that God has provided. God Bless to all.

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