Genesis 28:10–22 (ESV)
left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep.
12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached 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 Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the
earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring 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 And 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.”
early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s
house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”
I wonder how comfortable it would be to use a rock for a pillow? I think I’ll pass. Now, it is interesting that in the
Barbershop Chorus that I sing in (River Cities Jubilee), we are beginning to sing a new song called “Jacob’s Ladder”. This is where the song comes from… Jacob’s dream. Long before becoming man, the Second Person of
the Godhead appears to Jacob in a vision with ascending and descending angels. The Son of God tells how all nations will be blessed in Him through the line of Jacob. In thankfulness, Jacob vows to build an altar for the worship of the true God and to tithe.
Even now, such promises are pleasing to God, if made in faith without superstition. We have much to be thankful for. Christ is our gateway to heaven. To forgive sins and strengthen our faith, Christ descends to us in His Word and Sacraments.
I pray: O Lord, we praise You for Your promises and mercy. Be with us as we ascend
and descend in service to others. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 61). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.