While Jacob was traveling on his way to Haran, the sun started setting. Jacob found a stone to rest his head and go to sleep. While asleep, Jacob dreamed of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven. He saw angels of God going up and down the stairway/ladder.
At the top of this stairway stood the Lord. The Lord confirmed the blessings to Jacob that his father Isaac had given him in his old age. The Lord explained to Jacob of the blessings both he and his descendants would receive. Their seed would be vastly multiplied and they would be prosperous and protected.
Jacob called the place Bethel where this special dream occurred. He said it was the gateway to heaven. Jacob anointed the very rock he had rested his head upon and made a memorial there as a place of worship.
As I was reading this portion of scripture, I thought about the function of a ladder. A ladder allows us to reach higher places and/or helps us grasp things normally out of reach or unattainable. It also allows a means in which to carry or bring things up and down. A ladder must be on a solid, steady foundation in which to be safe and secure. Also, anyone who has ever climbed up and down a ladder must do so with care.
At the top of this particular ladder was the Lord God. He was high and lifted up above all! The top, of course, is the best position for watching over His creation. This ladder reached from the earth to heaven thus giving access to our God. God is not just seen but also made reachable and attainable. The angels moving both up and down the ladder are providing protection, ministering. Jacob himself is not climbing the ladder because it is in a spiritual realm not physical. Humans, even in all their righteousness, are still like as filthy rags to the most holy, righteous God, thus using angels.
In Jacobís dream, the angels were both ascending and descending. This is symbolic of ministry and the continual process of provision. Also, it wasnít a continual climb or a continual decline. It showed ups and downs, highs and lows and through the whole process God was ever-present, watchful, overseeing all.
As Christians, we have times of struggle and times of triumph, times of weakness and times of strength. But, rest assured through all of lifeís lows and highs that God is still ever-present, non-forsaking, overseeing all and that we too have a personal ladder with access to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. As our praises and prayers go up, Godís love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, provision, and blessings come down! God hasnít changedÖ