“Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 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. 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! 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.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.
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.”Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”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.”
(Genesis 28:9–17 ESV)
If you want to make a cat panic and feel utterly abandoned and without hope…go in the bathroom and shut the door.
Chester is sure that all who enter therein are lost forever.
He’s sure of this despite the fact that he’s seen me safely enter and exit the room a thousand times.
He sits outside the door and howls in emotional agony, occasionally gathering himself to try to ram the door open.
He does this until he can do it no more and resigns himself to fate.
When he can’t see me or see what I’m doing, he believes he’s all alone and life as he knew it is over…until he sees me again and all is well until the next time nature calls.
Sometimes I feel a lot like Chester did when I went in and showered this morning.
I can feel the same way when it seems God is silent or absent.
I think Jacob was in a similar state of mind in the story above.
He had screwed up his life, people were angry with him, and he was on the run and alone.
The potential for metaphors is rich here…
In the desert.
In the dark.
A rock for a pillow.
Can I get a witness?
God responded to Jacob’s plight by opening his spiritual eyes to see that even though he felt abandoned and alone, in reality he had a bunch of heavenly company.
God was there with him and so were the angels…working on his behalf between heaven and earth.
The “gate of heaven” wasn’t that particular geographic location,but would be wherever Jacob was…because God was always with Jacob.
He was shown that the spiritual reality was much different from the one he could see with natural eyes.
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”
My prayer this morning is that for those of us whom those metaphors resonate loudly in our spirits can have our spiritual eyes opened to these same realities.
God is with us.
He will never leave or forsake us.
He and the hosts of heaven are working for us.
His promises are true…true for me and true for you.
I pray that soon we can say with Jacob, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”
We didn’t know it.
Make your own application…