“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 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.”
(Genesis 28: 12-14)
These are astounding verses, particularly when you think about what we read previously in Genesis chapter 27. Here is Jacob the deceiver. Jacob the liar. Jacob the son who has deceived his dad and is now running for his life from his brother Esau looking for a wife in another land, so he stops, he has this dream, and there’s this picture of the angels of God ascending and descending on a ladder, God speaking, and God gives these promises to Jacob just like he gave to Abraham and just like he gave to Isaac. Talk about grace.
In Christ, we have received a love that will not let us go. Like Jacob, we received blessing without measure.
What mercy from God that God would meet this sinful liar and deceiver like Jacob and pour out these promises on him and enable him to have communion with God, this window into Heaven in this passage. And I start to think, “Why? Jacob doesn’t deserve this.” But then I think about my own life, and I think, “I don’t deserve the grace and mercy God’s shown me either,” and I don’t necessarily know everybody who’s listening to this, but you don’t deserve the grace and mercy God has shown you either. The reality is Jesus has died on a cross, risen from the dead, and in his death for us, he has opened the way for you and I to have access to God. A window into Heaven so to speak.
We’re about to pray right now. We’re about to talk with God in the presence of God, in communion with God. None of us deserve this. We are all like Jacob. Totally undeserving, and God, in his mercy, reaches down his hand of grace into our lives and invites us into communion with him, pours out his promises of love on us. This is the gospel. It’s the greatest news in the world that sinners like you and me can know God through the grace and mercy that are found in Christ.
Oh, God, we praise you. God, I pray you forgive me for even thinking, “How did Jacob deserve this,” as if I deserve any of the blessing you’ve poured out on my life. Any of the grace or the mercy you’ve poured out on my life, that’s what makes it grace and mercy. I don’t deserve it. None of us deserve it. God, we praise you for opening the way for us to know you, to be with you, to talk with you right now. Jesus, thank you for making that possible for sinners like me. Sinners like every single one of us who’s listening to this right now praying to you, oh God. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for pursuing us even in our sin. Thank you for covering over our sin, Lord Jesus, in a way that makes communion like this possible.
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