"Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it…This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (NKJV)!

Genesis 28:16-17

Reading: Genesis 28:10-22; 35:1-12; John 1: 49-51

Yesterday we read about the near-sacrifice of Isaac. Isaac survived that crisis and went on to have sons. One of them was Jacob, who experienced a defining spiritual breakthrough in a place called Bethel. 

Today’s focus is on Bethel, where Jacob met the Lord. He was on the run from his brother Esau, after stealing the birth right from him for a meal of soup. As you read the story, I think you will agree with me that this is the moment that Jacob truly put his faith in the God of his fathers; ‘the God of Abraham’ and ‘the Fear of Isaac’. Just as well, for the Promise made to Abraham and passed on to Isaac, now had to be transferred to Jacob. Jacob would be the next heir of the Promise and the next human channel through whom God would bless the world.

Jacob was en route to Padan Aram, which is in modern day Syria, on the border of the Promised Land. He had been sent by his father Isaac to get a wife from his relative, Uncle Laban. While he was at Luz, while the sun was setting, he set up camp and dreamt of God in that place. He dreamt that Heaven’s gate was right there and he saw angels ascending and descending from God to that place. When he awoke from the dream he called that place ‘Bethel’ meaning ‘house of God’ and made vows to serve the LORD. Why would angels be ascending and descending the ladder from Heaven to Earth? To make sure the LORD’s bidding is done on Earth and to help us who are on the earth.

Later, Jesus referred to this same vision. When Jesus called Nathaniel to be one of the twelve, he said Nathaniel would see angels ascending and descending on the Son of man. He is the one who is at the top of the ladder, the One whose will is being done and the One who helps us. He is the LORD of the Old Testament. 

I wonder, have you, like Jacob, had this defining spiritual insight? Have you realized that the ‘Gate of Heaven’ is no longer limited to Bethel? You have become that ladder - the Lord dwells inside of us by His Holy Spirit. Angels can ascend and descend upon your life, your faith, to bring God’s blessings to the world. 


Dear LORD, what fantastic news, to know that You are not far from each of us. You live inside us by Your Holy Spirit. Give us eyes of faith to see the Lord Jesus and the angels who are sent from Him to us and back again. Amen


Explain:  Briefly explain this study in an age-appropriate way.


Have fun making a Jacob’s Ladder of your own. Just get some lengths of wool for each member of the family and then 

Watch this how-to video here