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Summary: Jacob wrestled with issues of faith. Would he take the God of his father and grandfather to be his God? As Jacob was running from his brother Esau, God opened up to him the gates of heaven.

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Introduction

Look at story of Jacob’s dream- general sense/what is God saying/doing in the earth now, here at COTR.

Jacob’s Dream Gen 28:10-22

Gen 28:10 (who were Abraham, Isaac, Esau?)

Jacob- on a journey by himself, alone, apart from family, running for his life.

Jacob- deceiver- facing the consequences of his sin.

He had stolen from his brother Esau …

first his first born birthright, and now

the father’s blessing.

Isaac sent him to- mother’s family- Haran- 500 miles.

Gen 28:11

A day or two out- 40-60 miles from Beersheba.

Gen 28:12-15

Jacob has a dream that is from God.

Before we look at the dream in detail I want to set it in the bigger context of what is going on with Jacob.

Gen 28:20-21

Jacob had been an …

independent man,

his behavior had not always been godly,

now he is alone, afraid,

his natural wisdom/strength is no longer enough

He was on a journey to a place he had never been.

He was unsure of the future.

He had nothing but the clothes on his back.

Sometimes the scariest places drive our hearts to God.

Pro 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge … NASU

Jacob had watched His father/grandfather walk w/God

Here we find Jacob wrestling with issues of faith.

Would he take the god of his father as his own God.

Every person must …

face this same struggle

find God on their own

establish a personal relationship with God.

Jacob again tries his cunning to cut a deal with God.

We can almost hear God say, Jacob …

I made a promise to your grandfather,

I made a promise to your father, and

I will fulfill that promise in your life as well.

it has nothing to do with you, but

everything to do w/Me, my grace/love/mercy.

Gen 28:12

God takes the initiative- as He did w/Abraham/Isaac, to reveal Himself to Jacob- begins to realize …

he is not alone- God with him.

Jacob had-consciousness of life- no awareness of God

God takes the initiative to reveal Himself to Jacob, as He had to Abraham and Isaac- as He will with us.

ASIDE: Abraham/Isaac- left behind a godly heritage for Jacob. There obedience now opened the door for Jacob. But Jacob had to step into it for himself- as each of us must do.

He sees a ladder reaching from earth to heaven.

Ladders- useful tools- bridge gaps between two places

They allow people to …

pass from one place to another,

to reach places they could not otherwise reach.

Jacob did not build this ladder, unlike the men in …

Gen 11:4 They said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." NASU

Jacob could never reach God on his wisdom/merit.

He needed a ladder- something/someone to bridge the gap between God and man.

In his dream, Jacob was reaching to God in heaven for help and God was reaching down to earth to help.

Dream demonstrates- heaven is not closed to men.

There is a way to cross the gulf between heaven/earth.

John 1:45-51

The ladder represents Jesus Christ- the one who bridged the breach between …

heaven and earth,

the Father and His children,

the unseen/seen, the eternal/natural.

Gen 28:13-15

Jacob not only sees angels, He sees God.

Each of us must encounter God/revelation of His love.

God- acknowledging- promise- made- Abraham/Isaac.

He was assuring Jacob that He was God not just of the present, but also the past and the future.

ASIDE: (JPJackson)- Bible says God does not change/He knows everything. Therefore the future is not some place God has not been. There are no surprises in the future for God, otherwise He would not know everything. There are no surprises in the future because He has been there- lives outside of time/space. If God says something in the future is true- it is true!

God will complete what He has started.

Phil 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. NASU

We can trust our lives, past/present/future, to God.

Gen 28:16-17

Jacob recognized the presence of God in that place.

God opened the gates of heaven over that place.

As we saw earlier, Jesus Christ is both the House of God and the Gate of Heaven.

Jn 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. NASU

When we receive- HSpirit, we become a house of God

1 Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? NASU

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