Genesis 28: Jacob’s Stairway to Heaven Dream, a Straight Line to God

Today we have Jacob’s marvelous, awesome, great, excellent adventure. In yesterday’s story, Jacob stole the first-born blessing from his older twin brother, Esau. Needless to say, Esau is angry and threatens to kill Jacob. Hence, Jacob has to flee. We are starting at the end of chapter 27. Let’s dig in…

Genesis 27:41-28:22

41 From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.”

42 But Rebekah heard about Esau’s plans. So she sent for Jacob and told him, “Listen, Esau is consoling himself by plotting to kill you. 43 So listen carefully, my son. Get ready and flee to my brother, Laban, in Haran. 44 Stay there with him until your brother cools off. 45 When he calms down and forgets what you have done to him, I will send for you to come back. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”

Genesis 27:41-46 NLT

So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, “You must not marry any of these Canaanite women. Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters. May God Almighty (El Shaddai) bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! May God pass on to you and your descendants (seed) the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where you are now living as a foreigner, for God gave this land to Abraham.”

So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban, his mother’s brother, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.

Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram. It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women. So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael’s family and married one of Ishmael’s daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife’s name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son.

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.

13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”

18 The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19 He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although it was previously called Luz.

20 Then Jacob made this vow: “If (since) God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. 22 And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”

Genesis 28 NLT

Points to Ponder

Jacob's Ladder
Jacob’s Ladder
  • Rebekah can’t stand the Hittite women. Who were the Hittites? They are descendants of Canaan, son of Ham, Noah’s cursed son.
  • Esau married Ishmael‘s daughter. So he has 3 wives, two Hittite women and one Ishmaelite. Esau’s descendants become the Edomites. All these “ites” will become part of the stories of the Old Testament as the Israelites encounter them in the Promised Land. But you can clearly see two distinct tree branches forming: the Arabs and the Israelites — who still live in hostility.
  • Jacob left alone on a 500 mile trek.
  • God met Jacob at his lowest point. He does that — a lot. You might think you’re alone and things might look hopeless, but God is there. That’s God’s Grace!
  • God reaffirms His covenant with the next generation of Hebrews: His Promised Land.
  • Jacob promises, in return, to give back a tithe, or 10% of everything that God gives Him. That’s a cheerful giver!
  • Jacob’s Ladder is the exact opposite of the Tower of Babel. Remember, that was when humans wanted to build a stairway to heaven, but under their own power, without God. Here, God builds the way up. The Gate of Heaven!

Where is Jesus in this Story?

We learned in John 1, that Jesus is the Stairway to Heaven when He calls Nathanael to follow Him…

45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.

John 1:45-51 NLT
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NLT

How are You Trying to Get to Heaven?

Through…

Sorry. All that is just leading you directly to hell.

Salvation — forgiveness of sins — the way to Heaven — is ONLY THROUGH JESUS!

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder


In Christ Alone



Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

One comment

  1. […] Yesterday, Jacob had an encounter with God who reaffirmed His covenant with him, like He did with his father, Isaac and his grandfather, Abraham. Jacob arrives at Abraham’s homeland and meets his cousin Rachel. Yes, they were first cousins, but remember, back then, the human race was pure. However, Rachel’s father, his Uncle Laban (his mom’s brother) had other plans. […]

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