Genesis 28:10,22 There is an old saying among men that says “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”
When in the midst of the fire and the lions God delivered His Hebrew children.
It was while Stephen was being stoned that God opened the heavens before him “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” (Ac.7:55).
It was when John was an exile in Patmos that the ReveIation came.
It was after the sun had set on Jacob’s path that he saw the ladder. “And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.” (Gen.28:11).
Take a look at this the Benighted Wanderer. “He tarried there all night, because the sun was set.” Jacob’s plight was a sad one. As a terrified fugitive he was running for his life (v. 27,41).
Night overtook him in a “certain place, these certain places-places and experiences into which we often run
unawares, but places appointed by God where we shall meet with Him “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” (Ex.2:4). Jacob, like every other self -righteous sinner, was seeking to have success by a life of deceit “but the way of transgressors is hard.” according to (Prov.13:15).
Note the wonderful Ladder. “Behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to Heaven.”
This new and heavenly way was revealed to Jacob by God Himself.
It is a lovely type of Him who said “ I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14. 6).
This ladder, like the salvation of Jesus Christ, was “set up on the earth, ” indicating that it was a way of access into the kingdom of God. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Ac.2:1,4).
Its “top reached to Heaven.” The ladder of Christ‘s Cross did not come short of the very Throne of God’s Holiness. ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom.12:1,2).
All men’s ladders fail to reach Heaven, (Rom. 10. 3) tell us “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”
Jesus Christ, like Jacob’s ladder, links earth to Heaven. “I am the Way” (John 14. 6). “There is none other Name” were by we must be saved according to (Ac. 4: 12).
The Angelic Climbers. “Behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” The angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ? ” (Heb. 1:14).
As soon as the ladder is set up the angels are on it. How quick they are to take advantage of any opportunity of service ! The angels have no way from earth to Heaven but this one way: they ascend and descend on the Son of Man according to (Jh. 1.50).
Let us note the Gracious Promise. “Behold, the Lord stood above it.”(v.13).
God by the way of the ladder revealed Himself and His will to Jacob.
What a foreshadowing of God in Christ the New Way-reconciling us unto Himself “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,” (II.5:19).
The Lord stood above it, assuring us that Christ is the Way to God.
The Gospel of God, preached to Jacob, offered a threefold blessing-
A possession. “The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it. “ Those who trust Christ, the Living
Ladder, will receive an inheritance among the saints in light “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (Jh.14:2).
Protection. “I am with thee, and will keep thee.” (v.15) At Jesus’ feet this sweet promise is ours also, (II.Kings 2:2) tells us “The Lord, is our keeper.”
He promises his abiding presence. “I will not leave thee.” Fear not.” At the foot of the Cross there is the promise of grace sufficient according to (Heb.13: 5, 6). “ for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
There was a Solemn Discovery. “Jacob awaked, and said, Surely the Lord is in this place ” To those still asleep the Cross of Christ is but as a confused dream; to those awake it is a “dreadful place”-dreadful both to God and man and to the devil as well.
The experience of Jacob at the foot of the ladder has been the experience of many at the foot of the Cross, and very much after the same moral order.
“The Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” God in Christ, on the Cross, and I knew it not. What a solemn discovery !
This is a dreadful place-dreadful, because it is the place where the awful question of sin has been ettled; where the wrath of God fell upon the head of Jesus Christ.
“This is the House of God.” Here God dwells, in Christ, as a Refuge and a Hiding-place for sinful man.
This is the Gate of Heave-the door of access into eternal life.” If any man enter in he shall be saved” (John 10.9).
The Anointed Pillar. Gratitude and thankfulness constrained the privileged wanderer to lift up the pillars of praise to the Name of Jesus who had so graciously blessed Him.
Only the presence of God can make a Bethel; only those to whom this presence has been revealed can really raise the anointed pillars of song “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” (Jh.20:28).
Where are the pillars that the goodness of God has constrained us to set up? Are they within sight of those who pass by ?
Every act of kindness done to others, for Jesus’ sake, is a memorial pillar.
The oil of grace makes every such deed holy and acceptable before God.
The Willing Vow. “Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, . . then shall the LORD be my God. ”
Let us make this covenant without the “ifs,” for the promises of grace are unconditional. Jacob on condition of prosperity was willing to give God a tenth part of his possession.
This is good, but very Jacob-like. Any worldly man would gladly make such a bargain.
onsecration goes deeper down than the tenth; it embraces all. “Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price: glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s: (1 Cor. 6:19,20).