“When Jacob reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there; he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth with its top reaching to heaven and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord and he said: ‘I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying’” (Genesis 28:11-13 – God Takes the Initiative Through Dreams)
Jacob arrived at a holy sanctuary where Abraham had originally set up an altar. At such places of worship, gods were supposed to protect those present, and divine revelations were received. Apparently Jacob did not recognize this as an ancient sanctuary. He saw it as the only available place to sleep. His experience proved it was a house of God (Hebrew – Beth’el). The following dream was stunning to Jacob. He was addressed by the God of his Father Isaac. In those ancient days gods were thought to have control only over specific territories. Once a pilgrim crossed a boundary, another god’s authority supposedly took over. God here was revealing something unique, that the God of his father had no boundaries of any kind. He could follow Jacob even into hiding, and He would make a covenant with him despite his treachery. God surprised him by being more powerful and more available than he exceeded his expectations. The dream was a picture without words showing access to God was available in that holy place. The angelic messengers reenforced the idea that God wanted to communicate with Jacob. God’s speech did not interpret the dream. It reaffirmed Jacob as recipient of the promises to Abraham and Isaac.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, the symbolism presented here of ladder with angels ascending and descending from heaven and to earth sends a clear and strong message of communicating to us and from us to You. It sets the stage with Jesus will one day teach us how to communicate with You anytime, anywhere, or wherever we are at any time of the day or night. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Be more concerned about what God thinks about you, than what people think about you.”
“Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, ‘I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.’ The king asked Daniel (also called Belshazzar), ‘Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?’ Daniel replied, ‘No wise man, enchanter magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dreams and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these.’” (Daniel 2:25-28 – God Takes the Initiative Through Dreams)
Magicians and diviners cannot interpret dreams correctly. Only the true God can give the revelation necessary to interpret dreams. Dreams were perceived by ancients to be an approach divine beings used to reveal themselves to humans. The kin’s dream revealed God’s coming action in history. God used a foreign king’s dream as the basis of Inspired Scripture.
“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:9-10 – God Takes the Initiative Through Dreams)
The Spirit can say no and in fact had prevented Paul from entering Asia or Bithynia. These phrases all indicate how closely the early church associated the Spirit with Christ. The Spirit was given to all who believed in Christ and only to those who believed in Christ. He always reminded them of Christ; He glorified Christ; He equipped the church to proclaim Christ. This association with Christ renders the Spirit knowable. He is not a vague, amorphous, pervasive Spirit in the world. He is the definite, recognizable, invasive Spirit who lives with the followers of Jesus of Nazareth. At times He tells us no so He can lead us to a greater ministry for Jesus. On this night, God visited Paul in a night vision, calling him to proclaim God’s purposes across the border. Revelation includes God’s calling and directing individual missionaries to spread His gospel.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“After the Magi had come to worship the newborn King of the Jews, and left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’” (Matthew 2:13 – God Takes the Initiative Through Dreams)”
Refugees afraid to return home represent one of our world’s great tragedies. Broken human relationships and oppression force families to become refugees. Failing to acknowledge the interrelatedness of God’s human creatures is the ultimate cause. The oppressed on earth can take some comfort knowing their Savior began life as a refugee.
God commanded again to Joseph through an angel in his troubled sleep, warning him of the danger the promised Child was in. God used dreams of angels to guide Joseph as he protected the Baby from jealous, fearful politicians.