Gen. 28:11-12 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
All of us are pursuing happiness in this life, it is the unspoken goal of each day. From our first waking moment until we close our eyes at night, our hearts are pursuing happiness in one way or another. For some it is found in a bottle of alcohol or pills, for someone else it may be in the acquirement of wealth or possessions, for others it may be in the pursuit of an ambitious goal in their chosen place of employment. Some people are pursuing their ultimate happiness by athletic accomplishments, of course happiness belongs to number one, number two is just not acceptable. Jacob’s ladder is a beautiful picture of man’s endless pursuit. Happily, Jacob was visited by this angelic vision in his youth. From that day he began his upward climb, he had discovered true happiness is found in the other world. Jonathan Edwards shares powerfully about this in his message on Jacob’s ladder.
“Inquire whether or not one who is ascending towards heaven is on this ladder. This ladder that I have been speaking of is the only way to happiness; there is no other way that God has provided by which men may ascend to or arrive at any happiness, or can ascend out of their misery. God has set down no other ladder on the earth for the sinful children of men to ascend on to escape the wrath to come. There are other ways that men endeavor to rise to happiness. ‘Tis the strife of the world to get happiness. Everyone strives in some manner: some climb on one thing and some on another; and the strife of men is very much who shall get the highest degree of happiness. Some men have ascents of their own by which they endeavor to arrive at happiness; some try to arise to happiness by their great estates (wealth); some seek it by sensual pleasures; some seek it in the earthly pinnacles of honor and greatness. Many build towers and make ladders of their own by which they think to rise to heaven, even their own righteousness.”
Have you discovered this other world? Like Jacob, maybe you are in God’s house but still unaware. That all changed in Jacob’s dream. Suddenly he was introduced to another pursuit, the pursuit of God. All of life’s ambitions seem to melt away when we discover Jacob’s ladder. How could we have been so close and yet so far away? You never know, maybe you will wake up and discover you have been at Bethel all along.