There is an event that took place in the Old Testament that teaches important truths about how we should view the church and ourselves as it relates to our relationship with God. The event is what happened with Jacob, the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. The event originated due to deceit and scheming.
Jacob was the younger brother of his twin, Esau. At their birth, Esau was born first with Jacob holding his heel as he was delivered. Their mother, Rebekah experienced struggles while carrying them and she inquired of the Lord, why her pregnancy was so difficult. The Lord told Rebekah the twins inside of her represented two nations and that the two were two manner of people. The Lord also informed Rebekah that one would be stronger than the other and that the elder son would serve the younger son.
During Old Testament times the first born son would receive a special blessing from the father prior to the fathers expected death. This blessing would transfer all of the rights and authority from the father to the oldest son. This was commonly referred to as the birthright of the oldest son.
The father of Esau and Jacob was Isaac, the son of Abraham. The bible records in Genesis 25:28 that Isaac loved Esau because he did eat of his venison while Rebekah loved Jacob. As the two boys grew, one day Esau came home hungry from the fields and gave up his birthright to Jacob for a pottage of stew. But Esau still expected to receiving the special blessing from his father Isaac.
Isaac, as time progressed, became ill and close to death. Isaac told his son Esau, in Genesis chapter 27 to go out to the fields and hunt for some venison and then make some savory meat so he could eat it and then give Esau the special blessing. Rebekah overheard this conversation and came up with a scheme to trick Isaac into giving this special blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. Her scheming and deception worked and Jacob received the special blessing.
Upon becoming aware of what happened, Esau vowed to kill his brother Jacob. Jacob would later be sent away to find a wife and to escape from his angry brother. Jacob was sent to his Uncle Laban’s dwelling which was some 500 miles away. As Jacob travelled he stopped one night to rest and sleep.
Jacob while sleeping had a dream about a ladder extending from the earth to heaven. In his dream there were angels going up and down the ladder with God standing at the top of the ladder. God then spoke to Jacob in the dream from the top of the ladder. God told Jacob that He was the Almighty God and the God of his father Isaac and the God of his grandfather, Abraham. God promised Jacob that He would give him and his descendants the land upon which he slept and that He would always be with Jacob and protect him from all danger and harm. God then promised Jacob that his descendants would be as the dust of the earth and that he and his descendants would bless all the families of the earth.
When Jacob awaken, he discovered some truths that are applicable to us today. Jacob first realized that God was in the place where he had stopped to rest. The divine truth God was revealing was that God can be found in the most unlikely places.and that any place can be the house of God as long as God is there. Today, because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, we can rest assure that everywhere we God is the house of God because God is inside of us. That is why the New Testament declare that every believer is the Temple of God. This truth is contrary to the false doctrine that God can only be found inside these buildings we call “church.”
Jacob also experienced and learned the divine truth that David would reveal later in Psalm 90:10-11. David informed us believers, that there shall be no evil that befalls us, neither shall any plague come near our dwelling. This is because the Lord shall give His angels charge over us to keep us in all His ways.
Jacob, after this experience vowed to give God a tithe of everything God would give him. God did not ask Jacob to do this but Jacob volunteered to do this. The lesson here is that Jacob was using his vow to pay a tithe as a confirmation of his faith. Today in the New Testament Church our paying of tithes is also a confirmation of our faith in God. We pay tithes as a confirmation that it is God who has and who will sustain us.
Jacob’s ladder is really a testament to God teaching us very important divine truths.
Gilbert Owens is a Roseboro resident.