Bible Society of South Africa
Gerhard Lindeque

Jesus in the Old Testament - Day 5

God of heaven and earth

Bible text(s)

Jacob's Dream at Bethel

10Jacob left Beersheba and started towards Haran. 11At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone. 12He dreamt that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it. 13And there was the LORD standing beside him. “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham and Isaac,” he said. “I will give to you and to your descendants this land on which you are lying. 14They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants I will bless all the nations. 15Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you.”

16Jacob woke up and said, “The LORD is here! He is in this place, and I didn't know it!” 17He was afraid and said, “What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God; it must be the gate that opens into heaven.”

Genesis 28:10-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus Christ came to teach us to think of God as our Father who is in heaven. God takes care of us like a father takes care of his children. We don’t need to be afraid of God. We can speak directly to God in prayer. Jesus Christ is the only way to access God the Father.

Jesus also assures us that all power in heaven and on earth belongs to him. He promises us that he is always with us, until the end of the world. It is a tremendous comfort to know that God is always in our presence, regardless of time and place. Sometimes, this can be a scary thought. Let’s look at Jacob.

Jacob was scared of God because he was deceitful. He tried to hide from God and from himself. However, he had a guilty conscience. In his dream, he comes to the shocking discovery that God has been with him all along – despite his dishonesty. God even makes a few promises to Jacob! When Jacob experienced God’s indescribable grace and comfort, it felt as if he had come home to God’s house. In his dream, he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven; it was a connection between heaven and earth. Heaven is open; God is not only in heaven, but also with us every day on earth.

Isn’t this wonderful news for us? God’s presence is not something we need to fear. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.

Psalm 139:7-10 puts it like this: “Where could I go to escape from you? … If I went up to heaven, you would be there. … If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.”

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