Genesis 28:12-15 (NLT)
12 As he [Jacob] slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. 13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
TIME OF DAY:
The glow from heaven is the primary light source in this scene. Jacob’s campfire also provides some local light.
Jacob, God (at top of stairway) angels on stairs.
I enjoyed drawing the angels & stairway in this scene!
Map of Southern Israel showing Bethel
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28:10-22 HUMANITY, Spiritual Nature (2.42C)
Physical and emotional stress frequently lead a person to seek God. Confrontation with God can awaken the spiritual nature in even the most disobedient of persons. That awareness of God’s presence can bring about positive changes in our lives, bringing new devotion and stewardship of life to God.
28:11-13 REVELATION, Dreams (3.21I)
Jacob arrived at a holy sanctuary, where Abraham had previously set up an altar (see genesis 12:8), although it seems Jacob did not realise this fact. Jacob’s experience here proved it was indeed Hebrew Bethel which translates “House of God”. Jacob was stunned in his dream, as he was addressed by the God of his father Isaac.
In ancient times pagan gods were thought to only operate in a given territorial boundary. Once a person travelled beyond that territory another god would come into play. The God of Israel revealed here that He has no boundary limitations. God could follow Jacob anywhere, even into hiding, and would make a covenant with him, despite Jacob’s treachery. God surprised Jacob by being more available and more powerful than he had imagined. The dream showed that Jacob could gain access to the holy God, in this sacred place. The angelic messengers reinforced the idea that God wanted to communicate with Jacob. Instead of interpreting the dream God’s speech reaffirmed Jacob as the recipient of the promises to Abraham and Isaac.
28:13-15 HISTORY, Promise (3.33B)
Promise for the future rather than accomplishment in the present is the emphasis of biblical history. Promises concern basic life needs – family, land, the future, economic security, peace, death, etc. God’s promises give His people life-centring visions and goals. Promise-centred theology is the foundation for faith-based relationship with God.
28:14 JESUS CHRIST, Foretold (1.24A)
The blessing promised to Abraham and Isaac was extended into Jacob’s life. This promise was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus the Christ (See Galatians 3:16 and Hebrews 6:14). Through Jesus, the descendants of God are still receiving God’s blessing (See Genesis 12:2-3; John 17:20-26).