Friday, July 27, 2012

The Ladder to Heaven

A friend of mine asked the question about what would life look like if there were no masks? What if she and all people were just themselves? All the time? 
I started thinking about the people in the bible and wondered what it would've been like for them to not wear masks. I often think about Jacob, and what if he had not pretended to be Esau? What would've happened? He got himself all gussied up in goats hair and went into his fathers tent and made up a big fat lie about his identity! And, he did it so he could get his father's blessing, because he didn't trust that God could get it for him. He wore a mask. But then, Esau was so stinking mad, that he wanted to kill Jacob for stealing the blessing! 
So, Jacob had to leave home. On his way out of town, he stopped for the night and rested his head on a stone. He had a dream of a ladder set on the ground, and it reached to heaven. God's angels were going up and down the ladder.

"Then God was right before him, saying, 'I am God the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. I'm giving the ground on which you are sleeping to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as the dust of the earth; they'll stretch from west to east and from north to south. All the families of the earth will bless themselves in you and your descendants. Yes. I'll stay with you, I'll protect you wherever you go, and I'll bring you back to this very ground. I'll stick with you until I've done everything I promised you.'" Genesis 28:13-15

When Jacob woke up from this dream, he marveled at the fact that God was in this place! He said: "God is in this place-truly. And I didn't even know it!" He built a pillar in that place and named it Bethel. Then he made a vow to God:

"If God stands by me and protect me on this journey on which I'm setting out, keeps me in food and clothing, and brings me back in one piece to my father's house, this God will be my God. This stone I have set up as a memorial pillar will mark this as a place where God lives. And everything you give, I'll return a tenth to you."

I don't know how it would've been if Jacob would've waited on the Lord and not worn the mask of goat hair. Even after his dream of the ladder and hearing God promise to protect him and be with him wherever he goes, he begins his vow to God with an "if". Clearly, Jacob was unable to trust God, yet God was steadily by his side, unwavering, faithful, loving, and full of grace. God saw the heart of Jacob, not the goat hair!
I've thought about this a lot and about Jacob.  I like his story. I like how God is so patient with him and the blessings He bestowed upon him. I know I will continue to learn from his story, and continue to climb upward on the ladder to heaven.
Say That Again, Strong God of Heaven, You give all Your children a ladder to heaven, and promises of protection.

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