"He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
There above it stood the Lord, and he said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.
Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Saturday: Jacob's Ladder
Bible Reading: Genesis 27:41 - 28:22
Jesse Tree Symbol: ladder (go to Jesse Tree ornaments)
Jacob, the "deceiver," a man who had just lied to his father Isaac in order to take his twin brother's inheritance and was on the run from this brother who wanted to kill him. He arrived at a desolate, lonely, barren place. Nothing there to suggest to Jacob that God was with him. Alone, scared, possibly sorry and guilt-ridden for what he had done, he lays his head on a stone and dreams an incredible dream.
"A stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to Heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord" Gen. 28:12-13 What an incredible dream! Jacob had a glimpse into Heaven. He saw the way to get there but sadly, when he woke up, that way was gone.
"When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." Genesis 28:16-17 What Jacob did began to understand, at that moment, was that God was with him. Even though he had sinned greatly, even though he was far away from his home and in a desolate, desert region, God was with him.
Though Jacob would never see Heaven again, until after his death...Heaven did open up again and this time it was not in a dream.
It opened when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and conceived in her Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." John 1:51
Through Jesus Christ, Heaven and earth are joined, reconciled and access is given. He is the ladder that Jacob dreamed of. He is our means to enter Heaven.
The above commentary on Genesis is part of a 4-week Advent Reflection for the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is similar to an advent calendar. Every day you will read a Bible passage to your child(ren), discuss what it means to them in personal terms and color an ornament to hang on your Jesse Tree. A fuller description of this can be found at Beginning Advent with a Jesse Tree
When you are finished today, you might want to discuss how Christmas is about giving much more than getting. One way that your family can give is through their daily prayers. This is a good time to pray for a specific country or for a group of people who do not know about Jesus. Today, over 2 billion people, 1/3 of the earth's population, have never heard the Gospel message. They don't know about the way God provided for them through Himself as our ultimate sacrifice. They need our prayers.
Two great websites to help you do this are:
Operation World go to Featured Nation and click on Country Profile
Another way to give is by giving a gift to those, throughout the world, who have very little. It might be a chicken, or sheep or a goat...maybe you can help pay for the digging of a well or provide a sewing machine to a widow so she can provide for her family. There are many ways to help this Christmas. Visit Gospel for Asia gift catalog and take a look at their Christmas Catalog.