Lesson 14: Jacob's Dream of the Ladder
In the last lesson, we learned that Jacob received the greatest blessing from their father, Isaac. Esau wanted this blessing and became very angry because Jacob had received the blessing. Esau quietly made plans to harm Jacob. Esau thought that their father would soon die so he decided to wait until then to hurt Jacob. However, Rebekah heard of Esau's plan to hurt Jacob, so Rebekah decided that Jacob must be sent away for a while until Esau would forget about his evil plan.
Rebekah went and spoke to Isaac and told him that she would be very sad if Jacob should choose a wife from the Canaanites. Isaac agreed that Jacob should be sent to Haran to Rebekah's brother's house, whose name was Laban. Laban was Jacob's uncle. Isaac called Jacob and told him that he was to go to Haran where he should choose a good companion to be his wife.
This scheme or plan of Jacob's to obtain the birthright showed that Jacob did not have enough faith in God to wait for God to give him the birthright. But it did show that Jacob valued the birthright and valued the blessings of God more than Esau did.
Before Jacob left for Haran, Isaac again blessed him. (Genesis 28:1-4) This was the part of the blessing that Jacob wanted most. This part of the blessing was from God who would bless him and his seed, that is, his children and their children, and give them the land forever, just as Abraham and Isaac were promised by God.
Jacob started on his journey and the first night he slept on a rocky hillside. Jacob was very tired and lonely with no one to talk to, and he missed his father and mother very much. Jabob gathered some stones and made a pillow and went to sleep. Jacob had a wonderful dream. In his dream he saw a ladder leading up to heaven. There were angels, God's messengers, going up and down the ladder. God was at the top. Then God spoke to Jacob. This was the first time that God had spoken to Jacob. God made the same promises to Jacob that He made to Abraham and Isaac. God said that Jacob and all the families of the earth would be blessed through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God also promised to be near Jacob and bring him back to his own land. (Genesis 28:15)
When Jacob awakened from his dream, he was afraid and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not." God wanted Jacob to know that God is always present and can see and hear everything that we do. That is why God showed Jacob the ladder, and the angels going up and down the ladder. God wanted Jacob to realize that God and His angels are always near those who try to obey God. We all remember, too, that God can hear us and see everything we do. So we should always try to do nice things. We should also try very hard to be good to others.
- Why was Esau angry with Jacob?
- How did Rebekah save Jacob from Esau's anger?
- Why did Isaac want to send Jacob to his uncle's house?
- What is the name of Jacob's uncle?
- What part of the blessing did Jacob want most?
- Where did Jacob sleep the first night?
- What did Jacob make a pillow from?
- What did Jacob see in his dream?
- Was this the first time that God had spoken directly to Jacob?
- How did God show Jacob that He is always near those who obey Him?
- Can God always hear us and see us?