Va-Yeze (Bereshit/Genesis 28:10 - 32:3
For the week of 7 Kislev 5758
December 6, 1997

Stairway to Heaven

Jacob 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
(Genesis/Bereshit 28:12).

Last week we saw how Jacob pursued the things of heaven. Whatever understanding of this he had, it was really the blessing of God he was after. He succeeded in buying his elder brother's birthright, and tricking his father in order to get the blessing of the firstborn.

In this weeks portion we see God himself giving this blessing to Jacob. Did God do this, because Jacob was so shrewd in his dealings with his brother and his father? This is not the case. It was already God's plan to give the Blessing (Genesis/Bereshit 12:1-3) to Jacob. God spoke this to Jacob's mother, Rebekah, before he and his brother were born (Genesis/Bereshit 25:21-23).

I wonder how often the great achievements of people are really the blessing of God. Like Jacob seeking to fulfill God's plans in his own way, we think that we are responsible for many of our achievements. Jacob had a lesson to learn; a lesson we still need to learn.

And so as Jacob began his difficult journey back to Mesopotamia, he has this marvelous dream of angels going back and forth between heaven and earth. Not only does God confer the Blessing upon Jacob, he pledges himself to him, saying, "I am with you and will watch over you …"(28:15).

As the Scriptures unfold, there is an anticipation that grows. It is an anticipation of God. He promised that a day would come when the relationship he desired with people would be restored. As he says in Jeremiah: "They will be my people, and I will be their God" (Jeremiah 32:38).

What Jacob experience in his dream is a foretaste of the kind connection and communication that God wants with people.

The Messiah claimed that he was the way this reality would be ours. Yeshua said,

I tell you the truth, you shall see the heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man (John 1:5).

Yeshua is our stairway to heaven. It is through him that we experience the reality of eternity today. The blessings so anticipated by our forefathers can be ours through him.