And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.…
Where revelations had been vouchsafed it was supposed that they would be repeated. The stony pillow on which the weary head rested may be changed by the visitation of Divine grace into the meeting-place of heaven and earth. The morning beams breaking in upon the shadowy refuge of the night are transfigured into a dream of covenant blessing. The ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reached to heaven. Angels of God on the way of mediation, ascending, descending, carrying up the wants and services of the man of God, bringing clown the messages of consolation, the vouchsafements of help and deliverance. "Behold, the Lord stood above it," as the source of all the blessing, standing ready to work for his chosen. This is the first direct communication of Jehovah to Jacob, the first in a long line of revelations of which he was the recipient. It is a renewal of the covenant made to his fathers, it is a republication of the promises. But we require to hear the Lord say to us, "I am with thee, I will not leave thee," especially when we are already on the journey of faith, when we are obeying the commandment of God, and of the father and mother speaking in his name. Such a place as Jacob found may be made known to us -
I. IN PROVIDENTIAL INTERPOSITIONS. We journey on through the wilderness and light upon a certain place where we think we are only among stony facts, where we can find but a harsh welcome; but the Lord is in the place, though we know it not till he reveals himself. Then we cry with trembling gratitude, This is the house of God, &c.
II. IN SEASONS or RELIGIOUS OPPORTUNITY. The ordinary and customary is lifted up by special gift of the Spirit' 'into' the opened heaven, the visiting, angels, the vision of the throne of God. "The house of God, the gate of heaven. Such may be the awaking of our soul in the sanctuary of our own private devotions or of our public worship.
III. Jacob is A TYPE OF THE LORD'S PEOPLE REGARDED AS A WHOLE. The Church has often laid itself down upon the stones and slept with weariness in its passage through the desert, and the Lord has revealed the ladder of his covenant, connecting together that very place and time of hardship with the throne of grace and. glory, and the ascending and descending angels.
IV. Jesus himself employed this dream of the patriarch as A TYPICAL PROPHECY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. "Heaven open, and the angels of God Ascending and descending upon the Son of man," the true Jacob, the Prince prevailing with God and with men (John 1:51). The cross is the ladder of mediation. It was set up on the earth. It was not of earthly origin as a means of atonement, but its foot was on the earth as it came forth out of the method and course of earthly history in connection with Divine counsels. Its top reached to heaven, for it was a Divine Mediator whose sacrifice was offered upon it. Angels of God ascended and descended upon the ladder, for only through the atoning merit of Christ is angelic ministration maintained. It is for them "who shall be heirs of salvation." At the summit of the cross, representing the whole mediatorial work of Christ, is the Lord standing, speaking his word of covenant, and stretching forth his right hand on behalf of his people. Resting at the foot of the cross we hear the voice of a faithful Guide, saying, "I will not leave thee," &c. In every place one who is conscious of surrounding covenant mercy can say, "This is none other but the house of God," &c. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.