Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

Dr. Robin H. Kimbrough

Dr. Robin H. Kimbrough

Life is a journey.

Jacob’s vision of a ladder, angels, and God speaking to him reveals that this journey, if we keep the faith, will lead us straight to heaven. We all remember the story of Isaac and Rebekah’s twin sons—Esau and Jacob.

Rebekah had a difficult pregnancy and after prayer, God told her that she had two warring nations inside of her. Although Esau came out first, Jacob’s hand was wrapped around his heal. Jacob from the womb wanted the birth right. He wanted the power that came with being the first born. With his mother’s help, and a little scheming against his brother and father, Jacob managed to get the blessing of the birth right.

After Esau discovered this, he went after Jacob to kill him. On the run from Esau, Jacob becomes tired and decides to rest in a “certain place.” While asleep, he receives a wonderful vision: “ Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Gen. 28:12) God is at the top of the ladder and pronounces the blessing on Jacob as he did for his father and grandfather. The ladder reference in the dream is often referred to as Jacob’s ladder. To get to the promise, Jacob will have to climb this ladder. The promise is heaven. The vision of the ladder is for each of us today.

We, too, are climbing Jacob’s ladder. Through visions, angels, and God’s grace, we have the ability to move up this ladder in spite of what we have done. As we travel the ladder, we are in need of God’s constant protection. The presence of the angels guard and protect us on the ladder. They ascend and descend because as we embark upon our journey to heaven, there are times, when we feel like we are going down, instead of up. The constant movement of the angels means that they are on their job twenty-four/seven.

The ladder connects humanity with heaven, the imperfect to the perfect, and chaos to community. Life’s spiritual journey is the ladder. The ladder is not an escalator or a crystal stair.

To climb this ladder requires struggle and endurance. Our legs will shake and arms will give out, but there is God’s grace that has the power to take us higher. God is with us. Every step we take in life, should lead us to heaven.

God connects humanity with heaven.