Jacob, having tricked his father Isaac into blessing him over and above his brother Esau, is now on the run. He is in fear for his life as his brother has vowed to kill him for what he had done. Alone and afraid, Jacob travels through the wilderness. He is not seeking an encounter with God, nor is he searching for some deeply religious explanation of his life. Jacob is between places, the place of his father which is his home, and the place to which he is traveling where he hopes to find a new life. Yet, through a dream, God makes his presence known and the gospel, the good news of God’s deliverance comes to Jacob. “Behold, I am with you!”
Jacob’s vision of a ladder reaching from earth into heaven teaches us that the world is not a place absent of God’s presence. Rather, there is intersection between the realm of earthly life and God’s kingdom. Angels, messengers of God, travel to and from bringing tidings of good news and God’s divine protection to those who live within the family of faith. God’s children are not alone; there is someone who walks with us, powerful enough to take on our troubles and wash away our shame. Because God loved the world so much, we have a Savior who says, “Behold, I am with you!”
How often do we wander in the wilderness? When are those instances when we search for God, yet He seems distant? These are the times to become quiet and still, to open our hearts and minds to the presence of our Lord Jesus. For the words of his promise are sure, “Behold, I am with you.”
Holy God, guide us by your Holy Spirit and guard us with your angels. Help us to see always, your power and presence in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.