The Way of Faith – Genesis 28

And [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Gen. 28:12

And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. John 1:51

Jacob’s arrival at Bethel told it’s own story: the journey was long, the sun had set, and he was all alone. Taking a stone for a pillow, Jacob felt the cold, hard realities of his self-chosen pathway. But in the midst of this personal crisis came a message from the Lord by means of a ladder that bridged heaven and earth. Centuries later, the Lord Jesus would reveal to Nathanael that hereafter He would be that ladder which carried God’s message of a lasting relationship through faith in His Son. To those who find themselves in the same desperate condition, God often breaks through in timely fashion to reach hearts that have been prepared by their own Bethel experience. Man’s need, God’s provision – praise His Name.

” O safe and happy shelter! O refuge tried and sweet! O trysting-place where heaven’s love,
And heaven’s justice meet! As to the pilgrim patriarch, That wondrous dream was giv’n,
So seems my Saviour’s cross to me, A ladder up to heav’n.” — E. Clephane

Isaac at Gerar

Trials in the life of the Christian often reveal the true condition of the heart toward God. Just as a river takes the path of least resistance, so too many a believer in the midst of trial will look for the easy way around difficulties. The Scriptures remind us however that trials can be for our good. They can be used to uncover deficiencies and wrong priorities in our lives so that we redirect our spiritual course, establish a vital testimony for the LORD and thereby sense more fully His abiding presence. How trials serve to accomplish these purposes is vividly portrayed for us in the record of Isaac’s sojourn into Gerar recorded in Genesis 26.

After being established in the land, a famine arose affecting Isaac and his family. The Bible records that this famine was different from the one experienced by Isaac’s father who had lapsed in his faith under similar circumstances. (Gen. 12) Despite the matter of family record, Isaac sought the aid of Abimilech, king of the Philistines instead of seeking the LORD. Why he did not consult the LORD during this trying time is peculiar since he had done so previously when pleading on behalf of his barren wife, Rebecca. (Gen. 25:21)  It serves as a clear reminder that one victorious episode does not ensure the next since the walk of faith is a day-to-day experience.

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Gen. 2:18-25 – A Bride for Adam

As God beheld Adam in the first hours or days of human history, He declared “It is not good that man should be alone”. God designed the man with three intangible needs; 1) the need for leadership; 2) the need for companionship; and 3) the need for worship. Leadership was addressed as God gave Adam dominion over all of his creation. Worship was addressed, as man was given a spirit, in addition to the body and soul, to communicate and know the intimate fellowship of God and express worship back to God. Companionship, however, was still lacking in Adam’s life. It was not to be found among the animal kingdom (Gen. 2:20b).

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