Jacob’s Ladder

“Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭28:10-12‬ ‭

This is a pretty plant called, of all things, Jacob’s Ladder. The leaves are arranged like – you guessed it – the rungs of a wee ladder.

To understand the significance of this name, we need to go all the way back to the book of Genesis and the story of Jacob.

Jacob was a twin, one of the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, a grandson of Abraham. He wasn’t exactly a paragon of virtue. I mean, he was a cheat. He pretended to be his twin brother Esau in order to get the coveted family blessing from his father, for one.

Which made his brother mad.

Mad enough to threaten to kill him.

So in this story, he is running away from home to escape his brother’s [justifiable] anger when, alone and tired and probably afraid, he lies down to sleep.

And has a dream of a ladder going to heaven.

At the top of which is God, who repeats the promise He had given to his grandfather and his father of making him into a great nation who would bless the world.


Isn’t the saying ‘Cheaters never prosper’?

Why would God reward trickery and deceit?

This promise wasn’t a reward for bad behaviour. It was a reward in spite of bad behaviour. And it gives me hope.

Jacob went on to develop a true and mighty faith in this God he hadn’t really known. See, he knew his family’s legacy. He knew he wanted the blessing.

He just didn’t trust God enough to get it on the right terms.

God blessed him anyway.

His plan of choosing an ordinary man and creating an entire nation of people who would learn who He was and reflect His goodness to the rest of the world was already in motion. He knew exactly when He would send His son Jesus to fulfill all the promises He was intending for the earth through the descendants of Jacob.

So He made a bold promise to a reckless young man while he was still a non-believer.

And went on to carve out a lot of rich character and faith through a series of difficult circumstances. See, later in life, Jacob got a new name.


He became the father of the modern nation of Israel, through which came – you guessed it, Jesus. The Messiah.

Friend, where are you at today?

Lonely, on the run, with nothing but a rock for a pillow, like Jacob?

Not quite sure how to get the promises you are certain should be yours?

Wanting the blessing but feeling like you need to cut corners to get it?

My little Jacob’s Ladders whisper promises of their own today.

Wait. Trust. Believe. Hold on to the promise that the same God who called imperfect people and used them to work out His mighty purposes back then can certainly use you to work out His good plans now.

Take heart from the Jacob’s Ladder with me today?

Father, thank You for choosing ordinary, flawed people to work out heavenly itineraries! Bless us as we wait for the fulfillment of all that you have in store of each of us. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at growing-in-grace.ca, and my poetry is stashed at melodylowes.com. Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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