Children’s Study – Jacob, Part 3 – Jacob Saw A Ladder…

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Jacob – Part 3 Jacob saw a ladder set on earth reaching to heaven

As we continue to learn the life of Jacob, you might have noticed something. You might have observed that we are also learning about Esau. The same thing is happening with Isaac. When we were learning Isaac’s story, we were also learning the story of Ishmael, his brother born from a slave woman. That’s because both Jacob and Esau are in us. Both Isaac and Ishmael are also in us. There’s a part of our life that we live like Esau, and there’s a part of our life that we live like Jacob.

This is just another way of saying that there’s a part of our life that we are the old man, and there’s a part of our life that we are the new man.

Gen 25:22 (GNB) She was going to have twins, and before they were born, they struggled against each other in her womb. She said, “Why should something like this happen to me?” So she went to ask the LORD for an answer.
Gen 25:23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are within you; You will give birth to two rival [opposing or competing] peoples. One will be stronger than the other; The older will serve the younger.”

Two nations are within each one of us. One nation or kingdom is ruled by the devil, the other one is ruled by Jesus Christ.

Oba 1:21 (KJV) And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

“Mount Zion will judge the mount of Esau”. Obviously we are not talking about literal mountains there. The second part tells us that mountains are the same as nations or kingdoms. “The kingdom shall be the LORD’s.” God has always planned for the good to win over evil in the end. In the future, this world will be God’s kingdom. But right now, where is God’s kingdom?

Gen 25:23 (GNB) The LORD said to her, “Two nations are within you;

Luk 17:21 (KJV) … the kingdom of God is within you.

We live like Esau at first.

Gen 25:25 (MKJV) And the first came out red, all over like a hairy garment. And they called his name Esau.

Esau means ‘rough’ in Hebrew, because of his hairy appearance. Being red and hairy are symbols of being worldly. We are all worldly at first. The Hebrew word red came from the same word as Adam.

1Co 15:47 (KJV) The first man is of the earth, earthy

Being earthy means wanting to be rich or famous, wanting the things that this world offers. When we are living as Esau, we are very at-home in this world. This is why Esau is described as a man of the field.

Gen 25:27 (KJV) And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field…

On the other hand, this is how Jacob is described when he was born.

Gen 25:26 (MKJV) And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Jacob’s name means “heel catcher” or supplanter. To supplant means to replace. Jacob will replace Esau within us.

1Co 15:49 (CEV) Just as we are like the one who was made out of earth, we will be like the one who came from heaven.

As Esau is the symbol of our earthy first man, Jacob is the symbol of our heavenly new man.

1Co 15:47 (KJV) The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Our heel represents our walk or our way of life. When our Lord rules our hearts and mind, it will be reflected in the way we live our life.

Eph 2:1 (CEV) In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God.
Eph 2:2 You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil. He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God.
Eph 2:3 Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else.
Eph 2:4 – 5 But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you.

The same verse that described Esau as “a man of the field”, described Jacob as “a plain man”.

Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.

If we look at other verses where the same word “plain” is used, we see the meaning as being perfect or complete:

Job 1:1 (MKJV) There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. And that man was perfect [plain] and upright, and one who feared God and turned aside from evil.

Psa 37:37 (MKJV) Watch the perfect [plain] and behold the upright one; for the end of that man is peace.

Jacob is also described as “dwelling in tents”. Dwelling or living in tents mean not being at home in this world. Rather, we see ourselves as strangers in this world.

1Pe 2:11 (CEV) Dear friends, you are foreigners and strangers on this earth. So I beg you not to surrender to those desires that fight against you.

But the old man in us will not go down without a fight. Just as we saw Esau planning to kill Jacob after their father dies.

Gen 27:41 (ERV) After that Esau hated Jacob because of this blessing. Esau said to himself, “My father will soon die, and after we are finished with that, I will kill Jacob.”
Gen 27:42 Rebekah heard about Esau’s plan to kill Jacob. She sent for Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is planning to kill you.
Gen 27:43 So, son, do what I say. My brother Laban is living in Haran. Go to him and hide.
Gen 27:44 Stay with him for a short time until your brother stops being angry.
Gen 27:45 When your brother forgets what you did to him, I will send a servant to bring you back. I don’t want to lose both of my sons the same day.”
Gen 27:46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “Your son Esau married Hittite women. I am very upset about this, because they are not our people. I’ll have nothing to live for if Jacob marries one of these women!”

Rebekah finds a good excuse to send Jacob away and save him from Esau. Esau married Hittite women which upset both Rebekah and Isaac because they have learned from Abraham to marry within their people. This is a lesson for us to choose our friends wisely:

Pro 13:20 (ERV) Be friends with those who are wise, and you will become wise. Choose fools to be your friends, and you will have trouble.

Or as the apostle Paul put it:

1Co 15:33 (GNB) Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character.”

Isaac agreed with Rebekah, so he sent Jacob to Rebekah’s brother Laban to get a wife from his people.

Gen 28:1 (ERV) Isaac called Jacob and blessed him. Then Isaac gave him a command and said, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.
Gen 28:2 So leave this place and go to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Laban, your mother’s brother, lives there. Marry one of his daughters.
Gen 28:3 I pray that God All-Powerful will bless you and give you many children. I pray that you will become the father of a great nation
Gen 28:4 and that God will bless you and your children the same way he blessed Abraham. And I pray that you will own the land where you live. This is the land God gave to Abraham.”
Gen 28:5 So Isaac sent Jacob to Rebekah’s brother in Paddan Aram. Jacob went to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

When Esau learned that his father didn’t want them to marry Canaanite women, he went to his uncle Ishmael’s family to marry Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath.

Gen 28:6 (ERV) Esau learned that his father Isaac blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. He also learned that Isaac commanded Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman.
Gen 28:7 Esau learned that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother and went to Paddan Aram.
Gen 28:8 Esau saw from this that his father did not want his sons to marry Canaanite women.
Gen 28:9 Esau already had two wives, but he went to Abraham’s son Ishmael and married another woman, Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. Mahalath was Nebaioth’s sister.

Esau was probably just trying to please his father Isaac, but he didn’t realize that God had rejected his uncle Ishmael and his family. Again, the lesson here is to be careful who we associate with, and not to do the things that evil people do.

Eph 5:10 (ERV) Try to learn what pleases the Lord.
Eph 5:11 Have no part in the things that people in darkness do, which produce nothing good. Instead, tell everyone how wrong those things are.

We are not only told to avoid doing the wrong things that people in darkness do, we are also told to tell everyone how wrong those things are. That’s why in these studies, you will learn about the wrong things that this world does.

Let’s continue the story of Jacob:

Gen 28:10 (ERV) Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran.
Gen 28:11 The sun had already set when he came to a good place to spend the night. He took a rock there and laid his head on it to sleep.
Gen 28:12 (KJV) And he 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 28:13 (ERV) And then Jacob saw the LORD standing by the ladder. He said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you are lying on now. I will give this land to you and to your children.

This ladder that Jacob saw in his dream is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ who is our only way to the Father.

Joh 1:51 (MKJV) And He said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Hereafter you shall see Heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

Notice also that the Lord introduced himself to Jacob as the God of his grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac, Jacob’s father. Jesus Christ is the Elohim or the God in the old testament.

It is only through Him that we can come to the Father.

Joh 14:6 (MKJV) Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

Let’s continue the story:

Gen 28:14 (ERV) You will have as many descendants as there are particles of dust on the earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.
Gen 28:15 “I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised.”
Gen 28:16 Then Jacob woke up and said, “I know that the LORD is in this place, but I did not know he was here until I slept.”
Gen 28:17 Jacob was afraid and said, “This is a very great place. This is the house of God. This is the gate to heaven.”
Gen 28:18 Jacob got up very early in the morning. He took the rock he had slept on and set it up on its edge. Then he poured oil on the rock. In this way he made it a memorial to God.
Gen 28:19 The name of that place was Luz, but Jacob named it Bethel.
Gen 28:20 Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “If God will be with me, and if he will protect me on this trip, and if he gives me food to eat and clothes to wear,
Gen 28:21 and if I return in peace to my father’s house–if he does all these things–then the LORD will be my God.
Gen 28:22 I am setting this stone up as a memorial stone. It will show that this is a holy place for God, and I will give God one-tenth of all he gives me.”

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