July 03, 2024

A Dream of Heaven

Genesis 28:10-22

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

—  Genesis 28:16

In ancient times, most people didn’t sleep with fluffy pillows as many of us do today. Instead they often slept with their heads propped on wood, bronze, or stone. In our reading today, we find Jacob traveling on foot to the land of Harran, and he uses a stone for a pillow.

The hardness of that pillow didn’t seem to affect Jacob’s sleep. He was exhausted, fleeing from his murderously angry brother after stealing their father’s blessing. Jacob probably fell asleep quickly on this particular night, but then he drifted into a dream about heaven. In his dream, he saw angels ascending and descending a stairway that reached to the heavens, and God himself was there. After identifying himself as the God of his fathers, God promised to give Jacob countless descendants as well as the land he was sleeping on. When Jacob awoke, he was frightened and amazed, and he promised to commit himself to the God of his fathers.

Today God speaks to our hearts through his Word and Spirit—and perhaps sometimes in our dreams. When we awake from a particularly vivid dream, we should remind ourselves that God sometimes reveals himself to us in peculiar ways. And, like Jacob, we can recommit ourselves to following and serving God in our everyday lives.

Thank you, God, for your Word and Spirit, and for your ability to speak to us through our dreams, which can remind us of your love and faithfulness. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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