Genesis Chapter Twenty Eight, The Promised Staircase...

In our study of Genesis chapter twenty eight, we look at the promise of access to the God of heaven. We will look at Jacob's dream of a ladder and his understanding of the dream as well as its meaning for us and the Jewish people.

Genesis 28:1 & 2

"So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: 'Do not marry a Canaanite woman, Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother's father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.'" NIV translation

In chapter 27, we saw that Rebekah informed him that she did not want Jacob to marry a woman from the land that they were in which was known as Canaan. The land was named after the cursed son of Ham (see Genesis 9:24) and, in Hebrew, the name means "humiliated".

We are reminded of the fact that Canaan was cursed because his father, Ham, had humiliated Noah by exposing his nakedness.

Here, we see that Isaac grants Rebekah's request and instructs Jacob to go to her relatives and get an acceptable wife. We must note that, although Isaac was a man of God, this is not the biblical pattern of getting an acceptable wife. 

Genesis 28:3 - 5

"'May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.' Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau." NIV translation

Here, we see that Isaac finally accepted the will of God and willingly transferred the promises (blessings) that God had given to Abraham to his son Isaac. We remember the fact that Jacob was not the oldest son but was the son chosen by God to receive these promises. Isaac had resisted because he liked Esau better and, according to their tradition, he was the legal heir to the promise. This is a reminder that access to the God of heaven only comes through accepting His will for your life.