We don’t know the exact time and date of when ladders were invented, but it is believed the first ones date back several thousand years. Ladders are used when we need to move up or down between two different levels. The Bible speaks of a ladder between heaven and earth.
Upon receiving Isaac’s blessing, Jacob was instructed to leave Beersheba and go to Padan Aram to seek a wife. While on his journey, he had a dream about a ladder that was set up on earth and reached into heaven. Angels were both ascending and descending from it.
“Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” Genesis 28:12 (NKJV)
I think there is more to Jacob’s dream than merely noting angels ascending and descending from heaven. If we consider Jesus to be the ladder, we can gain several insights. The ladder reveals the two natures of Jesus Christ. He is both God and man in one person. As a man, He was set upon the earth. As God, He remained the eternal Son of God, infinite, eternal and unchangeable. As a man, He reached all the way down to earth and as God, He reached all the way to heaven. This ladder bridged the gap between heaven and earth… between God and man.
How then do we ascend this ladder? We climb it by faith, faith in Jesus Christ. And because we ascend this ladder by faith, salvation is available to all who believe. Jesus is certainly a sturdy and reliable ladder! We can put our trust in Him.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
When we seek Jesus with all of our hearts, He will be found. It’s a promise! During difficult times God will send ministering angels to protect and help us through our trials. When floodwaters rush in, we can reach out to Jesus and ascend the ladder to higher ground.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
As God spoke to Jacob in his time of need, He will also speak to you. Words of encouragement and direction will come by reading scripture. God will also speak to some of us through dreams and visions (but always make sure they are defended by the Word of God). May the love of God lift you up and help you to ascend the higher places of God.
“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.” Joel 2:28 (NKJV)
There are no obstacles that our Savior’s love cannot overcome. The High Places of victory and union with Christ can be reached by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by the laying down of our own will and accepting His.
~ Hannah Hurnard