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Scripture Reading: Genesis 28:10-22

“This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
Genesis 28:17

Throughout the ages people have worked hard to build mountain-like temples, believing that at such heights heaven and earth meet and people can visit with their gods. God offered his opinion of such plans by stopping the work at Babel (Genesis 11).

Years later Jacob slept in what he thought was an ordinary place, with a stone for a pillow. Dreaming of a ladder connecting earth to heaven, he saw heavenly messengers descending and ascending. Heaven and earth were connected!

Heaven can come down to earth, but earth cannot ascend to heaven, unless heaven itself makes it possible by providing a door. That night Jacob learned that God himself opened such a door. Because he had slept at heaven’s gate, Jacob called it Bethel, which means “house of God.” At that gate God promised to be close to Jacob and his descendants.

Jesus Christ said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9). Jesus is heaven’s only gate. Through him alone we can enter the house of God. People try to get close to God by themselves, as they did at Babel. But all the sweat and tears they invest by their own efforts lead to dead ends.

We don’t have to worry about getting near to God. Through Jesus, God has come to us. Believe it.


Thank you, Lord, for removing the burden of getting close to you. Keep me near you, especially when I’m tempted to enter another gate. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Arie C. Leder

Be refreshed, refocused, and renewed every day.

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Comments (2)
Reader in NZ 10:54 PM November 18th, 2009

i wonder what Jewish tradition (midrashim) has to say about this passage.
Alternatively, let’s continue making it up as we go…

Sister Dana 3:08 PM November 19th, 2009

Lord you said that as we draw near you you draw near to us you delight in the prayers of the righteous.may we continue to dwell in that secret place in you in amen shalom


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