“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .”
Not only will God keep, guard, and sustain the souls of those who seek Him. He also keeps His promises. Always! God’s promise to Abraham involved “descendants,” a family line. Thus, His promise would be just as important to Abraham’s children and grandchildren. Little did grandson Jacob know in Genesis 28 when he made camp one night in a little place called Luz – not a destination, but really just a pass through zone – that he would have an encounter with the living God who would renew His covenant promise to Abraham. This reminds me of when Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain (which mountain was that again?) and something so significant happened that Peter deemed the place holy and wanted to build permanent encampments there. The emphasis, however, was not supposed to be on the place but the Presence. Jacob had simply turned a common rock into a pillow and drifted off to sleep. But when he woke from his dream about a heavenly stairway, the rock became an “Ebeneezer stone,” a memorial rock to symbolize a significant historical event. He named the place Beth-El, “the house of God.” Then, like his grandfather Abraham he was stirred to practice the tithe, giving a tenth of one’s resources as a sacrifice of praise and thanks to God for His promises and provision.
And what of that stairway? I love when God reveals to His servants the reality of the unseen. The invisible becomes visible and faith is made strong. (One of my favorite stories in all of scripture is about invisible chariots of fire in 2 Kings 6.) Jesus teaches us that there is the reality of the seen, the reality of this world perceived by the five senses. Then, there is the reality of God, the Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven. If we are children of God we are actually citizens of that second reality while present in the first. We are to be “in the world, but not of it.” We are to be always pointing the citizens of reality #1 to reality #2 so that eyes are opened and souls awakened.
So, take heart today. The stairway is there. Jesus urged us to live in response to the truth that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Heavenly beings in the realm of the unseen are going to and from our realm to engage in our reality in ways we are too often unaware. And most of all, God Himself is at work.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)