THE FIRST VOW
Scripture Reading: Genesis 28:20-22
20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:
22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
The preceding verses of the above Scripture reading recount the wonderful story of Jacob’s dream. To the open heart, one can see that the details of the dream undoubtedly influenced the details of his vow. His dream is vividly described in Genesis 28:12-15, "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."
The Hebrew word cullam used here for ladder is recorded only once in Scripture. Its root meaning is to cast up a highway. This meaning sheds light and brings our Lord into view instantly. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of Him as a highway and a way (Isaiah 35). He goes on to say that the wayfaring men though fools cannot err therein. This ladder or way was set up or established on the earth, and its top, or head, reached to heaven! A closer view revealed angels or messengers going up and coming down this ladder. All along the way are messengers of holiness to ensure truth is imparted along this way. Jesus, The Way, is sharply in focus now. Jacob beheld and heard God speak from above the ladder or the Way, the Truth and the Life, reiterating the Promise made to his fathers.