Jacob: The Lying…Leader?!
By: Carletta Traylor aka C.N.
Calling all dreamers! Calling all dreamers! I’m sure that we’ve all had our fair share of wonky dreams during our lifetime (like the time I dreamt about throwing Big Bird off of the Empire State Building (please forgive me, Lord. Don’t judge me! Haha) or the time I dreamt that I was taking a vacation…by laying on the conveyor belt where the glaze comes out at Krispy Kreme (I deserve to be judged for that ridiculous dream. Haha).
When we have these dreams, several things can happen: we completely forget them by the time we wake up (don’t you just LOVE being woken up from a great dream, only to not remember a lick of it?! In the words of Stephanie Tanner from Full House, “How rude!”), they make us laugh, they make us cry, they scare us, they make us feel proud, they convict us (make us think), etc. When we actually remember our dreams, they usually cause us to say, do (or not do), and/or think things that we might not have otherwise; there’s a power in dreams that can drive our future activities.
God Almighty (our Heavenly Father) often speaks to us in our dreams. We are the least distracted when we sleep-we have shut off our minds and are in the midst of a (hopefully) relaxing, peaceful slumber. God recognizes this, and as such, he will often communicate to us in our dreams-he has our full, undivided, unconscious attention (I wasn’t trying to sound like a smart aleck THAT time. Haha). God uses visions to speak to us in a variety of ways-he’ll show us things that are yet to happen (he’ll give us a “sneak peek” into future events), he’ll reveal our deepest loves, wants/desires, and fears (whether good or bad), and he’ll also use visions to simply show us how much he loves us (sweet dreams are a blessing from God).
Imagine having a dream so powerful that it stops you in your tracks, makes you drop to your knees, and makes you thank God for his goodness (love), grace (giving us blessings-good things-that we don’t deserve), and mercy (not giving us the punishment-bad things-that we do deserve). This brings us to the story of Jacob’s dream in the Bible.
In the 28th Chapter of Genesis, here’s the deal-i-o (Wow, that was corny! I’m cornier than the cob and cheesier than Kraft macaroni, y’all! Oh, yes; I’m about that life. Haha). Jacob and his mother, Rebekah, unceremoniously tricked Jacob’s blind father, Isaac (the same Isaac from yesterday’s post, “Got Faith?”), into giving Jacob a blessing that was meant for Jacob’s brother, Esau (they pulled the okie-doke on Isaac, y’all! Those deceptive dipsticks! Haha. “Jacob: The Blessing Bandit!”). Jacob further tricked Esau into selling him (Jacob) his (Esau’s) birthright-that boy just stole his bro’s inheritance, y’all! Awwww, hecky nooooooo!!!!!!
As such, Esau was ticked at Jacob, wanted to kill ol’ Snakey Jake, and Jacob had to immediately make a run for it (SOS! Someone please help me! I’ve been a bad boy, a moron, a doofus, an imbecile, a jamoke, an unfunny clown-and-a half, an ignoramus, a flying piece of monkey trash! My brother found out about my foolishness, and now he wants to kill me! He’s coming to get me! He’s coming to get me!). I sense much warmer undies. Haha. Jacob’s mother, Rebekah (that trifling excuse for a mother. Please forgive me, Jesus! I need to behave. Haha), told Jacob to go live with her brother, Laban; Jacob would (hopefully) be able to find a wife and start a new life here…away from his brother, Esau (way to run away like a scaredy cat, Jacob! Revoke your man card NOW! Haha).
As Jacob was on the journey to uncle Laban’s house, he decided to stop and rest under the stars, with only a rock for a pillow (sweet dreams, poser! Haha). As Jacob fell into a deep sleep (I bet those mosquitoes were tearing his behind up! Knock it off, Carletta! Haha), God appeared to him in a dream. Let’s break this dream down, shall we?
Genesis 28:12-13 (KJV)-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;
Here, Jacob sees a ladder (a stairway) extending from Heaven (where God and his Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, live) to Earth (where we live). The angels (God’s divine helpers) are going up and down this ladder-this represents the connection between God and man. God wants to have a close and intimate relationship with us, through our repentance (asking God to please forgive us of our sins-bad things that we say, do, don’t do, and/or think, that God doesn’t like-and help us to stop sinning) and belief in his Son, Jesus Christ (Jesus Christ is God’s Son; Jesus died on the Cross for our sins; God the Father brought Jesus back to life three days later, with all power in his (Jesus’s) hands; Jesus is in Heaven with God the Father right now; Jesus is coming back to Earth to take his children (all believers in him) home (to Heaven), and to judge/destroy this wicked world.
God himself is hovering about this ladder, and he tells Jacob that he is the God (the only God) of his father (Isaac) and grandfather (Abraham), and that he will give Jacob and his family the very land that Jacob is sleeping on. Why is God being so nice to a man who just tricked his brother twice (that fungus-infested toe rag! Haha)? Let’s keep reading.
Genesis 28: 14-15 (KJV)-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.
Although Jacob had acted like a Grade-A nimrod toward his brother, God had a plan for Jacob’s life. If we’ll recall from yesterday’s post, “Got Faith?,” God made a covenant with Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather. God, due to Abraham’s unwavering faith in and loyalty to him, promised Abraham that he and his descendants would be greatly blessed, from generation to generation. God made this covenant, knowing that Abraham and his descendants would act like they didn’t have any home training at times. Haha. Jacob, being Abraham’s grandson, was covered under this covenant between God and Abraham (known as the Abrahamic covenant). As such, Jacob and his family, despite their sins, were going to be greatly blessed by God.
God picked Jacob to be the father of his chosen people, the Israelites. In Genesis 32, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which became the name of the country that would house God’s selected saints, and would also bring forth our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (that’s right, folks! Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, came from the line of Jacob. Let us never forget John 3:16 (KJV)-For God so loved the world (us) that he gave his only begotten Son (Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross for our sins), that whosoever believeth in him (Jesus Christ) should not perish (die in our sins and suffer eternal torment in Hell), but have everlasting life (we’ll be partying with Jesus in Heaven forever, y’all! Aye! Turn up! Ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cause a Holy Ghost party don’t stop! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Party over here! Ooh-ooh! Haha).
God promised Jacob (through this dream) that he would have many descendants, that they would spread in every direction (the Brady Bunch doesn’t have anything on them! Haha), that God would bless and protect them, and that his (God’s) will would be done (Hallelujah!).
When Jacob awoke from his slumber (with drool all over his mouth, looking like Count Dracula! EEEKKKKKK! Y’all know that I’m a nut. Haha), he recognized God’s power and control over this entire world (God created the world!). As such, Jacob immediately got up (smelling like STANK! Haha), he built an altar (place of worship) to God from the stone he had used for a pillar (a pole, used to support a building, structure, or person), and he promised to worship God (the one and only true God; the God of Abraham and Isaac; the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ) forevermore (he and his descendants!)! Jacob also promised to give God a tenth (1/10) of whatever he had-now we know where tithes come from! Haha.
As we can all see, God spoke to Jacob in his dream, causing Jacob to immediately give his life to God (Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus! God is good!). Here’s a fun fact: When Jacob finally returned home…20 years later (he wanted to give Esau plenty of time to cool off. Haha), he apologized to Esau, gave him a blessing (in the form of hundreds of goats, camels, sheep and donkeys), Jacob bowed down to Esau, and Jacob called Esau his “lord.” Note, I’ve used a lowercase “l” in this instance, as the only “Lord” (with a capital “L”) is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
WOW! Dreams can be life-changing, y’all! The next time that someone asks you out on a date, and you reply “in your dreams,” watch out! That dream might change his or her life (he or she might forget about you…or show up to your house with flowers, candy, and a new car. I’m just saying. I’ll pray for y’all! Haha).
Given the length of today’s story, I will not do a modern-day remix. Never fear, though! I have included a wonderful video from Geethanjali Kids-Rhymes and Stories, that summarizes the story of Jacob’s dream beautifully (the second half of the video touches on what we’ll discuss in my next post).
Geethanjali Kids-Rhymes and Stories-Jacob’s Dream at Bethel (YouTube):
I hope that you all enjoyed today’s post! In my next article, we’ll see what happens once Jacob arrives at uncle Laban’s house (spoiler alert! It’s all sorts of goofy! Haha). Until then, I love you all, God bless you all, and I’ll see you all on the next one!