I can vividly remember the time I visited a lighthouse in Pensacola, Florida while on vacation with my family. We climbed 177 steps to the top of the tower, where the light sits at 190 feet above sea level, and when we reached the top of that very tight spiral staircase, the views were breathtaking. It was as if there was no limit to our view! The change in perspective from the ground to the top of the lighthouse was almost indescribable! Descending that very tight staircase was not as enjoyable for me, but I’ll save that story for later.
Sent away after deceiving his brother and his father, Jacob was on the journey from his father’s house to Laban’s house when he had a dream. We’re told he saw a ladder set up on the earth that reached to heaven. At the top of the ladder stood the Lord, promising to give to Jacob the land on which he was sleeping, promising to make his offspring as numerous as the dust of the earth, and promising to bless all the earth through his offspring. God promised to be with Jacob wherever he went and to bring him back to this place. God declared with certainty that he would not leave Jacob until He had done what He promised. And Jacob heard the Lord’s promises and marked the place with a pillar, making a vow that if the Lord did what He promised, then the Lord would be Jacob’s God. The Lord was already the God of Abraham and of Isaac. The Lord had already shown Himself to be a God who keeps His promises. Yet, Jacob speaks of the Lord’s promises to him as possibilities rather than certainties and of the Lord as God rather than as his God.
Perspective makes all the difference with the promises of God. On the ground, Jacob’s life was filled with uncertainty and doubt, but in the heavens, God spoke His promises as One whose view had no limits. What might have seemed to Jacob to be unlikely promises were certainties from where God was standing. From our perspective, we just can’t see all that God can see from His, so doubt creeps in as our fears mount. But by God’s grace, we can have faith today because what we can see from our perspective is that our God always keeps His promises.