Jacob's Dream

Study Guide

Jacob’s dream gives us a glimpse into the way we seek transcendence in this world. We, like his dream of the stairway reaching from heaven to earth, try to find “heaven” in worldly things that cannot provide the hope or security we desire. Only Jesus, the one true stairway between us and heaven, can satisfy our souls.
  1. Bill mentioned that we try to “seek transcendence” in a world that will not fulfill us. What does it mean to seek transcendence? Where in your life do you expect a heavenly reality from a worldly experience? (e.g. a man seeking to bless his family is so lost in work that he loses them, a woman seeking worth gives herself to men over and over becomes desolate, parents r who organize their life around a child to help them be successful, but they become entitled, etc.)

  2. In Genesis 28:13, God gives to Jacob all that Jacob tries and fails to obtain by his own strength; all that we truly need we cannot obtain on our own. In what ways have you tried to make sure you have a blessed life in your own strength? How can you learn to grow into the blessing God has already provided?

  3. We can be tempted to live on the fringe of the blessings we have from our local church and be satisfied by that instead of seeking and finding that satisfaction in God alone. How might you be enlisting Grace Church as just another tool to help you live a better life? Think about the circumstances that drive you to connect to God—are you connecting to him to get what you want? Or connecting to him because he is all you need?

  4. God’s presence is not in a physical location; God’s presence, where heaven and earth meet, is found in the people of God. The fulfillment of Bethel is us as God’s people. What does this community of people look like in your life? In what ways does your community challenge you?

Key Points
  • Our desire to seek transcendence on our own terms, whether moral or immoral, leads to emptiness.

  • God’s blessing comes on the front end, and we spend the rest of our life growing into that blessing.

  • Jesus is the one and only true stairway between heaven and earth.

  • It’s not that our sin doesn’t matter; it’s that God is so committed to bringing us together with heaven that Jesus became the bridge at great personal cost to remove the obstacle of sin and reconcile us to God.

  • Revelation 21:1-5a reminds us that every moment of transcendence we feel here on earth is just a mere glimpse of the glorious hope ahead of us.

Scripture References

Scripture: Genesis 28:10-22

Topics: Biblical Community, Community, Heaven, Heaven And Earth Meet, Ministry Focused, Missional Living, Old Testament, Striving, Transcendence