The ladder of success (Genesis 27-29)

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:16

“The ladder of success” is a term that simply describes the path that someone did take or should take to be successful in some area of life.

For example, “Joe climbed the ladder of success in computer science.”  To understand his success we would need to examine each step and its process.”

Question:  “How does one climb the ladder of spiritual success with God?”

Let’s pose the question to Jacob (the younger son of Isaac).  Here are a few answers that Jacob might have given, if we would have asked him at the end of Genesis 29:

  • In Genesis 27 Jacob would have responded by saying, “I want what I want.”

Jacob’s father believed this as he was going to give the blessing to Esau who was not God’s choice but his.  Jacobs mother believed this as she was going to deceive her husband into giving the blessing to her favorite son.

This type of ladder always brings disaster!  The family was severed and hatred reigned.  But still God would use this failure to further His purpose, Romans 8:28.

  • In Genesis 28 Jacob would have responded by saying, “place conditions before God.”

Here Jacob is approached by God.  We see a ladder (steps leading to heaven).  We hear God, speaking from heaven.  This is the Great I Am showering Jacob with blessings.  Jacob declares, “the Lord is in this place.” Jacob places conditions before God:  If you walk with me, provide for me, and give me peace, I will serve you.

Is this the type of ladder we want to walk on?  Answer, “No.”  God declares to us, “unconditional love.”  He is the God man who made peace between heaven and earth, John 1:51; I Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 2:18.  God calls us to trust Him.

  • In Genesis 29 Jacob would have responded by saying, “I really do not know. Everything seems to be out of control.”

In this chapter Jacob (the ultimate deceiver) is deceived by his uncle.  Again we see God using this moment.  Isaac had prayed for Jacob’s family to grow (28:3) and now he is given 4 sons.  In this moment Jacob is over his head.  On the mercy of the unconditional love of God can make the difference.

God wanted Jacob to fully trust in Him.

Question:  “How have you been climbing the ladder of spiritual success?”  I want to challenge you to understand and apply the following:

  • It is God alone who gives us access to spiritual life, Romans 9:15-16.
  • It is God alone who gives us success along the path, Matthew 6:25
  • It is God alone we must seek every step of the way, Matthew 6:33

“Father, thank you for giving me undeserved grace and mercy in placing me on the ladder of spiritual success.”





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