Leaving Beersheba, his parents and his angry and bitter twin brother Esau behind him, Isaac set out for Harran. After sundown he stopped for the night at a place called Luz and he laid down with a stone for a pillow. It can’t have been a comfortable sleep, but sleep he did.
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”Genesis 28:10-17
Using the stone that he’d put at his head, he set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top if it. This is the first of four pillars.
Jacob renamed the place Bethel, meaning House of God. He made a conditional vow that if God provided for him he’d follow him; “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
How many of us have come to the LORD making conditional vows?
Now do you want to dive deeper? The Hebrew word for ladder only appears once, it is sullam. It appears nowhere else in scripture. This must be something different. A Hebrew word study on the word sullam is in the links. The top of the ladder reached Heaven and the LORD stood above the ladder the angels were ascending and descending on.
Here’s a case of Jesus being hidden in the Old Testament.
When Jesus was choosing his disciples at Bethabara (Bethany) beyond the Jordan, Nathanael acknowledged him as he said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” John 1:48-50
Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life. He is the only way to Heaven. It’s Him that Jacob met.