Editorial - Jacob's Dream

Lawrence Maxwell

Jacob had a ladder. There's a ladder for you too.

I expect you like to do what you want to do, and you don’t appreciate anyone’s telling you that you can’t do this and you can’t do that. But I also expect there are times when you wish there were someone you could turn to for counsel.

Jacob was at this point. Normally quite sure of himself, right now he was in one awful mess. He had lied to his father; and he had gotten his brother, Esau, so angry with him that Esau had vowed to kill him as soon as their ailing father died. Their mother had told him to go visit her relatives till things at home cooled down, if they ever would.

Now, late on the second day of his very long journey (his relatives lived hundreds of miles away, and the only way to reach them was to walk), Jacob’s life looked very, very dark. He couldn’t go back home, and he had no idea how his relatives would receive him. As sunlight faded he cleared away a few rocks and arranged a stone for a pillow and lay down and slept. He dreamed of that ladder we’ve all heard about, that stretched from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending upon it. At the top was Jesus, and Jacob heard Him say, "I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land"(Genesis 28:15 NKJV). What good news!


We call that ladder Jacob’s ladder, as if Jacob were the only person God gave such a ladder to. But Jesus told Nathaniel that angels ascend and descend on the Son of man (John 1:51). The ladder in the dream was, indeed, Jacob’s ladder. But there is a ladder for everyone, one for me, and one for you too. Your ladder is right beside you. In the darkness of the night, if you feel depressed and worried, know that your ladder is beside your bed, in your dormitory room or in your bedroom at home. Jesus is at the top looking down upon you, and angels are ascending and descending, taking your requests to Jesus and returning with answers and blessings. Be everlastingly encouraged.

God also uses friends to guide His people, faulty and awkward as we are, and the editors and authors of ADVENTISTS AFFIRM hope that this issue will be especially helpful to the youth and young adults of our church. We asked Jesus to commission the angels to bring us good counsel to pass along, and we believe they did.

If you think the Adventist dress code is desperately legalistic, be sure to read the article by Staci Osterman. We guarantee that when you find what Staci discovered, you will look at the whole dress question differently.

If your school bills are too high and you are thinking of joining the Army to get free tuition, there are three articles for you. Jan Doward tells several thrilling stories of young Adventists who remained faithful to the Sabbath and to the principle of noncombatancy in World War II. Ask yourself whether you are willing to endure what those young men went through. Ekkehardt Mueller in "Noncombatancy" tells us why noncombatancy is so important. And Harriet Clark tells how to find a less expensive Adventist institution to study in.

Are the martial arts good for self-defense and exercise? Before you get involved, let Pastor Bayani Pastrana give you an insider’s view. He taught martial arts for many years and says there is more in them than meets the eye.

Are you dating? Or hoping to be? You must read Mr. and Mrs. Schafer’s account of their courtship. It’s delightful.

Are you sick and tired of always following other people? Robert Neall believes everyone can become a leader and his article will help you. He writes as a teacher of academy students. Dr. Sam Koranteng-Pipim writes from his experience counseling Adventist students at the University of Michigan. The Ellen White selections include some of her most popular quotations.

I could go on. There is still more in this issue! It is our prayer that as you read, those angels going up and down your ladder will help you to AFFIRM in your life that you are one of God’s true and faithful ADVENTISTS.