This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven! Genesis 28:17.
Jacob was not perfect in character. He sinned against his father, his brother, his own soul, and against God. Inspiration faithfully records the faults of good men, those who were distinguished by the favor of God; indeed, their faults are much more fully transcribed than their virtues…. They were assaulted by temptations and were often overcome by them, but they were willing to learn in the school of Christ. Were these characters presented before us as faultless, it would tend to discourage us in our strivings after righteousness…. It shows that God will by no means clear the guilty. He sees sin in His most favored ones, and He punishes them even more decidedly than those who have less light and responsibility. But in contrast with the sins and errors of humanity there is presented one perfect character—that of the Son of God, who clothed His divinity with humanity, and walked a man among the children of men….
Jacob obtained by fraud the blessing designed for his brother. God had promised him the birthright, and the promise would have been fulfilled in good time had he been willing to wait. But like many who now profess to be the children of God, he lacked faith and thought he must do something himself instead of submissively leaving the matter in the hands of the Lord….
As he pursued his lonely way, he was greatly cast down and discouraged…. Yet God did not utterly forsake Jacob. His mercy was still extended to His erring, distrustful servant, although He would permit afflictions to come upon him until he should learn the lesson of patient submission. The Lord graciously and compassionately revealed just what Jacob needed, a Savior….
Wearied with his journey, the wanderer lay down upon the ground with a stone for his pillow. And while he slept, the Lord gave him a vision. He beheld a ladder, bright and shining, whose base rested upon earth while the top reached to heaven. Upon this ladder angels were ascending and descending, and above it was the Lord of glory, who addressed Jacob in words of wonderful encouragement. He assured Jacob that he was under divine guardianship in his absence from home, and that the land whereon he lay as an exile and a fugitive would be given to him and his posterity.—Signs of the Times, July 31, 1884.