Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
This Messianic promise came to a young Jacob as he lay dreaming, head upon a stone, in Bethel. There God gave Him the details of the Abrahamic covenant that had sustained the faith of his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham. He offered this conniving young man a unique role in God's unfolding drama of redemption. From Jacob's children would come blessing to all the earth as his descendents spread across the Promised Land.
Of course, this promise points to the ultimate blessing of all the people of the earth. That blessing arrived with Jesus. In Him all the world finds peace with God. In Him, all the wisdom and knowledge of God is found. In Jesus, God is known. Through Jesus and only through Him we have sins forgiven, peace with God, true blessing, and eternal life. As Jacob lay asleep with this fantastic dream of God's promise in his head, God was revealing His unfolding purpose of salvation.
And I sit here so many millennia later, hot coffee at my kitchen table, on a dark cold December morning, half a globe away from Bethel, looking back on how Jacob's wildest dream came true in Bethlehem. Preparing this Christmas to again celebrate Messiah's birth just a short 19 days from now, I pause to marvel at the revelation of Jesus in the faint stirrings of Messiah melody as I look up the rungs of Jacob's ladder with him.
Like the conniver Jacob, my own mess of a life is blessed by God in Jesus. He is my hope, my present joy, and my future blessing. I live my life with the dream of Jacob, longing for all the families of this earth to be blessed in and by Jesus.