Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Page’

Genesis 28:10-22 – STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN


Not for Sale!

Referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time, “Stairway to Heaven”, released in 1971, quickly earned a place in songwriting history. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page from the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It begins as a slow acoustic folk song and builds up to include a high tempo hard rock section and ends with a the broken vocal “And she’s buying a Stairway to Heaven”. Is “Stairway to Heaven” speaking of buying and taking drugs, or reaching some other form of ecstasy? The meaning of the song has been speculated for years, but few realise that another writer wrote about a dream of a “Stairway to Heaven”, one that can’t be bought, earned or deserved, only experienced, and his story appears in an ancient book we call the Bible.

“USURPER,” or “GRABBER”! By Genesis 28 Jacob has so far lived up to the meaning of his name. He received this name by taking a firm grip on his twin brother Esau’s heel while they were being born. Later, he grabs his brother’s Birthright by swapping it for a pot of stew, but it is when he grabs Esau’s Blessing by deceptive impersonation years later that he finds himself “in the stew” (in trouble) the repercussions of which leave him no option but to leave home (Genesis 27). He desperately wants the blessings of God on his life but finds he can’t buy a stairway to heaven.

For forty miles (64 kms) he travels over the mountains, the first time away from home, retracing the steps of his grandfather Abraham. As a shepherd, he is accustomed to sleeping outdoors and chooses a suitable rock for a pillow, perhaps resting it under his neck like some African tribes do to dissuade irritating insects of the land from crawling into their ears at night.

In his dream, it seems as if the stones of the valley have become a stairway to heaven. There are angels “going up and down the stairway” which connect earth to heaven. “At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and He said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac.’” (Genesis 28:13 NLT).

Years later Jesus refers to Himself as this stairway to heaven (John 1:51). Rock solid. Mankind below and God at the top of the stairs. Going up and down on this stairway of promise which joins earth to heaven are the angels of God, ascending and descending, serving God and His purposes, bringing heaven to earth. Access to eternal life. Acts 16:31 says “Believe in (trust in, rely on) the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” This is not a stairway to heaven that can be bought, earned, worked for, or deserved. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) reminds believers that “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” 

Jacob is so awestruck by this dream that he says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he is also afraid and says, “What an awesome place this is! …the very gateway to heaven!” (Genesis 28:16-17). Faced with a choice to run from God and his purposes, instead He chooses to commit his life to serving God.

In the words of the song “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelen’s sings,

“Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

Jacob tried doing things his own way and his plans ended up in a wilderness. It is often in the wilderness that God reveals Himself to me through Christ. The questions I find myself asking are “How will I respond to Him?” I cannot buy my way to heaven, but I can trust in Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and accept the eternal life he offers as a gift (Read John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16-17, Romans 6:23).

Pastor Ross