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“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not (Ch.28:16). ”

This well known story throws up some important theological concepts.

Firstly sleep is a symbol for death.

What is sleep? God caused Adam a deep sleep and he slept (Ge.2:21) The Spirit used it in the sense mentioned above.

We shall consider sleep now in normal sense. The idea here is that sleep is from God. It is a blessing. It is a rest that is a shadow of God’s Rest from his labours. He sanctified end of His Creative Day as a Holy Day. The Preacher has this verse to observe what man may rightfully claim as his due at the end of each working day. “The sleep of a labourer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep (Eccl5:12-NIV)”. In contrast to what God has provided for man, what is wealth but what he generates by his own efforts. This boils over even after the day is done so much so it is insomnia that he has to cope with.

Secondly it gives us an insight into God’s Time, which is how the Spirit correlates God’s Will with life of man. Time and space do not make sense for eternal God. When God visited King Abimelech in a vision and warned him on account of Sarah it was for the present. When He gave Daniel a series of visions (Dan.10-12:9) it was for ‘the time of the end.” The vision of the ladder with each rung going up to the Lord must be several events hinged on one another. Angels going up and down signifies a door has been opened for the sleeper. It is reminiscent of St John’s vision (Re.4:1-2). The Spirit gave him a foretaste of the Salvation Plan of God as it were, which in narrating is for our benefit. As soon as he woke up he realized where he was. He exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” This indicates our foreknowledge comes from God who equips each man for His service. Gift of prophecy is a gift. Gift of interpreting is yet another. Such are gifts the Spirit distributes to each accordingly so glory of God must be set as paramount.

Thirdly we need address an often-overlooked piece, namely the stones that served Jacob as pillows.

“…He (Jacob) took stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep (28:11).”

These stones serve as a memorial. This act is to be seen as a symbolic act very similar to Joshua at the crossing of Jordan (Jos.4:23). Jacob was a man fleeing for safety and was in a strange place settling down for a night’s rest. God’s vision was a private and it was to assure His protection.

Like the Shekinah glory of God separated the mercy seat and the Ark of the Testimony from surrounding areas the vision was a memorial to him. From what Jacob did following day we get the idea as to what it meant to him. Each of us is Bethel meaning the house of God. This idea is transferred to stones that served for pillows in the night. He set the stone up and poured oil upon the top of it. ‘He called the name of that place Beth-el; but the name of that city was called Luz at the first (vs.19).’This holds spiritual significance for us. Born again experience in a child of God marks a change over from serving the world. Pouring oil over the stone naturally indicates the infilling Spirit. The following verses are of help to us.

“Know you not you are the temple of God?

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;(1 Co.6:19;3:16-NIV)”

We can well appreciate the seven churches in Asia minor were such stones as Jacob found; these local churches were not the Church of Christ but indicative of God’s Will concerning the Body of Christ.

Benny

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Best part of an evening for me is that there is a bed to sleep on at the end.

I know my will power is such that I need not command each night: Let there be sleep!’ Getting between the sheets is enough. I keep as with all creatures under the Nature’s sway its rule; I cannot escape bio-rhythm that makes mere routine of bedtime. Be that as it may,the routine has made claim or my will has a preference holds no meaning.
What I know is that there are some events happening below threshold level which is at cellular level, for my rational mind to grasp fully. But its efficiency I must admit at any rate allows me to focus on matters that my corporal body can adequately handle. I do have an office space. Is it a hole in the wall of universe or a negative space as the hole of a doughnut I cannot say. Unknown to me throughout the night my central archive systems are busy rearranging and fixing, labelling, retrieving lost files. This is where my memory is fixed. All roads lead to Rome. So do all the cables, filaments, streams of consciousness hanging from the beams and touch the floorboards that is on Time-Space coordinates. No wonder I know there is always something remarkable about my memory. It carries the distilled flavors of Time and Space and I can for the lack of adequate vocabulary merely label it as Consciousness.
More experience I have acquired I am more than convinced that memory is made up of discrete packets of information held in the hollows of Consciousness as honey in a comb.
Memory thus brings faith of my fathers and cultural milieu of lives lived in the past potent forces to work with. Thus when I who was born and brought up in India most of my life spend quarter of a century in a work that is hatched elsewhere I know why. My attitudes and my faith in my own memory makes me appreciate Omar Khayyam better. Such Consciousness that works on my memory may present many options and my preferences map course of my future that is all.
Sleep signifies an unconscious state in contrast with the wakeful state. Night is often used by poets as metaphor for death. Sleep is a realm where for a Christian is more than nature’s cure for human existence but a sign of hope. It is resurrective power that raised Jesus from death signifying hope, nothing less. What shall we make of insomnia then? I presume value of it as natural as skepticism that can rack a good Christian at times.
benny

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A Dream By Half©

There was a scholar in Aleppo who was ridiculed by his neighbors. They
were mostly artisans or traders who traded in useful goods and they faulted him “Why study dreams or speak with spirits of the dead?” they asked him.
“I study dreams because I dream myself.” The scholar defended himself. “What about speaking with the spirits of the dead?” “Perhaps I might learn something from my ancestors.” His neighbors snorted at his pigheadedness and left him alone.
A few weeks later the scholar had a dream in which his ancestor visited him and asked, ‘What are you doing with my wealth?’ “ Your wealth? Will you speak plainly?”
‘I had left all my wealth, fearing that my enemies were after me, at the bottom of a dry well behind the house.’ His ancestor described the exact spot and what to look for. Next day the scholar went down into the well and discovered the treasure. But the news of his find got around. It reached the ears of the sultan. The sultan immediately confiscated the treasure trove according to the law of the land. The scholar was at least thankful to the sultan that his life was spared. What was more, a royal pension allowed him to pursue his scholarly interests.
A few months later he had another dream in which his ancestor appeared again to ask the whereabouts of his wealth. ‘You were right grandfather. Your enemies finally got around to it by legal means.’
A dream is left handed version of reality. Only trouble is that you need to let reason rearrange it.If it has not happened as foreseen your rational mind has still an escape clause that it went wrong only as far as sleep had a hand in it.
benny

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Here is a Puzzling Thought
Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep) is a normal stage of sleep characterized by the random movement of the eyes. If we are asleep why move eyes at all? Perhaps the answer may lie in the manner we explain the nature of consciousness. During REM, the activity of the brain’s neurons is quite similar to that during waking hours; for this reason, the REM-sleep stage may be called paradoxical sleep. Here we have consciousness of the wakeful state and a ‘virtual’ consciousness of the sleep phase. Physiology shows same pattern of neurons sent by the brain.
In the Cosmic Mind within the Golden Pagoda dreams are like the scum that flows along the streaming of Consciousness of the Cosmic Mind. Bizarre shapes clocks without hands and slicing of sausages, or falling of tooth are all Nature’s way of interpreting the Mind for the individual. In similar fashion prophets see visions and the individuals consult those whom they think are gifted to interpret dreams.
benny

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