From the perspective of hindsight, I wonder whether this wall was part of the original plan or if someone came along and decided the downstairs needed to be separated from the upstairs. If the goal was to create a wall to eliminate the stairs, I’m thinking the stairs could have been cut off entirely. Why leave 2 steps and a short rail? It’s like glimpsing a path to heaven, but finding your path completely blocked.
In Genesis, Jacob (son of Isaac and Rebekah, Esau’s younger twin brother who supplanted Esau’s inheritance and their father’s blessing) left home to avoid his brother’s wrath. When he stopped for the night, Jacob put a stone under his head as a pillow and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway stretching from earth up to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Above it stood the LORD. (Genesis 28:10-13 NIV)
In the New Testament, Jesus promises, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” (John 1:51 NLT)
Paul tells the Ephesians that Christ is our peace, that He has destroyed barriers, “the dividing wall of hostility” by abolishing the law with its commandments and regulations to reconcile us to God through the cross, by which he put to death hostility. He preached peace to all, near and far, Jew and Gentile. Through him we have access to the Father by one Spirit. We are fellow citizens and members of God’s household, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:14-22 NIV)
As Christians, we are charged with responsibilities that include breaking down barriers that prevent God’s kingdom from being established here on earth. Sometimes we erect our own barriers that block the Spirit from flowing through us. Sometimes we perceive barriers that are the work of the devil. We have to study anything that prohibits our ability to live as one, loving our enemies as well as the people who are easy to love. It’s relatively easy to to share our lives with people who are like-minded, but even there we may find occasional conflict and discord – barriers to the kingdom. We have to tear down those walls and build bridges that span our differences.
I am finding in my own life that if I allow myself to see that God himself will destroy any barriers that come between us, then those walls seem to disappear of their own accord. It’s amazing to think that I’m the architect who built a wall that blocked the staircase just a few steps above ground-level! Praise God that he helps me to see the error of my ways and to make amends!
Father, bless me as I remove all of the obstacles in this world that prevent me from freely living in your kingdom here on earth.