“I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
After Jacob runs away from his home, he stops to rest for the night. He falls asleep and has a dream in which he saw a stairway stretching down from heaven to the earth. On the stairs were angels of God ascending and descending on it and at the top of the stairs stood the God of his father Isaac. It is here that the Lord gives to Jacob the same promise He gave to Isaac and to Abraham. God goes even further and assures Jacob that He will never leave his side until He has delivered on His promise. When Jacob wakes up he considers the place he slept to be the gate to heaven. He builds a pillar and makes a vow saying:
“If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give
me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household,
then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be
God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
- Genesis 28:20-22
Up until this point we know that Isaac’s faith was not exactly his children’s faith. Jacob stole and dishonored his father and family. Esau never really held much value in the blessing and vowed to kill Jacob after being wronged by him. Jacob didn’t trust and rely on God to provide for him. He took matters into his own hands and acted on selfish ambition. It’s only after this encounter that we see Jacob choose to follow and obey God.