“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God’” (Gen. 28:20-21)
Jacob of the Old Testament, like Peter in the New Testament, is one of my favorite Bible characters. He grew up in a dysfunctional family where his parents Isaac and Rebekah each had their favorite child. He grew up letting sin dominate his life like when he coerced his brother Isaac into selling him his birthright (Genesis 25:33-34) and later worked together with his mother Rebekah to deceive his father Isaac into blessing him with the blessing his father intended to give to his brother Esau (Genesis 27). Jacob’s sin caught up with him and he was forced to leave home to escape the wrath of his brother Esau.
When he left home, Jacob was alone. He was uncertain what lay ahead for his future. He was scared. He is in a perfect position for God to start working on him. God shows him a vision of a ladder stretching up to heaven and Jacob begins to place his faith and trust in God as his statement above shows.
His faith in God at this point is far from
perfect. His statement above almost seems like he is trying to bargain with
God. Later when he returns back home he is scared to see his brother Esau and
tries to pacify Esau with lots of gifts. But it was a starting place and God
would take him from this starting place and help Jacob to develop a much deeper
faith in God. Later in his life Jacob as he tells his son Joseph that his
offspring would face their own challenges in the land of Egypt, Jacob would
“"Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers.” His confidence and faith in God’s power had grown over the course of his life.
Jacob’s faith in God had become much stronger as He let God work on him. It is a great blessing to live a life of faith in God. Like Jacob let God work on you to help you develop a greater faith in Him!