Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, 'I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring, and your offspring thall be like the dust of the earth..... Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go...'
Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place - and I did not know it.' And he was afraid, and said, 'How awesome is this place!'.... Then Jacob made a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go....then the Lord shall be my God.'
(New Revised Standard Version)
Our Old Testament scriptures are full of wonderful stories, and this is one of them. Jacob has been given the blessing by his father Isaac, actually due to his older brother Esau, and with it the instruction to marry a woman from his mother Rebekah's family, rather than a Canaanite woman.
Jacob is to take on the covenant - the agreement made between God and Abraham and Isaac - that He would be their God, and they would be His people.
This is a God who makes promises, and who keeps them. A God who expects us to keep our promises to Him, and when we make mistakes and fall away from Him, takes us back when we are sorry.
so often we let You down,
and walk away from You.
So often we doubt You
and Your promises to us.
So often we try to walk alone,
and ignore Your promptings to return.
Forgive our weakness,
and our wilfullness,
and grant us absolution.