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The foundation of a relationship takes the involvement of two people. Not only did God promise to be with Jacob but Jacob promised to remain with God as well.

1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram,[a] to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty[b] bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.” 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel 10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the LORD, and he said: “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. 14 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.[d] 15 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.” 16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[e] though the city used to be called Luz. 20 Then Jacob made 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 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD[f] will be my God 22 and[g] 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.”

    Jacob is again blessed by his father and ordered not to take a Canaanite woman for marriage. He is sent to modern day Syria where he is to find a wife among his uncle’s daughters. Obviously the marriage of a cousin seems to be permissible and socially accepted at this time.
    Upon hearing how displeased his parents wee with Canaanite women, Esau marries one of the daughters of Ishmael. It is unclear how damaged his relationship with his parents was after marrying his two previous wives of Canaan, but perhaps this restored some favor.
    During this Jacob made his way to Harran. He prepared a resting place using a stone as a pillow. There he had a dream of a ladder that reached into the heavens and was populated with the angles of God. At the top was the LORD. The LORD spoke to Jacob and confirmed his covenant with him for the first time. Jacob would have descendants that were as numerous as particles of dust. The LORD also promised to return him to his father’s land and remain with him until this promise was fulfilled.
    Jacob realized that the LORD of his father was the true God. He took the stone that he had laid his head upon the night before and covered it in oil. He called the place Bethel and vowed to God that he would remain with him as well. He would give a tenth of whatever he had to God and someday make the stone the house of his LORD.
    The foundation of a relationship takes the involvement of two people. Not only did God promise to be with Jacob but Jacob promised to remain with God as well. These bonds are often symbolized somehow. The most common symbol of a bond might be a marital ring. However, there are other examples such as a law firm bearing the name of the partners involved. This relationship between the two illustrates how most partnerships have a covenant between the two parties. In order to have a relationship with God you must be involved as well. This might be through prayer, devotion, fellowship, evangelism, or a number of outlets. To me prayer is the most crucial aspect of my friendship with God. Prayer is a great gift given by God. At ANY time we may call upon the name of the LORD and he or she will hear. Sometimes we think of prayer as a one sided monologue to God, but God speaks to us as well. We must stop and listen to what God has to tell us. It may not come in the form of Jacob’s ladder. More likely it will be much more subtle. So, listen hard and with all five senses. Furthermore, God wants to hear from us. No one enjoys a one sided relationship including God.

 


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