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 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. 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.”
Jacob may have been a schemer, but he knew when he needed to get serious before God. God showed him a vision of a staircase reaching up to heaven, where angels were ascending and descending. He heard God’s voice, affirming the promise given to Abraham. God told Jacob that all peoples would be blessed through him, and that God would watch over him wherever he went.
When Jacob woke up, he realized how privileged he was to receive this vision of God, and that this place where he slept was on holy ground. To read further in the chapter, it says that Jacob took the stone he used as a pillow and consecrated it as an altar for God. With a few qualifiers, Jacob vowed that the Lord would be his God, that this stone would become God’s house, and that he would give to God a tenth of all he owned.
God appreciates our worship and our praise. God sees into our hearts to perceive our sincerity of faith. Jacob had his faults, certainly, but he gave himself in worship to God, and that’s what counts.
Set our feet on holy ground, Lord, because it is holy when you are there. Open our eyes to see you; unlock our hearts to give you praise. Make us generous in giving in ways that honor you. For this we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.