Bethel was Jacob’s first and only recorded stop on his way to his uncle’s household. It was there that Jacob received his first direct word from God about his future. It was a repeat of the promise to Abraham and more:
Genesis 28:15 … What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.
Neither man had done anything to earn grace like this, other than believe God. Jacob’s response wasn’t exactly full of faith, though:
Genesis 28:20-22 If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.