When Jacob is on his way, he gets his first encounter with God. That happens in a dream. It is intended as an encouragement. While Jacob lies there lonely, possibly regretting his past conduct, he sees how the earth and the heaven are connected by means of a ladder. At the top of the ladder stands the LORD, who says Who He is and what He will do for Jacob.
What he sees and hears makes it clear to him that heaven oversees him and goes with him wherever he goes on earth. Angels rise up to bring the needs for living on earth to God, after which God’s help and protection for man is given from heaven.
About the connection between heaven and earth that Jacob sees, the Lord Jesus speaks to Nathanael (Jn 1:5151And He *said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”). This connection will become a reality in the kingdom of peace when the Son of man, the Lord Jesus, is on earth. The Lord Jesus also says there, as Jacob sees in the dream, that the angels of God first ascend to heaven and then descend from heaven. The earth shall be united with heaven, the Son of man shall reign, and his servants, the angels, shall maintain the connection between the earth and the heaven.
The LORD appears unto Jacob, and makes him four promises:
1. He will give him and his descendants the land on which he lies.
2. His descendants will be like the dust of the earth.
3. In him and his descendants will all nations be blessed.
4. He will be with him and bring him back into the land.
God does not say that His offspring will be like the stars of the heaven. He said this to Isaac. He said both to Abraham. Because the fulfillment of the promises lies in the far future, the LORD assures Jacob that until that time He will save him by being with him and not departing from him. We may also apply the promise Jacob receives here to ourselves, especially if we are tested in our living conditions (Heb 13:55[Make sure that] your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”).