And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat…
This vow has been sneered at — a bargain of Jacob's it is said. And in truth it is not in the highest spirit. But at least there is no affection of superfine piety in the Bible. That is something. What it is, it is. But what is this? Perhaps not a shrewd bargain, but a solemn and creditable contract with God, namely, that Jacob will be faithful to God if God will be faithful to him. Not the highest, certainly — not Job's "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Jacob would have stood on a far nobler height had he said, "I will worship this adorable God, who has shown me His glory as He stooped to my low estate. I will trust and obey Him though He desert me and strip me." Yes; but when shall we have done thinking that our refinements and perfections of view were theirs? An occasional spirit like Abraham's went higher than Jacob's. A spirit like Job's shot far higher, yet, I think, and anticipated the whole possibility of man. These were splendid anomalies; but Jacob was the true representative of the good man of his time. Remembering this, the contrast was not as bad as it seems, but was natural and even beautiful. He does not ask God for riches, but simply, like a child (for these primitive men were but children), he asks only for protection and support: "If the Lord," &c. This, although it has a child's religious inferiority, yet seems so artless and heartless that I think it was, even to the ear of God, a very pleasing speech. And I wish that we would go as far. Suppose now, we say — which of us is ready? — "If the Lord will keep me alive for this year, and give me food and raiment, He shall be my God." Let no man sneer at Jacob until he is Jacob's equal.
(A. G. Mercer, D. D.)
Of all that Thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto Thee. —
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,