Another thing is noticed in the passage about Jacob in Genesis 28. He had seen that the Lord was right there and marveled that he did not know it. Now Jacob exclaimed, "How dreadful, or awesome, is this place. This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
More than seeing that God was actually there and active on his behalf, was his realization of the seriousness of what was happening. We can agree that God surely is working, but have little or no emotion or awareness of the holy ground we are on. If nothing changes, we haven't gotten it. In other words, our response should be: Wow, I didn't realize all that was going on. This is amazing! Things cannot stay the same. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Moses found himself confronted with God's presense at the burning bush. God, declaring it holy ground, said "remove thy shoes". His life was about to change dramatically. Isaiah fell in fear at the vision of the presense of the Lord. Likewise Joshua before the captain of the Lord's host. Holy encounters produced new men. For Jacob, the many layers of his thick-skinned stubborness were being steadily and patiently pealed away by the Lord, not brutally but gently.
There seem to be two lessons learned that night. The first: The Lord was there and he knew it not. The second: Since the Lord was right there and intimately involved in hour by hour, day by day events, Jacob determined to see God as his protector and provider for the rest of his life. It was a life becoming less about himself and more about his God. Things were changing, not because he had to, but because he was deeply affected by the awesomeness of God and wanted to.
"This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." His daily life was God's business. His life was His house and His gate. What comforting and encouraging news! That was the truth for Jacob, and it is just as true for us.