At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father Isaac. Genesis 28:13
Sometimes we introduce ourselves to new people in reference to someone we both know. “Hi, I’m John, Becky’s friend.” There is sudden recognition, a smile, and a handshake. They don’t know you, but they know Becky. Whatever trust and respect they have toward Becky is transferred to you. We often validate a new relationship because of someone we both know.
How fascinating that the Lord of all creation introduced Himself to Jacob by identifying with people they both knew. Jacob had grown up with the stories. He knew of the successes and failures of parents and grandparents, but he also knew whom they had worshiped. The Lord could only introduce Himself to Jacob in reference to his ancestors because they had not been hypocrites. They had not worshiped God with their lips while their hearts were far from Him (Matt. 15:8). Children notice whether our words match our actions, whether our obedience to God is complete or partial. We teach them about God and how they should respond to Him by living it out before them.
If the LORD appeared to your child, would He want to introduce Himself as your God?