"It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women."
Esau seems to be learning something here about his family. It took Jacob taking away his birthright, taking his blessing, and fleeing for his life because Esau threatened him--all for Esau to realize where he went wrong. I see the act of him marring Ishmael's daughter almost as an act of repentance.
"Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it!'"
God spoke to me once when I wasn't even aware He was there. I was caught up in some of the worst ways of living, but God still cared about me enough to speak to me. That moment changed my life drastically. I feel a lot like Jacob in many ways. I think that this encounter with God was just the beginning of his spiritual growth. This story shows how he was still doubtful because he says if this, this, and this happen, then the Lord will be my God. I praise God for that one moment that I will never forget when He spoke directly to me. I pray that won't be the last time either.