“וַיָּבֹא יִשְׂרָאֵל מִצְרָיִם; וְיַעֲקֹב, גָּר בְּאֶרֶץ-חָם”
“And Israel came to Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.”
The Zohar explains that because the names Israel and Jacob appear in the same verse in different ways they represent two entities/forces. ‘Israel’ is the aspect of Zeir Anpin that Jacob always connected to and ‘Jacob’ is himself.
God loves the patriarchs and keep them protected even when they need to go to a lower spiritual place. Without His love, Jacob was supposed to go down to Egypt like Joseph with shackles. Instead of a harsh way, God turned the events so Joseph would go first to become a king and bring his father and brothers with great honor.
God promised Abraham to build a great nation from his descendants. Jacob and his children needed to go down to Egypt, which was the lowest spiritual level of the world at that time, to start their growth and ascent from a material level. Jacob came to support the presence and growth of his children, of becoming a nation that would be ready to receive the Torah, elevating them to the highest spiritual state.
To achieve spiritual growth and elevation we need to accept the process that guides us, even if it is to the lowest level possible. If we are righteous in our ways then the process may be long but much easier.
The patriarchs went through many tests but always came victorious. It was because they didn’t break or lose the path of the Torah. The Shechina was always with them.