For some reason, I get images and ideas in my mind, and they’re turned into facts. So many things I think I know about scripture and then I’ll discover something that I should have known… and yet didn’t. Like the fact that Jacob was in his mid to late seventies when Isaac accidently gave him his brother’s blessing and he fled from Esau. Now, in my mind I had him as a fairly young man, after all, he was still hanging out in the tents with his mom! And while what his mom certainly did was wrong by encouraging Jacob to deceive Isaac, he was in his seventy’s for crying out loud; he really couldn’t blame his Mom because his diaper was too tight growing up. It was time for him to get out of the tent and be a man. And so Jacob fled… and his story continued as he met a greater deceiver than himself (Uncle Laban), married his true love Rachel (second) after being tricked into marrying her older sister Leah. But now that I realize he was in his eighties, that story makes more sense. His eyesight may not have been what it once was!
Being that this is a blog and not a full blown bible study you’ll have to do your own reading on that story, (Genesis 25-27) for it was but introduction. My point in reminiscing those pages was to remind us of who Jacob was. His name literally means “deceiver.” The Bible said about Jacob and his twin brother Esau that “the children struggled together within her;” They were fighting before birth! Now that’s sibling rivalry; and they’re still fighting in their late seventies. But along the road to restoration of the brother’s relationship, Jacob gets a new name.
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
A few points and then I’ll leave you to ponder this thought as I was left when I heard a message on it.
- Jacob began his life in a wrestling match for the position of first born.
- He swindled his brother out of his birthright and his blessing and on his way to restoration he wrestles again… but this time with God.
- He receives a new name, Israel, and yet… on several occasions throughout the Bible God continues to call him Jacob, saying “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…”
Why would God go to all that trouble to give Jacob a new name and yet continue to use the name Jacob when reminding his servants of Who He was? Could it be to remind those of us who fail God daily, that God, in all His holiness, still acknowledges that He’s not the God of perfect people, but of deceivers? He gave Jacob a new name, Israel; He restored his relationship with his family much the way we’re given a new name in Glory upon salvation and restored to the family of God, but while we walk down here we’re still deceivers. We’re not a perfect people, but we serve a perfect God.
That thought amazed me yesterday… so much that I was still chewing on it today when I woke up and decided to share. I hope you are equally blessed to know that God is still God even when we’re messed up.