I have been exceedingly impressed how God, Yahweh or by whatever name God chose to be known, never leaves His Son Jacob alone. Of course, for all of us Biblical students it is very apparent that Jacob was found to be alone, at least, in his own thinking. It has really been an eye opener as we have read through this first book of the Bible. We are able to see how humankind could get themselves so easily into hot water, and God had to come to save them from their trouble.
Jacob was a man in good favor with his God. Whenever God wanted him to do something, he was not like most of us; he was willing and able to follow God’s will. Do you suppose this is a message for all of us? I know it speaks to me because I haven’t always been faithful and/or obedient when it came to doing what I think God would have me do. You probably have come to know, I have most always been a slow learner. I too often do what I want rather than following God’s will for me. I confess this with heavy heart, and as always, I make an oath to change my misdirected ways.
Jacob was very faithful to God’s Word, but as we have read, not without some ignorant act or misdirection in his living. Eventually Jacob and his family did get it straight; they were able to convince God that they were wanting to be faithful. So we read that God had appeared to Jacob once again. And God said, and here is the biggy, for all his years of faithfulness and trying his best to do what it was God wanted, “God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob, but your name will be Jacob no longer. No, your name will be Israel.”
You see my friends, if we are always faithful as we can be to God, then we too will be known by a better name. No longer will we be known by our given name; Bill, Paul, Mary or whatever name we have been given. No, in faith to our Creator God, we shall from now on be known as; Believer, Faithful, Obedient, Giver, Follower, Helper, Seeker, etc. Please remember, don’t ever give up on God, because God has never given up on us.
Oh Lord God, our eternal Father, the Giver of every good and perfect gift, forgive our waywardness, our often lack of faith; keep us Lord, even when we have not been worthy to be called Your faithful child. In Christ we pray. Amen.