Saturday, July 10, 2010

what's in a name

i have been reading about Jacob this week for my morning readings. Jacob, the son of Isaac, not Jacob, the werewolf, OK! anyway, being a christian all my life, his story is very familiar already to me. however, it was only recently that i kind of appreciated what message was hidden in his story, more so, the story of his name.

Jacob, the name, means heel and supplanter. it basically foretold of his nature since Jacob, if you read his life wasn't really the most upright man. even from birth, he hung onto the heel of his brother, Esau, hoping to be the first-borne. he eventually stole Esau's blessing by tricking his blind father, which led him to flee his father's house and sojourn in the desert, tending to his uncle's sheep. he tricked his uncle and well, but had himself hoodwinked of a wife (all is fair i guess). however, somewhere along his story, Jacob, the supplanter's name changed to Israel, which means, God prevails.

I was rather moved when i realized how significant this name change was. throughout his life, it seemed Jacob connived and struggled. he cheated and was cheated and fled from one place to another. but it seemed that God really had a plan for him, for as you track down his life, his once rough and rugged nature as the supplanter eventually disappeared. in the end, he became a distinguished figure, even to a point that Pharoah, king of the greatest empire of their day, was willing to be blessed by him. this is Israel, this is how God prevailed.

sometimes i feel like the world is against me. then i will remember this story and pray, I am Jacob, God is turning me into Israel.

2 comments:

paci said...

jacob wrestled with an angel so he earned the name israel.
it is a recurring theme in the bible. very ordinary people chosen by God to serve Him. they are too far from perfect but they were called, and they answered. =)

victor said...

".. I am Jacob, God is turning me into Israel."

Wow. What a beautiful mantra.