Monday, February 6, 2012

He Changed MY Name.....

So this past week was a bit crazy for me - lots going on and not feeling too great on top of that.  The good thing about the past week's reading with Year of the Bible was thru the life of Jacob.  One of my FAV stories from the Word.  Jacob enters the world needy - clinging to his brother's heel - not wanting to be left alone!  Oh how I can relate to that.  Being the baby of 4 siblings, I've never really been alone.  I mean, sure I've had down time or times when other siblings were gone, but it was short-lived.  I knew there was always someone around to talk to, be with or just have around.  Never really liked being alone because I just rarely ever was alone!

Then Jacob (a bit of a Momma's boy - favored child - sorry, can't relate to that one) exploits his brother's weakness to gain what he wanted.  Hate to say this, to admit it, especially on the web where it's here forever, but I can relate to that one too.  Ugh.  His pattern of selfishness continues as he and his Momma scheme to trick Isaac into giving him the blessing which puts him in a heap of trouble with his big, brute of a brother who says he's gonna kill him for his deception.  (Fortunately I'm out on that one as well! lol - the death threats anyway - the deception and selfishness...not so much) 

This leads to my FAVORITE part of Jacob's story.  He's been on the run - worked for his wives (oh and got a little taste of his own medicine with his Father-in-law) - has acquired great personal wealth and success and was about to come face to face with his brother.  But prior to that he has a wrestling match that will forever change him.  I've heard this story all my life - I've even done Bible studies based on his story but yesterday God gave me a fresh look - a new revelation about Jacob - and about myself. 

"And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”" Gen 32: 24-26.  I have heard many well intending preachers, teachers and even some Nationally acclaimed pastors preach about Jacob's cry "I will not let you go unless you bless me" as an example of not giving up on prayer - they are totally right in their point - but maybe a bit off base on this particular example.  You see, Jacob's name had not yet been changed, his walk hadn't been changed, his life hadn't been changed.  He wasn't suddenly having a big spiritual epiphany in the midst of this wrestling match - he was trying to exploit this man for his personal gain.  A talent he had learned and had developed to an art!  Jacob was still Jacob.  However, God is still God!

God, was instead exposing Jacob TO Jacob.  He was holding up this GIGANTIC mirror for Jacob to take a good, long, hard look at himself.  He invited Jacob to recall his name - saying "“What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”" (vs 27) You see Jacob's name means supplanter or to take the place of (another), as through force, scheming, or strategy or the like ( - Jacob was born and given the name that would predict who he was - BUT GOD (two best words EVER) had other plans for Jacob.  "Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”" (vs 28).  God gave Jacob a new name.  A name that means "God contended" and guess what contended means according to  Are you ready......"to struggle in opposition, to strive in rivalry, to assert or maintain earnestly"!  Yes God struggled and prevailed over the struggler - the schemer!  He broke Him and gave him a new name, gave him a new walk, gave him a new life!!

That's the best part of the Lord - He's in the business of taking the messed up and making them new!  Creating in them a new heart!  For HIS glory!!  He did it to Jacob - and so many others in the Word - and He did it to me!!  He changed me...He changed my walk...He gave me a new life...and He hasn't stopped changing me...He hasn't stopped making me more like His Son!!  I will not let Him go - not for MY blessing but for HIS GLORY!!!.....