In The Name
The Man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Genesis 32:27
Isaac and Rebekah skimmed through their little book of names and meanings. ‘How about Matthew?’ Rebekah asked. ‘Hmm. Depends.’ The book said Matthew meant ‘Gift from God.’ ‘Wouldn’t want our soon-to-be-born-son to grow up big-headed,’ they agreed. ‘What about Aaron?’ She said, ‘Strong Mountain.’ ‘Bound to get him into fights,’ answered Isaac. ‘Joshua?’ They both agreed a name meaning ‘God is salvation’ could lead to a messiah complex. It was nearly nine months now and still no name. In desperation, Isaac stopped on a random page and pointed blindly with his finger. Whatever name it landed upon would be the boy’s name. ‘Jacob. Hmm.’ ‘Jacob … yes … I like it. What does it mean?’ ‘Deceiver!’ So ‘deceiver’ became his name.
And Jacob grew into that name. He ducked and dived and lied and cheated until his family broke down. And then one day God wrestled with him. And he emerged from the fight with a limp and a new name: ‘Israel,’ which means, ‘a prince of God.’ The moral of the story: God determines your identity. Whatever names you have been called – Fat, Thick, Ugly, Loser – erase them. God calls you a treasured member of His Kingdom.
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me an eternal name! In Jesus’ Name, Amen