January 25

Genesis 32:27-28 27The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. 28Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

After Jacob recognized his dependence on God, he was met by an "angel" that he later called "God". He wrestled with this angel all night. He had really been wrestling all his life, wrestling with his own will and ways against God's will and ways. That wrestling had not produced a winner. God continued to bless him but not like Jacob could have been blessed if he would have let God win. Still, Jacob had never walked away or quit wrestling. This is what the conversation in this passage is about.

In that age a name implied the person's character. It was almost as if it is your destiny to fulfill its meaning. Since Jacob had come to this turning point in his life, God changed his name, implying that he was a new person. Jacob meant 'laughter' or could also mean 'deceiver'. His new name implied that he was enduring with God. In other words he had not given up but continued to allow God to be a source of conflict and change in his life.

When you come to Jesus and allow Him to be your Savior and Lord, he changes your destiny too. As you wrestle with Him through life, you become an overcomer also. As He wins more and more of the battles over your will, you become dependent upon Him. You learn that God's will and ways are really better for you than you could desire for yourself.

God calls us to see what we are and where we are headed, "What is your name?" Then He changes our name and destiny. God crippled Jacob's hip to cause an additional dependency and reinforce the lesson.

Encouragement: Has God blessed you with a crippling of some kind? Keep enduring with God, overcomer. He has good things planned for you. Learn to depend on Him alone.