This morning I realized I’d gotten ahead of myself in yesterday’s post and this is just to good to miss so today I’m backtracking.
9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him. 14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel.
That is the very best isn’t it? Have you ever done or said something that makes you want to crawl in hole and pull it in after you? And then replayed it over and over trying to “get it right in your mind” when it’s already done and there’s no going back? Jacob certainly has been there. God steps in with a new identity, a new name free of the negative associations of the old one…a new beginning and a new name. No wonder he felt blessed. He’s not alone either.
We all have those incidents in our life that only the witness protection program or Christ can fix. Lucky for us, Christ is our ever-present blessing. There are so many phrases that apply to how He fixes us; being healed, washed clean, transformed, made new, reborn…cleansed from sin. Remember that moment when you came face to face with God in Christ and were freed from the negative associations of YOUR past? His identity replaced your old one and He even let you borrow His name temporarily – Christ One. That’s fabulous, but wait, there’s more! Revelation 2:17 says if you are in Christ, he’s given you a new name too; yet to be revealed but ready and waiting… That’s the Amazing Grace we sing about. Imagine it!