Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A New Name

Last night my family read and meditated on Genesis Chapter 45.  Here we see Joseph finally reveal his identity to the brothers standing before him.  Overcome with love and a longing to know the welfare of his family, Joseph asks about his father Israel, or shall we call him Jacob… The final two verses in this chapter reveal the complexity of the father of 12.

But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” (Gen 45:27-28)

You see, Jacob was a cheat, a liar, a deceiver, the list goes on.  One night, God not only meets Jacob, but physically wrestles with him.  The deceptive cheat that he is, Jacob does not give up the fight and the scripture says, “[God] saw that He did not prevail against him” and therefore knocked Jacob’s hip socket out of joint (Gen 32:25). After some pleading and begging on Jacob’s part to be blessed, God grants him a new name: Israel. Overnight the man is transformed from a dirty, rotten, no good liar, into a Prince with God! Or is he? Time and again I have questioned why this man, after receiving his new name is sometimes referred to by that new name, and other times simply recognized again as the old Jacob.  When God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, he was never again known by the old man Abram.  Nor was Sarah called Sarai or Paul called Saul. So I ask the question: why Jacob?

Maybe we need to ask ourselves this same question.  Have we received a new name as a child of God?  Has He wiped away the old woman and resurrected in us a new identity?  If the answer is yes, then He has triumphantly prevailed in our lives. However, what if our situation resembles Jacob’s: one minute known as Jacob, the next as Israel; one minute wallowing in sorrow, pain, self-pity, and unbelief, the next minute standing in confidence of God’s work, only to turn back in doubt, frustration, and fear? The scripture says God did not prevail against Jacob, Jacob prevailed (Gen 32:25,28). Has God prevailed in your life?  Has God prevailed in mine?
God tells me He loves me and He says I am His beloved.  Do you see this?  Beloved = BeLoved!  To be His beloved, I must be loved!  I must receive His love and so walk in it (Rom 6:4). As I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5), casting aside the strongholds and lies of Satan which tell me I am stupid, fat, ugly, incapable, unworthy, and UNLOVED, then and only then do I begin to walk in my new identity.  So today I choose to cast aside the old me and put on the new me. Today I am the Beloved!
Jason Gray 'Remind Me Who I Am' -You Tube

-Scriptures taken from the New King James Version


Will you leave some of yourself here? Converse with a community of readers and writers and lovers of Jesus.