The name Jacob means he “wrestled with God as a man and prevailed”. This is the reason for the name change because there was a change in character. Jacob had this testimony that he wrestled with God and won.
You see Jacob was forced to recon with the hauntings of his past. He had left Labon having obtained a notable prize, his wife Rachel. A name that means; the breath of God. And yes, she is a picture of Gods Holy Spirit. From the Hebrew; Ruach=Breath and EL =God. Ruachel in English is Rachel.
Jacob, having been tricked numerous times by Laban, wrestled with him over every agreement of everything he said. Having honed his skills in wrestling with Laban, departing from their, now to return home with his new family and earnings to his father’s house.
However, Jacob feared his brother Esau would avenge him for leaving with the promise of the full inheritance of their father Isaac. You see Esau accused Jacob of stealing his inheritance, and he did. Jacob dressed like Esau, felt like Esau and had the right words to say to their flailing father Isaac and received the blessing that belonged to the firstborn which technically was Esau.
Jacob now being found as a man in-between without a country, he sought to return home. Oh, but wait. His brother Esau vowed to kill him for his theft. This was a deep seated fear Jacob had to reconcile with and the reason He sought God on this night to wrestle with.
Jacob had sent his servants and family to go homeward first with gifts to appease his brothers anger against him.
This night of wrestling with God was different though because it is with God that this wrangling takes place.
When we find ourselves in similar circumstances of wrestling with God. Trying to take Him at His word and making sense of what we believe, our faith and His promises. Maybe even trying to justify ourselves, our cause and our pursuence of the things God has said and we just don’t feel He is there for us and it is hard to move forward. This is where we wrestle with God. What is our part, what is Gods part and what to expect.
It is good to note here that “whoever loves their life will loose it, but whoever looses their life for My sake, gains life for eternity” says our God. Not that we can’t enjoy and love what we are experiencing in the here and now, but hold on loosely. Also don’t forget the mandate to put off the things of the world, so we know that we are wrestling for things Eternal.
This lesson from Jacob teaches us that when God challenges us in our reasoning, it is not to discourage us, but to build us up. You think “didn’t God say? And you ask, God, didn’t you assure me certain outcomes in my life? Well you are right where God wants you.
Are you willing to go toe to toe and wrestle with God as an equal? To not back down or bow out? To challenge Him to His face about His promises and how they apply to us now?
This is what he wants from you, an equal. That’s what He gave you, a mirror image of Himself, and He wants you to learn how to use your new inheritance gifted to you from the cross where your vows were to bury your old person to start walking in newness of life. Don’t you think it’s time to start doing that?
What better way to do it than to spar with the Master. This is actually a compliment from Him that He would give you the unction (His Holy Spirit) to challenge Him. So don’t think you are not equipped, provided that you know scripture because you are instructed to put on the shield of faith and to pick up the sword of the Spirit so you know your instrumentations.
The Father brought you to this place for this cause for your personal development and growth in godliness, meaning God-like-ness, and not religious piety. He hates that.
The purpose of the gospel, is for God to bring forth offspring fitted like Himself. Isn’t that what Paul said was the purpose of the Gospel in Ephesians 4? “13 till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (and detain us from working out our salvation). Till we become perfect and the full stature and image of God?”
That we, taking God at His word, as owning what He said He gave us, believing it and appropriating these things by faith and challenging the obstacles in front of us with the things He has said. Not “hath God really said” Like Satan said” But, God you said, it’s in your word, you promised, it’s been awhile and I’ve waited patiently. This was Jacob’s quest with both Labon and the Angel of God in human form that night, to aquire his inheritance. It is here that Jacob found something more grand than what his father had, his eternal inheritance from his Heavenly Father. That is who he verbally wrestled with. The Only Begotten is also called “The Word of God” and this is what God sees, His Son.
God wants you to spot light the things He said to you in His word and in conversation to your mind and challenge Him. All your thoughts and conversation with God is prayer, and We we’re told to “ask the Father anything in My name and He will do it”. Have you wrestled that match yet? Because He wants you too.
Here is a principle you must understand. You see the Son at His transfiguration with the Father, had His talk with Him and said “Father, I have given your word to those you have given me out of this world and they have kept it”. And how does He know we kept it? Because it comes back out of our mouths at times like these where we call due the promises being the things He has said. You bring to remembrance the things He has said to your heart in prayer, not as though He forgot, but by re-iterating it as something you expect to obtain and own as co-heirs in Christ. This is taking God at His word and His willingness and His ability to perform, not in the form of arguing. It is better to just thank Him, and be specific for what. God is joyful to hear His promises come back out of our mouth. He knows you got it because there’s the proof. You reiterated His promise.
The seed He planted brought forth the fruit of your mouth. For all the promises of God are yes and amen, not in the world but “in Christ”. We are are hidden “in Christ” see the things that are hidden there that belong to us, because everything He has there, He gave to us. We are joint heir’s.
John 3 says that “we have come to the light to clearly see that what is required by us is done by God”. That the package of the giftings are with Him for the operating of these things to take place not in a carnal way. “Not by power or by might but by My Spirit says the Lord”.
Here is a principle you must understand. We are told that the Kingdom is preached and the violent/aggressive take it by force”. That is what Jacob was doing. With this you are taught to press in. To grab ahold and to attain to all the riches “in Christ”. Can you see that? Then you have eyes to see and ears to hear of another nature. These things are yours.
This is what that means. You challenge Him. This is how you please God. He does not take your challenge as a threat or as disrespect, but gladly as a family member rising up to the challenge, He goes toe to toe. And you couldn’t have a better sparing partner.
And the good thing is that when you go to the Father to take a stand by upholding His word back to Him, He shows you how to do that yourself without Him. That is the purpose for the excersize. or verbal wrestling match, our transformation into Him.
This wrestling with God is orchestrated by Him, for you to realize your new self like His self and to use your tools of faith to overcome all your obstacles on your own. This makes the Father happy that you do what He does. This is what Christ meant when He said “I do the works of the Father” and “it’s the Father in me that does the work”. And “Greater works shall you do because I go to the Father. He said these for our cause and our development for perfection. As James said that “a perfect person is able to bridle their mouth”, and so we do.
The objective of your journey on earth is just this. Just as a family of lawyers or physicians or family business. When they get together for family gatherings and meals to talk about the family trade, the Father is most happy when all at the table are regarded as co-equal, same stature, same confidence snd same authority (Ephesians 4.13). To have a shared importance and talk about the business as equal partners. We too “must be about our Fathers business”. As the boy Jesus was found with the temple leaders questioning them about everything.
This is what our Heavenly Father desires from us, our participation in our shared inheritance. That we know what our full inheritance is and know how and when to use it as being joint heirs of the things of God in Christ.
This have all the Elect, of those who have taken God the Father at His word, and use the things He has said as their own. So much so in fact that an encounter with us could be mistaken as an encounter with Him.
Does this seem a little far fetched or out of reach? Well just look at this encounter John the apostle had in the last chapter of the Revelation. He stooped to worship an angel that showed him those revelations and the angels reply? “See that you don’t do that, for I am one of thy brethren of those who keep the Testimony of Jesus Christ (of those who took God at His word and own it is how we keep it). Worship Him”.
John encountered a glorified saint, a co-equal partner in the Fathers business, doing the work of the Father by cultivating and harvesting word. He was “one of thy brethren and also the one who unleashed the last 7 plagues. Just let that sink in. (Revelation 21.7 -22.9)
And you? Have you set out to “lay a hold of why Christ laid hold of you? Have you heard the full gospel of “the Kingdom of God at hand” as operational and opened for our use and habitation. That even now it’s at hand? Have you set forth to be about the Fathers business. Well today is the day of salvation and tomorrow might not be.
Well then continue to press in for your rightful due. With this challenge comes a name change because this is the new nature and a character change and that’s what we see in Jacobs wrestling match with the angel of God. God rewarded him that night and said “no longer shall you be called Jacob because you have wrestled with God as a man and prevailed. Now you shall by called Israel, because that’s what Israel means”.
After Jacob wrestled with God that night and prevailed, he advanced toward his brother and when he finally saw his brother Esau, Jacob said he beheld the face of God, not as an adversary but a friend and a brother. The whole picture came together. His enemies had been neutralized for him to walk in peace without doubting.
That is the point. We now have no enemies that were not defeated at the cross, except faith. That you learn to believe that. That you do not fear, but believe and trust that the journey and the outcome is secured for His Elect. That most of the obstacles we encounter are when we try to circumvent the plan.
For Jacob, his new name is Israel, and from the Hebrew language means “this one will rule like God”. This is the lesson. To rule like God because you wrestled with Him and prevailed because His work is perfected in you through these skirmishes.
That is what Adam was given from the beginning and lost for all born of him, that is restored to us who are born again of the word and spirit “in Christ” to exude our new nature.
Those who have obtained in the way that Jacob did to become Israel, we are more than offspring of Abraham, but also of the true Israel of God.
The Kingdom of God is at hand, for you to be a part of. Amen
Related article. https://hiskingdomathand.com/2020/12/masters-lords-and-serfs/