Fresh Hope – 31st July 2018

There’s a guy in the Bible whose name is Jacob. The name Jacob means two things; heal grabber and deceiver, and during his lifetime, Jacob lived up to both of these names.

Jacob was a twin. His brother Esau came out first, with Jacob following, grasping at his heel. During this time, there was great significance attached to being the firstborn in a family.

The firstborn would receive both a birthright (a larger portion of inheritance) and a blessing.

As these brothers grew older, Esau would end up trading his birthright for a bowl of stew, made by his brother Jacob. He would sacrifice something of long term importance for something of short term satisfaction…

Then, sometime later, Jacob would deceive his father, Isaac, and wrongfully take the blessing due his older brother, Esau. Now he had both the birthright and the blessing and ended up going on the run for 21 years to avoid the consequences.

One day, Jacob had an encounter with God, in which God changed his name from Jacob (heal grabber and deceiver) to Israel, meaning triumphant with God. This was a truly beautiful moment in the life of Jacob…

Many more years then went by, Jacob by this point had passed away and the Israelites that had come through his family were now in slavery. A man named Moses came to God and asked Him how He would like to be introduced to the Israelite people. And this is how God responded; “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.'” (Exodus‬ ‭3:15‬)

Now I’m thinking, if I were God, surely I would want to attach my name to Israel, not Jacob… After all, Israel was Jacob’s good side!?

But here God wanted to paint for us a picture of who He really is…

God wanted you and I to know that He’s not only the God of our successes, but of our failures. He’s not just the God of our good side, He’s the God of our bad side and ugly side too.

This God that I’m talking about wants to associate Himself with you, no matter where you’ve been and what you’ve done.

He wants you to know that His love is proud to be seen with you and that His name will gladly be connected to yours.

I’ve got great news for you today – He’s the God of Jacob, which means He’s the God of you too.

Caleb Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.