What’s in a Name?

Read: Genesis 32:22-32
roseWhat’s in a Name?

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Gen. 32:27 (NLT) “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob”.

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1.      Jacob was on his way to meet his brother Esau, who had cheated him out of his most precious possessions. Jacob now feared Esau.

2.      Jacob sent gifts ahead of him to appease Esau.

3.      Just as Jacob sent all of his possessions across the Jabbok River, leaving him all alone (v.24), Jacob met and wrestled with a “man” with no name.

4.      Jacob was persistent and wrestled this “man” all night, just to receive God’s blessing.

5.      The “man” renamed Jacob, “Israel”.

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Markie, Dad, and Padre are some of the names I have been affectionately called.   Mr. Brewer and Coach are names students have called me, at least in my presence. After 31 years, my wife and I call each other, “My Love”.  However, there are wives who call her husbands “Idiots”, and husbands call their wives, “old ball-n-chains”. Name calling never heals. Names can also be a consequence of our relationships.

Much like what Oz told the Tinsman, “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” What I am called by others, is more important to me. Some children call their dads, “Sir”.  My oldest child once said, when referring to me, “He’s not a man, he’s Daddy”. That simple expression, blessed me beyond measure. A man is supposed to provide for his family and fix things, but a Dad is one who listens and loves his children unconditionally.  Our perfect Father listens and loves His children unconditionally. Our Father just wants a relationship, no strings attached. The blessing comes from within having that personal relationship with Him. How shallow it must be, to just need a Father to “fix” and provide us things.

God looks on our hearts, and still calls us His Children. Not by what we can do for Him, but because He is the perfect Father. Yes, names are important because they do identify relationships.  Saul was renamed Paul, because of his new relationship with God. Jacob was renamed Israel. Perhaps the best question for me is, if God was going to rename me, based on my current relationship with Him, what would be my name? What would He call you? What’s in a name?

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Loving Father. Your name is above all other names. Someday every knee will bow at the sound of Your name. Help me to fully understand Your word and have a closer relationship with You. That is why… in Your name I pray, Amen.
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