And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed – Genesis 32:28 KJV
The story of Jacob is one of the most famous in the Bible and nearly every child going to Sunday School can say a thing or two about him. We will talk about him as a cheater because of the birthright issues between him and Esau. He became know and described by all sort of names.
One can tell that his life was full of troubles. Immediately after he got the blessings in the place of Esau in Genesis 27, he became a fugitive. He had to run to his uncle’s house. Running from one place to the other wasn’t easy for him. From the description of his adventure that we saw in the Bible, we realized that he left home with only a stick. he slept in the bush for days. He also used stones as his pillows. He had to constantly watch his back to be sure no one was coming affter him so we can say he was living in fear.
He got to his uncle’s house and had rest for a short while. He decided to marry his uncle’s daughter and trouble started again in his life. He worked for seven years and was given something different from what he had been working for. In this present day, it may sound like working in an organisation for seven years and all they want to pay you is less than 30% of what you deserve. Unfortunately, he had to work seven years again to get what he wanted.
Jacob had cheated someone and he was now being cheated heavily. The Bible also records that his wages were changed severally. He didn’t get an upward review of his wages. He was getting a downward review of his wages despite having a growing family.
When he was finally instructed by God to return to his father’s house, it was another trouble again. Laban, his uncle, did not want him to leave. It was then he acknowledged that God has been blessing him because of the presence of Jacob. Jacob had to run away and Laban pursued him. The only reason he was not attacked was that God had warned Laban not to touch Jacob.
As Jacob and his family were getting close to his father’s house, he remembered what he started before he left home so there was another potential trouble. he felt Esau, his brother whose birthright he had gotten would still be angry and will have men prepared to fight him. To avert this trouble, he divided his belongings into two and sent some ahead. Had to send some livestock ahead to also appease Esau.
Interestingly, something happened to him just before he got home. In Genesis chapter 32, the Bible records his encounter with God. In verse 27, the life changing question was popped. ‘What is your name?’ He answered, ‘Jacob.’ God knew that his name — all the descriptions that he had been given were the problems of his life. So despite being skillful and hardworking, there was always one trouble or the other to deal with.
In order to perfect his situation, God changed his name from Jacob to Israel. That was the perfection of situations in the life of Jacob. Troubles seized. He didn’t have to run around hiding from one person or the other anymore. He could now rest with his family and not worry about anyone coming after him. The God who brought perfection to the life of Jacob is the one we are crying unto just so that we too can experience perfection. Today, may God perfect every situation that has not allowed you to rest in Jesus name.