Jacob. It means “He deceives”. That’s the name he was given at birth, and he certainly lived up to it… from stealing his brother’s birthright to tricking his father into giving him the blessing meant for another, Jacob was a deceiver. Can you imagine being named after your sin? If every time someone called you, it was a reminder of your wretchedness? “Hey, liar… what’s for dinner?” “Oh, promiscuous one… do you need anything at the store?” No, thank you. But there was no escaping that for Jacob. At least for quite some time.
But God… don’t you love those two little words?
Jacob’s life was steeped in sin. He WAS a deceiver… a cheater. But God gave him a whole new identity. After a fateful night of wrestling with God, there’s this…
“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
– Genesis 32:28
There is nothing that we can’t overcome with the Lord. There is no failure so great, no sin so deep, no past so riddled with shame that He cannot bring us through it and give us a new identity. We don’t have to stay mired in the muck of who we’ve been and what we’ve done – because with Jesus, all things are made new. He is calling us to a brand new life… a future filled with hope. All we have to do is receive it – receive HIM.
Don’t let your past keep you from becoming the person He has called you to be. You don’t have to be called by your sin anymore – you can be called “chosen.” Forgiven. Loved. Free.