Today, Israel is acting like Jacob — caring for the things of God, but seeking them by their own abilities in their own strength, rather than by the Spirit of YHVH, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac. (Gen 31:42; Zech 4:6)
Jacob received his new and spiritual name, Israel, only after he had struggled with the Man all night, the night before he would meet again his brother Esau after deceitfully obtaining the birthright and blessing from their father Isaac. (Gen 32) Jacob knew from early on in his life that the covenant of God with his father and grandfather was something of great value. Esau did not care for such things of future destiny. He cared only about the present moment.
Jacob had struggled with his uncle Laban; with the knowledge that his brother wanted to kill him and deprive him of the inheritance which he himself (Esau/Edom) would never inherit. Now Jacob, hoping to find favor in Esau’s eyes — hoping that he might not kill him, and allow him to live peaceably — was rightly fearful. (Gen 33)
Jacob met ‘the Man’ — who was Peniel/The Face of God — and struggled with Him all night. Jacob would not let Him go until He blessed him. The Man, whose name is Wonderful, gave Jacob — who acknowledged his name as such — a new name: Israel, meaning “He will reign with God”, or, “God will reign”. (Gen 32:28;and reminded again at Gen 35:9-12)
Israel will reign with the God who reigns after he has persevered in the continuing struggle with man and God . . . and prevails when she at last sees Him whom they have pierced, and all their sins are forgiven and put away. (Zech 12:10-14; Rom 11:25-36) Then, the natural strength of Jacob will be forever broken — as typified when The Man merely touched the socket of Jacob’s hip, laming him for the rest of his life as a reminder — and in their weakness and dependence upon their God, Israel will know His mighty ability and strength, who could have overwhelmed him. (2Cor 11:22-30; 12:7-10; Mt 26:30-35,69-75) Both Peter and Paul are given to us to learn the way of the cross as we follow the Lamb. Thank God for His grace!
Israel has been given as an example to the Church. The God of Jacob (Gen 3:13-15; Acts 3:12-13) works His redeeming glory in Christians just as He does in the Jewish people. Not all Israel is Israel; not all the Church is the Church — but those, like Jacob, who overcome — by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Not by ability, nor by power, but by the grace of our God. And we will rule and reign with Messiah Yeshua! (Rev 12:10-11; 2:24-28; 3:19-22)
Our struggle and tribulation with man, with nations, within families, with history, with God will go on until the end, just as Israel’s and the Jewish people. (Mt 24:9-14) Let us press on in faith in the goodness of our Father, and His exceedingly great and precious promises which He has given us through Jesus, enduring, so that after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise of the resurrection and eternal life. (2Pt 1:1-4; Heb 10:3239)
Psalm 129:1-5 A song of ascents
‘ “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”, let Israel now say — “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth; yet they have not prevailed against me! “The plowers plowed my back; they made their furrows long.”
YHVH is righteous; He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked. Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. . . .’
Praise the Lord!