Genesis 35:9-12

9 Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him,

“Your name is Jacob;
You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”
Thus He called him Israel.

11 God also said to him,

“I am God Almighty;
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,
And kings shall come forth from you.
12 “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And I will give the land to your descendants after you.”

This was either a flashback, or Jacob’s new name hadn’t stuck the first time. Jacob meant heal-grabber, and his name was a bit of a weight around his neck. But Israel was a father of nations. It was a new lease on life, and a reward for following God’s instructions. This was also a reminder of the promises that God had made to his father and grandfather, and now to him also. A similar thing happens when we let God come in and change our life. We don’t necessarily get a new first name, but we are now called Christians, which is Christ-like. Let us live up to our new name, and the new life that is born in us.

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