“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” (Genesis 32:28 NLT).


Jacob got a new name after wrestling all night with God. The name “Jacob” means “grasping the heel” or “pulling the leg.” It was given to him because he was born grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel at birth. Perhaps we get the cliche, “you’re pulling my leg,” from the story of Jacob tricking his brother out of his birthright and blessing.
But God changed his name to “Israel,” which means “one who prevailed with God.” God gave Jacob a new name and a new identity. He went from being the schemer to the spiritual founder of the 12 tribes of Israel. Along with his new name, God caused him to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Ironically, God pulled Jacob’s leg until it popped out of joint. From that day forward, Jacob began to learn to lean on God rather than his own scheming.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you that you gave us a new name and a new identity when you saved us. We are no longer far from You but near. We are no longer strangers but sons. Help us to put off the old nature and to continually put on the new, which is ours in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.