24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.
25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.
26 And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"
27 So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob."
28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."
29 Then Jacob asked, saying, "Tell me Your name, I pray." And He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name?" And He blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
31 Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.
Gen 32: 24- 31.
Do not let what others definition and mindset of you define who you are, But rather, perceive of yourself in the same way God perceives you.
Jacob is a name that meant swindler.
What a sad thing it is to be given such a name!
Imagine your parents calling you everyday, swindler, your domineering brother who dominates your life and controls it calls you a swindler. How would you feel?
Jacob probably felt; okay, if you call me a swindler, i will prove to you i will be the deadliest swindler!
But did Jacob really want to do that?
Jacob was described as a child who was quiet and does all the chores, tend the sheep.
He must have been a good boy.
Surely that couldn't have angered anyone!
But he was in a way despised.
He was from the day he could understand, looking at himself as a born swindler.
It is as if today your parents had you at 1 year old, and name you sinner! Wouldn't you feel sad?
To be called a sinner even when you are one of the most blameless person on earth!
Wouldn't you want to prove people wrong?
And when you are at your breaking point, what would you say?
maybe "FINE! I will show you what I am capable of!" ?
And that is what Jacob felt.
And with that he tricked his brother of his birthright.
Not only that.
His mom perception of him, led him to disguise as Esau and to receive a blessing, causing him to really feel that he is a swindler. What do you think is his perception of himself? Obviously, a swindler.
He probably had very low self esteem.
imagine everywhere you go, people address you as loser.
How down would you feel?
For me, i would have cried.
Now, back to the passage.
Jacob was wrestling with God, and he continue fighting.
Until it was day, and there was no winner.
Jacob could have easily given up, but he didn't.
And Jacob was asked, What is your name?
And Jacob replied Jacob.
Can you imagined if you were Jacob and you replied swindler. what is people's first impression of you?
But thank God that for in God everyone becomes a new creation.
And Jacob was called Israel.
Which means, that you have struggled and prevailed.
Struggled with men to prove them wrong on their perception of you.
That was Jacob's new name.
God changed Jacob's perception of himself.
Israel. To struggle and succeed!
And Jacob's socket was touched and he had to limp.
He had to struggle.
But with God, he struggled and prevailed!
For in our weaknesses, God will use it and in it we are made perfect.
Just as the rainbow was a reminder to Abraham, the limp was a reminder to Israel.
So do not let what others think of you from birth till now defines who you are. But let who God calls you to be and what God sees you as defines who you are.