“Remember these things, O Jacob,
And Israel, for you are My servant;
I have formed you, you are My servant,
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.” (Isaiah 44:21
It is puzzling how so many bible teachers and pastors avoid ‘Israel’ as a seriously relevant and integrated topic for strong biblical faith.
The church is famous for making over-the-top, all-conquering proclamations only to end up fizzling out and looking silly.
It seems we often have more faith in our own powerful, positive declarations than we have in hearing the voice of God and humbly responding according to His divine wisdom and guidance.
God said many times, He will never forget Israel and yet the people of today, who profess to serve Him, ignore His priorities.
God Himself is shut out of church plans and goals while man-made policies take over. Submission requires that He is Lord and to be united one with Him, we must seek Him with all our heart.
When my father taught me during my childhood, when he said some item was an important factor for me to engage, then we worked on it together. As I remember there were consequences when I ignored him.
God the Father has a special interest in Israel and throughout the entire bible he repeats that this should be something we investigate, appreciate and embrace for our own benefit and certainly for His divine plan.
Imagine ignoring the way of the Lord and creating a church, which relies on worldly methods and takes guidance from pastors or elders without reference to the Word of the Lord.
Consider Isaiah 43: 1 “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!’”
If God is committed to the Israel-redemption process, how can it be that church leaders, bishops, pastors, priests and bible teachers ignore the fact?
Can it be the Lord who wept over Jerusalem, is now weeping over a disobedient bride? Why would His church seek to deny the Lord His inheritance?
Israel is His portion. “For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.” (Deut. 32: 9)
Isaiah connects Jacob and Israel as one and the same thing.
The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names describes the meaning of the name Jacob = He will supplant; he that supplants; he that follows after; a heeler; one who trips up; supplanter; a detainer.”
The name Jacob means ‘the one who trips up’ and yet he is chosen by the Lord to be a patriarch of Eretz Israel. In fact the Lord changes the name Jacob to Israel after they wrestled together.
It may be you can relate to Jacob. He was the son of Isaac and Rebekah and the brother of Esau. He was a trickster. We might even consider harsher words to describe him like deceiver, but despite his flaws Jacob was blessed.
Sometimes the Lord blesses so graciously that it challenges our way of thinking. When we consider the character of Jacob we may be shocked at the way God blessed him, even naming him Israel.
Israel means “he will be a prince with God; prince with God; contender of God; he strives with God; soldier of God; God will rule; God ruled man; ruling with God; one that prevails with God.” (The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names)
He has come from an identity which includes deceiver, trickster and manipulator to be prince with God even one that prevails with God. By divine choice Jacob becomes the Israel who strives with God, who will be ruling with God and ‘one that prevails with God.” Surely this is a study Christians will find worth doing and a topic worth understanding.