I have been reading Genesis the past few days, and I noted something that seemed significant. Further, I was a bit stunned by the fact that I missed an echo of Christ in the Old Testament, a foreshadowing of the glory to come. The thing I noted was this: God changes the names of the people that He encounters (and on occasion, makes Covenants with). In Genesis He re-names Abram (Means: Exalted Father): Abraham (Father of a Multitude) after he makes the Covenant that establishes the Nation of Israel; He renames Jacob (He Cheats): Israel (He Strives with God -or- God Strives) after wrestling with him in the dirt (That passage is odd, does anyone else think so?? Focusing…) From what I recollect from some (regrettably) brief commentary work concerning the significance of names in the Old Testament, it seems that names are indicative of identity and are in some sense prophetic. It seems interesting then that encountering God in rather personal and intimate ways means a change in name: a change of identity and a change of destiny. This is a seemingly un-profound thought. But when I was reflecting on it in light of the New Covenant, it blew my mind.

When we encounter God through Christ, he gives us a new identity: Christ’s (the Son of God!) in exchange for our former identity of Slaves to Sin; he also gives us a new destiny: Heaven instead of Hell. That is a profound shift.

My next thought is, what ought that mean for my life? I think it would be profitable to take some time and reflect on how my identity and destiny has changed, and if the differences do not seem obvious, examine whether I have actually encountered God. When I do see the changes, it seems appropriate to worship God in Thanksgiving for the marvelous work he has done. Perhaps at some point I will post on this, but for now, I would encourage you to consider the work that God has done and is doing in your life.

Am I right in thinking this to be significant, or am I just overawed by an unimportant detail?

Grace and Peace.

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