And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Genesis 35:10
Names have meaning. Names are associated with ideas and feelings.
If someone came to you and introduced himself as John Hitler, you would wonder about any relation to the German dictator.
Jacob meant supplanter, which means to take the place of (another), as through force, scheming, strategy, or the like. Indeed, he lived his name from birth.
Israel means God contended and comes from Jacob’s wrestling with God (Gen 32:22-32)
Many others in the Bible had a name changed: Abram, Naomi, and Peter quickly come to mind.
What others think at the mention of your name says a lot about you. Your name carries an idea and feeling. You are the one that controls what others think and feels about you.
The Bible says a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1
Your name is more important than money! You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have a good name, it means nothing.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Notice it is the very name of Jesus when every knee bows and every tongue confesses He is Lord. He doesn’t need to show up – just the mention of His name will do!
Today when you hear the name “Israel” you do not think of a man called Jacob but of a people and a nation that has existed for thousands of years through struggles, wars, and immense bigotry and hatred.
What happens at the mention of your name? Remember, you’re in control of it.