DISABILITIES AND ROYALTY
"Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel" Gen. 32:28
The centrality of this chapter to the account of Jacob is recognized. In these words we have a revelation of the real meaning and issue of the night, of struggle through which he had passed. Everything depends upon a right understanding of the contrast between these names. Jacob literally meant heel-catcher, and so supplanter. Israel is a compound of two words, Isra, which means ruled, and El, the name of God, and so means Ruled-by-God. This was the discovery made to him that night, and that discovery constituted God's victory. Jacob had contended with men and had prevailed. That had been the account all through, and the effect of his successes upon his character had been that of making him self-reliant, and in that measure forgetful that these very successes had resulted from the fact that all his life was arranged and ruled by God. That was the lesson he had to learn in order that he might be delivered from a self-sufficiency which must inevitably have ruined him. That explains all the account of that night. God crippled him to crown him, revealed his weakness to teach him the secret of strength, and defeated him that he might find victory. His cry, "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me," was not the strident cry of a man compelling a reluctant God to yield to him; it was the sobbing wail of a man casting himself at last at the feet of a God seeking to heal him (see Hosea 12:4). From that day he halted in his walk, and that halt was the obvious of his NOBILITY. Whatever others thought of it, he knew it was the abiding sign of God's victory, and that he was a man ruled by God. How often apparent DISABILITIES are the signs of ROYALTY, and so of ability!