HEAVEN’S OFFER: A LIFE OF ADVANTAGE!


William Andrew Dillard

Enduring and mighty lessons spring from what many may see as strange and perplexing events in the Old Testament. Such is the case of the patriarch Jacob wrestling all night with an angel as recorded in Genesis 32.
In context, Jacob was returning from Padam-aram (modern Iraq) with his wives, children, livestock, and substance to his parental homeland. He was under a death threat from his brother, Esau who sold Jacob his birthright, but was extremely angered when Jacob engaged in trickery to actually obtain it. News had come to Jacob that Esau was coming with hundreds of armed men, so he assumed the worst and implemented a cunning plan of appeasement to preserve life and achieve peace. 
Moreover, in the long night before meeting his brother, Jacob is said to have wrestled with an angel until the dawning of day. Refusing to release hold on the angel until he should be blessed, Jacob was given his blessing, and with it a change of name to “Israel.”
“Israel” is a composite of two words: “Sara(h)” “prince(ss), royalty, possessor of power” and “El” “God”; hence, one who has power with God and prevails. This new word became the name of the patriarch from that day forward. Moreover, that name was transferred to the aggregate of his offspring, the Hebrew people who were the Old Testament people of covenant with God, and through Whose power they prevailed often against impossible odds. They had a real advantage (inside track) with God, But it was not after the flesh, but of God’s choosing.
Today, the homeland of the Jewish people is referred to as Israel, but what made that name significant, the presence and power of God, was withdrawn upon their final rejection of their Messiah Who said of them, ”Behold, your house is left unto you desolate…” Luke 13:35.
Jesus had come not only to pay the sin penalty for mankind, which men could not pay, but to bring His covenant people out from under the dispensation of law into the marvelous New Covenant of Grace. A remnant did so follow the Lord, and He also graciously incorporated the nations of all who would believe and follow Him. Hence, the beloved apostle Paul tells us that the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ is “the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:16. So long as the grace of God is extended in this dispensation of time called “today,” men have the blessed privilege of being a part of that Israel, “One who has power with God and prevails, even His people of the New Covenant.” Do you have an obedient and talking relationship with God? It really is an advantage of blessings both in time and in eternity!

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