What is your Name? Who are you?

When Jacob wrestled with God (Genesis 32:30, 32, Hosea 12:4-5), he clung on to God and would not let go of him unless he was blessed. To this, God responds and asks for his name. God asked “What is thy name?” Jacob answered the question and said that his name was “Jacob” which means supplanter or deceiver. To this God replied and rechristens Jacob saying that “you will no longer be called Jacob, but instead you shall be called Israel, for as a prince you have power with (not over) God and with man and have prevailed”. To this Jacob asks God, what is your name. I pray that you tell me your name. Instead of answering that questions as God did, by saying that he is the “I AM”, when Moses asked the same question, God counter-questions him asking “Why do you ask for my name?” and then proceeds to bless Israel there.

From this account, we can learn a few things.
God wants us to acknowledge who we are. The omniscience of God would not have required him to ask for Jacob’s name, yet he did. Until then, Jacob, the deceiver had fooled his father by telling him that he was Esau, to rob Esau of his blessings. Now, he was in a predicament where he could not lie to God, the Father of all (Ephesians 4:6), and he acknowledges and accepts who he is (a deceiver), that he is Jacob. So the first thing God does is not remind Jacob of who he is, but instead rechristens him and gives him a new name, likening him to be a prince. Other scriptures substantiate the rechristening act of God. Abram was rechristened Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Saul was rechristened as Paul and when Simon recognized that Jesus was indeed the son of God he was rechristened as Peter (“Rock”). Additionally, we learn that right after God rechristened Jacob to be Israel, he blesses him. In other words, blessings succeeds rebirth/rechristening.

Points to ponder:
When we accept our sinful state before God, the Father, and confess of our unworthiness of his mercy as Jacob did (Genesis 32:10), he gives us another name (Isaiah 65:15), a new name (Rev 2:17), one better than that of sons and daughters (of men) that is everlasting (Isaiah 56:5), as children of God (1 John 3:1), one that is designated by God himself (Isaiah 62:2), As children of God, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, we are prince and princesses. God’s  name (Rev 3:12). God’s name is I AM (Exodus 3:14) and Jesus said before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58). Jesus is God and the Lord is his name (Hosea 12:4-5).

Before man had sinned, blessings preceded naming (Genesis 5:1-2). Now in the fallen state of man, because of man’s sin and disobedience, blessings follows rebirth, that happen when one acknowledges their sinful state and accepts the Lord Jesus (),

So the question that demands an answer now is Are you rechristened by God? What is your name? Who are you?

Genesis 32:27-29 (KJV)
27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

What is your name?

Genesis 5:1-2 states that on the day that God created man (both male and female) in his likeness, he blessed them and called their name Adam. If you notice the sequence of God’s action, God first blessed the man before he gave them a new name. Blessings preceded naming.

In the Bible, there are only three accounts of the phrase ‘new name’. The first instance is in Isaiah 62:2 which reads “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” Here it is extremely clear that the new name is given by the Lord himself to those whose righteousness is evident before ordinary men and women, who are not part of God’s kingdom (Gentiles) and even before rulers/government (kings). The second instance of the phrase new name is given in Revelation 2:17 which reads “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” In this instance, the new name is given to the one who overcomes. But what is this new name that is given to the overcoming person whose faith is expressed in action and evident before men? To answer this, we need to go to the third instance in which the phrase “new name” is mentioned and that is in Revelation 3:12 which reads “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Again, to the overcomer, is this new name promised and this is Jesus speaking, since it is his revelation (Revelation 1:1). Jesus says that the new name that will be given is the name of God and the name of his habitation (city) and his own new Name – the Name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9).

Points to ponder:
God blessed man before naming him. God named his new creation in the day of his creation. When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are made a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is the real date of our creation. And upon our new creation, we are blessed by God for Ephesians 1:3 avers that the Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Now if we have been born again (made a new creature) and have been blessed because of our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, we ought to overcome i.e., we ought to let the Lord rule over our lives so that we are holy and blameless in love (Ephesians 1:4). Though, to be holy and blameless is an impossible task by our own human efforts, we can be of good cheer, because when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are imputed his holiness and blamelessness (righteousness) and we can overcome since he has overcome (John 16:33). So, now the question that begs an answer, is “What is your name?” In other words, is our faith expressed in action for the world to see God’s righteousness imputed on us and are we overcomers, so that Jesus’ own new name can be given to us? What is your name?

Genesis 5:1-2 (KJV)
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (KJV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.