And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations – Exodus 3:15

The Bible shows us quite clearly that God is very interested in the meaning of names. Hence, He changed the name of Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many), and Jacob (deceiver) to Israel, meaning a prince etc. However, you’d notice that even after changing Jacob’s name to Israel, he still introduced Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Why still the God of Jacob, since He had changed the man’s name to Israel? After all, He didn’t say, “I’m the God of Abram,” but “the God of Abraham.”

The reason is that God was at the time concerned about the attitude of Israel as a nation. The people of Israel at that time acted in a manner that wasn’t consistent with God’s will for them. They acted in a way that depicted them as not different from other nations, and whenever they so acted, He called them Jacob. However, when they acted according to His Word, He called them Israel. Israel means a prince of power with God, whereas Jacob means swindler or deceiver. Thus, in saying, “I’m the God of Jacob,” instead of Israel, He lets us know that irrespective of Israel’s behaviour, He was still their God, and remained faithful to them.

It reveals something about the character of God: He’s faithful to us even when we’re not. He doesn’t change His character because of your character and behaviour. Whether you act like “Jacob” or you act like “Israel,” His Word concerning you is steadfast: He has loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3); He’s already accepted you as His very own (Ephesians 1:6). He doesn’t turn His back on you just because you erred.

God’s promises and blessings are not for you because you have acted like “Israel”; they’re yours because you’re in Christ. However, He expects you to be steadfast and unmovable, with unshakable faith in His Word.

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I thank you precious Father, for your unwavering faithfulness towards me; I’m safe and secure in your eternal love, confident that you’ll never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you for being my ever-present help in time of need; I love you with all my heart, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Further Study: Romans 11:29; Isaiah 54:10