Prince Who Limped, Pt 6 – God’s Plan

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Prince

In the last article, we looked at destiny and what it means. Each of us is born with a destiny. At a minimum, that means that God has designed a purpose or destination for our life.

Some people believe that destiny and fate are the same – that their destiny/fate is sealed and irresistible.  But my personal opinion is that our destiny is not irresistible. God has set it as a destination that we have the ability to reach – if we make the correct decisions.

It seems clear that in order for Jacob to fulfill his destiny (become the patriarch of the 12 tribes of Israel) HE had to make some changes. Before Jacob could lead the great nation that God had promised (Gen 28:14), he had to learn to follow.

Until Jacob submitted to God, he could never be the great leader that God intended. Jacob demonstrated his inability to follow God in the bad choices he made:

  • He deceived Laban, leaving without telling his father-in-law/uncle (Gen 31:20)
  • He tried to pacify Esau rather than trust God to manage the reunion (Gen 32:20)
  • He submitted to Esau as a “servant” (Gen 32:4) when the prophecy (his destiny) said “the older [Esau] shall serve the younger [Jacob]” (Gen 25:23)

God wanted Jacob to make some changes in his character. He asked Jacob his NAME. Biblical names often represented a person’s character. God already knew Jacob perfectly (including his name) but He wanted Jacob to admit that his character was true to his name.

The name “Jacob” meant supplanter, usurper, struggler, heel catcher (behind) and those are the character traits that Jacob demonstrated. All of his life, Jacob had been a deceiver and supplanter.

Miriam-Webster defines the word supplant, “to supersede (another) especially by force or treachery.” Jacob stole his brother Esau’s birthright through deceit & treachery (Gen 27:22-29). He deceived his father-in-law Laban & manipulated situations to take Laban’s wealth for his own (Gen 31:1,20,21).

When the “man” touched Jacob’s hip and he could no longer stand on his own – much less continue to wrestle – he leaned on the man (God). (Compare the man’s statement “let me go.”) It was at that point, when he stopped trusting his own strength and began trusting in God’s strength, that his name was changed to Israel. The name means “God prevails.” “For as a prince hast thou power with God” (KJV).

A prince has no inherent power but derives power from his relationship with the King. Hence, since God prevailed in this struggle, Jacob/Israel also prevailed as a result of his new dependence upon God.

Question: Are you stronger when you depend upon your own strength, or when you trust in the strength of God?

2Co 12:10  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Series Navigation<< Prince Who Limped, Pt 5 – Jacob’s DestinyPrince Who Limped, Pt 7 – Bless Me! >>
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About Ray

Ray Waldo is a retired pastor with a passion for sharing knowledge, understanding and (if possible), wisdom with everyone he meets. Prior to his retirement, Ray served as a local pastor and teacher to five different churches in two states. He also served as a short-term missionary, teacher, and crusade speaker to groups in Mexico, Kenya, Uganda & the Democratic Republic of Congo (while Congo was still in conflict). Ray is also a widely recognized teacher, writer and public speaker. He was the top-billed speaker to groups of over 10,000 people when he visited Africa. He is currently writing two books (online) that he expects to be published within the next two years.

2 thoughts on “Prince Who Limped, Pt 6 – God’s Plan

  1. I really enjoyed reading this study on the prince who limped. Another similar story of (struggle..which ultimately ends with God winning) that comes to my mind is Jonah. I appreciate how God uses “situations” to keep us where we need to be in our walk with Him. Sometimes its a limp..or we may find ourselves in the belly of a big fish (figuratively or literally). Its funny how it takes situations like these to get our attention, but I am thankful for the way He loves us enough to allow us to learn our lesson…or at least He gives us an oppourtunity to learn..then its up to us to choose (our free will). God is so good! Thank you for the work you put into this site..look forward to reading more in the future.

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