"Then Jacob asked him, 'Please tell me your name.' But he said, 'Why is it that you ask my name?' And there he blessed him. So, Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, 'For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.'"
Why did Jacob want to know the name of the man with whom he wrestled? Why did Moses wish to know the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 3:13)? What is so important about a name?
I struggle to remember people's names. Yet, I know how it makes me feel when they remember mine. However, there is unique significance in One name. Acts 4:12 says, "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Romans 10:13 says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." I suspect Moses and Jacob knew the significance of the Name.
These men in the synagogue had a preconceived notion of what was to occur on the Sabbath. Jesus challenges their ideas with a simple question: "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" This should have been easy to answer, yet, they refused to consider what He was asking. How do my preconceived notions restrict my appropriate response to God's Word or action in my life? Is Jesus angered and grieved at some hardness of heart in me?
Can you imagine the relief the Jews must have felt? The king's edict was to destroy, kill and annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children in one day. Needless to say, this led the Jews to fast, weep and lament as they wore sackcloth and ashes. Yet, Mordecai was right, "Deliverance will rise for the Jews." Now for the Jews, there is light, gladness, joy and honor. A feast and a holiday were declared.
I have never been under such a death threat, so it is hard to imagine their joy in deliverance. However, my statement is not entirely accurate. While I may have never felt as though I was under a death threat, I have been under a sentence of death. Sometimes I forget the judgment of death I inherited from my father, Adam. It is ever-present for all humanity. It was our natural condition until Jesus, our deliverer came.
Jesus, thank You. I deserve what Haman had in mind for the Jews, but You came to deliver me knowing it would bring death for You. Please, always remind me, my life is to be light, gladness, joy and honor because of Your deliverance.
"Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God."
This verse reminds me of Job 40:1-4. Job thought God owed him some answers concerning his present condition. When God did speak to Job, Job's response, from the New Living Translation, is "I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say."
Based on Romans 3:9-18, in verse 19 Paul says every man's mouth should be stopped. We are without excuse. Self-justification will not work.
Father, forgive me for trying to justify myself. Thank You for a righteousness apart from the Law. Thank You for the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.