More than just a name change happened with Jacob after wrestling with God all night. The first time God appeared to Jacob (Genesis 28:13-22), he placed conditions on their relationship. Jacob's attitude was “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God." (Genesis 28:20-21)
Before the night Jacob wrestled with God, he positioned his family between Esau and himself as protection. The next day he placed himself between Esau and his family. He humbled himself before them all. His also humbled himself before God by accepting His name change to Israel and declaring God to be the God of Israel.
Father, thank You for changing those You choose. May it be evident You are God, God of Roy.
"And he said to them, 'To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables.'"
The Greek word translated "secret" is mysterion. Obviously, the English word mystery is derived from this word. As a matter of fact, the ESV uses this word 27 times in the NT, and only four times is it translated secret. It is most often translated as mystery.
In Colossians 2:1-3 Paul says, "For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." So to be given the secret, the mystery of the kingdom of God, is to be given Christ Jesus.
Lord God, what an excellent gift. Thank You for the mystery of Your Kingdom. Thank You for Christ.
"Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them."
How many times in the Bible does "the reverse" occur? There are so many; I am sure you have your favorite. Mine is found in Ephesians 2:4-5. After Paul describes in the first three verses what is true of all the descendants of Adam, He says, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved."
"No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."
Have you ever wondered how to increase your faith? This passage says Abraham's faith grew strong "as he gave glory to God."
Father, like Abraham, I want my belief in Your promises to bring You glory. Holy Spirit, please quickly remind me in those times when my faith wavers to glorify God, entirely convinced He can do what He promises.