It is not face value.
It never was and never will be.
God is a very meticulous ,He does things through his creation and although they are subtle they can be very significant in it’s meaning. God is just that way. He doesn’t use a hammer to get his point across.
It is also the way He tells his story in his people. It is here where I think that maybe we have become lost in the story when we continue to look at things at face value at when, why, who, where things are accomplished at God’s work.
The man called Jacob, is just the thing to explain this misconception that goes on. It actually starts even at the very beginning of the story too.
But we will use Jacob for this example because it is very crucial to the rest of the scriptures.
We have all heard the saying in the police shows “we have changed the names of the people involved to protect the innocent”. God in this case has done just the opposite, “He has pronounced the guilty of their real names to put them in HIS story!”
Let me explain, haven’t you noticed in the scriptures of old that to distinguish people or men that He has changed their names. Think on it, it will take your breath away when you realized that all through the old testament that He was changing or elevating ‘characters’ in his story to be used by him.
Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Simon to Peter, Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul and there are others. This is important to remember throughout the story of God.
God’s desire to have his characters stand out from the crowd are important to see in telling the story, It was to be God’s way of getting his story told thru them. It was like producing a list of God’s people that were going to be in the play.
Now it is with Jacob that it takes a turn. Before in God’s use of changing a person’s name, He changed it still in a ‘singular’ way. But when He changed Jacob’s name it became ‘plural’, Israel. It became a ‘people’.
This is actually apart of the bigger picture of the story, but for now we will concentrate on this emphasis. God’s changing of the name of Jacob to Israel was a big clue in the direction that God was telling his story. It was actually a reference to Adam (who was to be the beginning of his people), the new name was to be the new character in God’s story.
It is with this new name change that signals a new direction for God, He now will be using his people (Israel) as the new lead character in the story. They will be used as the example of what God wants in this story.
The actual way that Jacob receives his honor of him being the ‘one’, is in itself a whole other change in transition for God. But a good one!
The significance of this transition of God’s story is key to telling the rest of the story in the new testament, which we have failed to use in our ‘seeing’ the storyline.
This is important part of the story to ‘see’ under the whole story that God is telling us and we must remember it through out the story.