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Genesis 35 -- Jacob: He shall be called Israel
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The next tableau in the life of Jacob involves two deaths, one birth and a change of name.

Deborah, Rachel's nurse died.

Jacob's name was changed to Israel.

Rachel, the love of his life died while giving birth to Benjamin.

His name is now Israel

He has twelve sons.

It is the birth of the nation of Israel, the very beginning of it. Nearly four hundred and fifty years separates Jacob from the fulfillment of the promise and even more if we were to wait for David's conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of the Kingdom.

Jacob saw none of it.

He lost his wife and his sorrow is passed in silence.

So often God expects us to give and give and give without seeing the fruits of our giving.

It isn't that God is hard or harsh or that he is unjust or uncaring.

The truth of the matter is simple: In God, all our needs are met.

Our problem can be stated thus: we often believe that we are less than human beings and more than the angels.

Less in that we set our sight and the love of our heart on that which is not God and so remain restless.

More in that we tread with great confidence and panache in the Temple of God when the angels cover themselves when in the presence of the Majesty of God.

To be human, fully human is to live in God.




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