Genesis 35:9-10/21: God’s decrees.

“9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel. ” So he named him Israel.”……….“21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.”

God is Sovereign. What He decrees must come to pass. If He says ‘’Let there be light’’ there will be light; if He says Jacob should be re-named ‘’Israel’’ then that’s what he will be called. God’s Word is His work and this understanding should encourage every preacher.

‘’He confirmed the change of his name, Gen. 35:10. It was done before by the angel that wrestled with him (Gen. 32:28), and here it was ratified by the divine Majesty, or Shechinah, that appeared to him. There it was to encourage him against the fear of Esau, here against the fear of the Canaanites. Who can be too hard for Israel, a prince with God? It is below those who are thus dignified to droop and despond.’’ Matthew Henry.

It has been suggested that Jacob is called ‘’Israel’’ in (21) because, in the loss of his beloved Rachel, he showed himself to be ‘a prince with God’. He had such dignity – such governance, rule over his own spirit. Whether or not it is a correct interpretation, it is an engaging thought.