I’ve been rereading the story of Jacob in Genesis 28, 29 and 30, and once again I’m struck by what a fascinating, deeply flawed character he is, and yet God’s chosen instrument to father His people. To me this just proves the truth of the Bible–whereas God might be jealous, He’s sure not insecure. He doesn’t have a problem using imperfect people. In fact at times it seems like He goes out of His way to pick the rottenest apple in the peck. Well, that gives me hope.
About 25 years ago one of my best friends and his wife named their firstborn Jacob. At the time I was quite surprised. Jacob struck me as an old-fashioned biblical name–charming in a way, but quite outdated. Little did I know that Ted and Deb where way ahead of the curve. Suddenly there were Jacobs everywhere and within a few years it had become one of the two or three most popular male names in this country. It still strikes me as odd–it’s not one of those cutesy names so popular today like Aiden, Zander, Dylan or Devin but I know there is some significance to this–something is in the air, but I don’t know what. Ted and Deb didn’t even know that biblical names usually spoke about character or a role; they didn’t know Jacob meant something like “trickster” or “deceiver.” They also didn’t know that after Jacob wrestles with God, the Lord changes his name to Israel because he has “struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” (Gen. 32:28) Well, I don’t see all the contemporary Jacobs petitioning the courts to having their names changed to Israel.
I’m also impressed with Jacob’s waiting seven years for Rachel because it was love at first sight for him. I’d do that. I did it, and maybe I’m doing it again. I waited five years for my ex-wife–for 3 1/2 years nary a glimpse, not a word, not a breath of hope and yet I knew in my bones that she was the one for me, and so I waited. Well, nobody has ever accused me of living in reality. I still get dewy-eyed listening to Ezio Pinza sing “Some Enchanted Evening.” Not that I didn’t entertain myself with a few ladies while I was waiting, I did–but I knew the one I would get serious about. And some might say since my marriage ended badly that it was foolish on my part, but I have no regrets.
Thank you for reading my self-indulgent musings. It was short and thus not too terribly painful.