Jacob Contends with the Lord, Gustave Dore
And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,[ Israel means He strives with God, or God strives ] for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.
I was surprised Jacob is considered to be a Prophet of God.
That's My King, described by Dr. S.M. Lockridge
Jacob could not shake God from his thoughts. Jacob is labeled as a thief today, and stole Abraham's grandson's blessing from his older twin. Jacob believed in the blessings of God. It cost him his home, to be put out during his father's deathbed, and put him on the road back where Abraham came from. He learned what being cheated felt like, from his Uncle Laban.
His son was taken from him, and his other eleven sons covered up. He believed, as he left his promised land, because of famine and better opportunity - God's Promise would have to continue another way.
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
How can we tell Jacob was prophetic? He believed the promises of God - he left Israel the land behind. Seems an unlikely conclusion.
After all Prophets are people who wrestle angels and thunder for God. And Jacob is packing to leave the promised land - you would think he would stand and fight to stay - this is the promised land! Prophets are fighters!
Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God's camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
Mostly, Biblical reactions to angels are stunning fear. Here is Jacob - making camp. And there is a cost to getting this close to God.
24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Yet Jacob leaves the promised land, because of famine and a better offer from a long lost son.
Jacob, painted by Harry Anderson
Jacob was not running away. He believed God was so infinite - if He'd wanted the family in Israel - He would have provided there. So where is the prophetic portion of Jacob's life?
29 And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” 31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.
All the blessings are listed in Genesis 49. We see Israel forgave his sons and the Scriptures do not record an apology from them to their father. Jacob acknowledges some of the difficulties as he forgives and blesses them. That forgiveness is a mark of someone close to God. He lived with Joseph's death for many years. I'm sure he wondered if he'd been a good enough, protective parent. And he still forgave them their cruelty.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
And more importantly, Jacob felt completely certain, in his difficult life, he had godly blessings to bestow upon his sons to be felt for generations. Jacob believed God and this is counted to him as righteousness. These blessings, today, influence the world we live in. Jacob believed in the Word of God for His promises. He was willing to contend with God for His blessings. And God - was more than willing to be there for Jacob.
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29 Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.