He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the LORD had said: Israel shall be your name. 1 Kings 18:31 NABRE
Elijah one of the great prophets of Israel challenges King Ahab, the people and the prophets of Baal, a false god. All those he challenges are falling for the rhetoric of the prophets of Baal and ignoring the one true God. His challenge is to have their god send down fire on a sacrifice they have prepared. The prophets of Baal build an altar and prepare a bull calling out for fire to ignite but no fire starts over the sacrificial bull. Elijah mocks the prophets and pushes them further to bring fire from Baal. When it is Elijah’s turn, he builds an altar using twelve stones in honor of the twelve tribes of Jacob, who is renamed by God to be called Israel.
Israel is the name of the chosen people from Jacob’s renaming forward in time. The name Israel means one who wrestles with God. It’s origin is from a time when Jacob wrestles with an angel all night until daybreak and is renamed because he has contended with divine and human beings and has prevailed (see Genesis 32:23-33) Israel is a name that has lasted through many years, today the people are still called Israeli’s and it is the name of the country they have chosen for themselves. The angel is a messenger of God and so it is God who has named Israel. It helps us understand that God is ok with our wrestling with doubt and faith. He wants us to know to be His disciples will require wrestling and convincing. God names the first chosen people Israel and paves the way for people to wrestle with Him daily on a transformation journey.
Do you wrestle with God, day to day? Do you like to prove your faith?God is ok with our wrestling with doubt and faith. He wants us to know to be His disciples will require wrestling and convincing. God names the first chosen people Israel and paves the way for people to wrestle with Him daily. Click To Tweet
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