Part Two

"And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob." (Genesis 32:27) Jacob's a pretty common name nowadays. I know two and have a cousin. I find names with inherent negative meanings an enigma. His name essentially means "deceiver". The implication is, "heel-catcher". So-named as he had grasped his brother Esau's foot on the way out the womb. Bringing the fight to the surface, so to speak. But think about it in light of changing established norms and paradigms in service of someone who has a greater thing in mind than what came before. I would say the Romans 8:28 rule of God working "all things together for good to them that love Him" comes in to play. And so, the angel, after struggling for a while (you gotta know he would've won had he wanted) renames Jacob Israel. A new name for the reward of fighting with God. Chambers refers to this scene in the negative indicating it's not wise to fight with God. And I'm inclined to agree. However, sometimes setbacks are so, so deep rooted in us, that in order for us to vault over them, we must "come boldly unto the throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16) in so uncompromising a manner, that God is forced to do something about it. Jacob was allowed to see and touch the angel in the above case. I would speculate that since Jesus came and left bodily, the same needn't be said for us. In other words, don't let yourself get discouraged because you can't see God with your eyeballs. I digress.

"The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?" (Proverbs 18:14)

This verse runs through my mind quite often. Nearly everytime I see someone infirmed or convalescing. It helps me as I feel my heart go out to them. I feel for them but it's not necessary, honestly (?). Those who have a physical handicap, I would say more often than not, want to simply be seen as normal. There's a cutoff to pity. But look at Jacob. He trades his severe inferiority complex for an outward physical handicap. The angel changes his name and also touches his thigh. I wonder about this. I mean, how come we can't go through life and have all our attendant problems and issues solved once and for all? Because we'll forget God, honestly. I don't know if you've ever been shown your own blindness and pride, but I can tell you hell is a lot closer as such. The wound in whatever form, keeps us from falling off the edge. Jacob both got what he wanted and what he needed. And how does this effect Ephraim and Manasseh?

"And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them." (Genesis 48:8-9)

The duality and the disparity runs through Jacob's lineage like a common thread. Jacob, now Israel, proceeds to sew up the...bifurcation of his life story by taking his right hand and blessing Ephraim (the son of Joseph to Jacob's left) with the blessing he had to be crippled to receive and that he never gained through natural, firstborn means. I suppose my point in all this would be that God supersedes one plus one. I remember talking to a fellow churchgoer who also happened to be a mathematician. I asked him to explain to me the assertion that two plus two might not equal four. Told him I saw an essay once and that I was hard-pressed to slog my way through it (paraphrase). He very simply and succinctly told me by way of analogy and parallel that two lines will become one at vanishing point. And I got it.

Only God can alter the outrageous impossibility of a life on rails to nowhere from the beginning. I don't know how else to say it. The inward (read: spiritual) and outward (read: physical) dualities were met in Jesus and all is right with the (your) world. Best to appeal to Him as soon as possible because the fork will indeed affect whatever we do and whomever we influence.

Multiplied By Itself

Part One