Coming back home

A new revelation to the Patriarch Jacob
Gen 35:9–15

The Lord appears to Jacob in the new circumstances and new stage of his life. Jacob is coming back home after his escape and after years of work in foreign land, after his reconciliation with his brother. Jacob is now independent, father of a family, wealthy leader of the community.

God gives him confirmation:
- for the blessing Jacob now receives not by fraud and not by fight.
- for his new name Israel meaning: "God will fight".

God reveals now his own name to Jacob, which he didn't do before. Jacob is now ready. They are now open with each other. The revealed name is El Shaddai – the Mighty one. It is the same name that was revealed to Abraham and to Isaac, Jacob direct ancestors. This God deserves to be trusted. He was with Jacob on his way (Gen 35:3) as he promised him in the beginning (Gen 28:15).

As a result Jacob is now a new man, able to listen to the first commandment: "Be fruitful and grow" (Gen 1:28; 35:11). He is ready to hear God's promise about great community and the land.

For reflection:
In what ways was God present in the different stages of my life?
What is the name God gave me: who am I for him?
Does God demand great things from me?

9 Aug 2011
Niko Bilić SJ