“What is your name?”
This is an interesting question to be asked by the angel who wrestled with Jacob. It wouldn’t be that unusual of a question perhaps if he asked him before he wrestled him, but this question came after the struggle. I mean, did this angel think maybe he had wrestled the wrong person? Did he want to confirm what he thought?
Why ask this question now?
The answer became apparent to me after reading a sermon by Ron Dunn entitled “Surprise, It’s God”.
When Jacob answered this question it was more than giving his name that his mother called him or how he would be introduced to strangers, this was a declaration of his character. “My name is fraud” or “My name is deceiver”. It’s as though Jacob was admitting to the Lord that he has been a fraud, not just in name but more so in character. This is a grand confessional statement by Jacob.
Jacob requested that this angel tell him his name. He didn’t, but he did bless Jacob by giving him a new name. Not just an identity, but a new character; Israel.
So, what is your name?