Tuesday: 9th July, 2019
Reference text: Genesis 32:22-32
Genesis 32:27,29 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
A number of videos posted on Facebook these days highlight the subject of ‘people versus police’, where some people when stopped, stand firm within their rights by refusing to provide any personal details such as a name or address unless an acceptable reason is provided for the stop.
I don’t think I am etiquette savvy enough to know what the protocol is when someone asks for your name, but I guess it’s a personal choice whether to tell them or not. That may be debatable but nonetheless, we see two different responses to the request for a name in the text today. While Jacob did not even blink to provide his, the ‘man’ with whom he wrestled wanted a reason from Jacob for asking for his name.
We could very easily say ‘come on, he just asked for your name’, yet a reason was sought. That is a key point as it turns our attention to the multitude of reasons Jacob could have for wanting to know the name of the person who had pronounced this blessing upon him: To have memory of the man who had just attempted to cheat in their fight? To remember the person who had just changed his name or just to make a new acquaintance?
The response offered to Jacob suggested to him: ‘You don’t need to know my name, you just need to know what I have done’. My dear, something we may encounter in life is a desire to etch the names of some people into memory. Those people who have made big contributions or who although may not have done anything huge, the little they did changed the course of our lives for the better. Like Jacob, some of those names we may never get to know, but we can always treasure their deeds deep in our hearts.
Sweetheart, you won’t always need to know a name to be appreciative of the impact someone has had in your life, Live your life to show this appreciation.
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