Labeled At Birth

“After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.” - Genesis 25:26
 
 
Whether we realize it or not, there are a lot of traumatized people around us. There are a lot of traumatized Bible-carrying, churchgoing, cross-wearing Christians around us. These are people who deal with pain, hurt, and emotions from the residue of their past. That was the case for the Jewish patriarch, Jacob.
 
Many believers who study the Bible have long believed Jacob to be a bad guy. It is what we were taught in Sunday School. It is what we have heard preached, and it is what all of the commentaries say about him. They say he was a trickster, a liar, a cheater, and they say that about him because that is the meaning of the name his parents gave him.  
 
The name Jacob means “trickster, deceiver, one who supplants.” They said his evil character was confirmed when he conned his brother Esau out of his birthright, and with his mother, tricked his father Isaac into doing the same. He must have certainly been a bad guy, so they say. If you read his story from Genesis 25-32 and listened to what the religious tradition said about him, you would probably come to the same conclusion: he sounds like a pretty despicable guy.
 
But is this view of Jacob’s character flawed? According to Genesis 25:26 the text says, “After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.” That is all he did! Within minutes of him coming into the world, people in his own family interpreted the actions of a child in the most seditious way possible and put the label on him, naming him “trickster, one who supplants.”
 
Now, I don’t know about you, but I would hate to be labeled for something I did right out of the womb. And yet, so many of us are judged the same way. They say first impressions are everything, that within a matter of a few seconds, someone has already subconsciously labeled you. But that does not mean their labels define who God called you to be! We will dive further into this tomorrow, but just know, child of God, no one can label you and tell you who you are but the One who created you!
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