God chooses whom He wills:
- Abram – “Go forth from your country…to the land which I will show you…And I will make you a great nation…” Genesis 12:1-3; 18:17-19
- Isaac – “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son…and I will establish My covenant with him…” Genesis 15:2-4; 17:19-21; 18:10, 14
- Rebekah – “…may she be the one You [God] have appointed for Your servant Isaac…” Genesis 24:12-27, 44, 50-51
- Jacob – “Two nations…two peoples…the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23
God gives them a new name:
- Ishmael – Genesis 16:11
- Abraham – Genesis 17:5
- Sarah – Genesis 17:15
- Isaac – Genesis 17:19-21
- Israel – Genesis 32:27-29
Like the Lord Jesus Christ, Isaac and Ishmael were both named before birth. However, the other three individuals were each given new names by God to show His patience and kindness. As humans, our lives are packed full with a lot of baggage. We all have a past filled with bad decisions and unforgivable sins.
Nevertheless, God steps into the midst of the mess. He never leaves us to continue in our own way of destruction, but is actively involved in transforming our entire way of living. He remakes, reshapes, and renames us as children of the Most High God and perseveres diligently on our behalf. Thanks be to God our Savior!
For Further Study, Read:
Old Testament: Genesis 25:19-34; 26:34-35; 27; 28:1-9; 32:24-32
New Testament: Romans 9:6-16; Galatians 4:28; Hebrews 11:20; 12:14-17