“In days to come, Jacob shall take root,
Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots
And fill the whole earth with fruit.” – Isaiah 27:6
The life of Jacob the patriarch may be taken as a type for understanding the purpose of God for the people of Israel as a nation. Furthermore, it may also be understood as a shadow of Christian life.
The ‘Old Man’ typified by the name Jacob – it says – ‘shall take root.’ It speaks of the necessity of dying. So also the ‘Old Man’ or the ‘Old Nature’ in each of us needs to die and be buried.
In this world we see that human nature tries to preserve itself. We are fine with trying to modify, rectify, or improve the ‘Old Man.’ We simply do not want to let it go. But life in Christ Jesus calls for letting the ‘Old Man’ die in Jesus Christ and be buried in Jesus Christ – as an experience of faith.
In God’s way of doing things, when the old person dies, we are not destroyed but we are made alive in newness of life. So, it is said – Israel, the new man, ‘shall blossom and put forth shoots.’ We are made ‘New Creation,’ in Christ Jesus.
In the incident at Jabbok, Jacob wrestled with God who had manifested Himself. He came out limping, a loser in terms of physical prowess. He became restricted in his physical capacities. But then he also came out a winner in the spirit. He came out with a new name, as a new person, Israel.
And then the purpose of this process is nothing else, but to bear fruit. It is written – ‘and fill the whole world with fruit.’ So also, Christian life is all about becoming a New Creation and bearing fruits for the glory of God.