When you hear Israel what comes to mind? The land along the Mediterranean in the Middle East or the those former Egyptian slaves wandering the desert are the typical answers for most of us. But originally Israel was a name for a person.
After wrestling through the night, Yeshua changed Jacob's name to Israel in Beresheet 32:28. In the Restoration Scriptures it reads like this,
And the Man said, your name shall no longer be called Yaakov, but Yisrael: for as a sar you have power with Elohim and with men, and have prevailed.
In other words, you are now called Israel because you have power with YHWH and have overcome. YHWH helps you overcome.
In Western culture names are given mostly for how they sound. The meaning of the name is secondary or not considered at all. But in Scripture names are given for the significance of what they mean. When women like Havah, Leah, Rachel, and Hannah give birth they tell us why they gave their children the names they did. The meaning of their names is significant.
A few name meanings in Scripture:
Yahudah - I will praise YHWH
Eliyahu - My God is YHWH
Yeremiyahu - Whom YHWH has appointed
Eliezer - YHWH helps
Yitzchak - Laughter
Micah - Who is like YHWH
Sarah - Princess
Shmuel - God heard
Moshe - To draw out
Yeshua - YHWH is salvation
Think for a minute the impact of getting called by one of these names. Would your life be different if every time someone spoke your name you were reminded that YHWH appointed you? How could your mom calling, "Come here My God is YHWH," sink that truth into your being? What was it like when people were whispering of Yeshua and literally saying things like "The one doing miracles is YHWH is salvation,"? We can see everyone on this list lived out their name. Sarah is the matriarch of all Israel. Moshe drew the people of Israel out of Egypt. Elijah's God was YHWH.
YHWH renamed Jacob Israel. YHWH chose to call the Hebrews Israel. Why?
Israel literally translates as "YHWH overcomes."
I love that. YHWH overcomes. YHWH overcomes evil. YHWH overcomes religious lies and partial truths. YHWH overcomes my broken nature. YHWH overcomes demonic bondage. YHWH overcomes sin. YHWH overcomes anxiety. YHWH overcomes a corrupt and pagan world.
YHWH overcomes it all.
YHWH calls His people Israel. Not some of His people. Not the ones with a certain bloodline. All of His children He calls Israel. Israel is the family of YHWH. When you accept Yeshua and make teshuvah you are grafted into Israel (Romans 11). He calls you Israel. He reminds you that He overcomes.
Gilyahna/Revelation 2:7 says this:
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach says to the Yisraelite congregations; To him that overcomes I will give to eat of the eytz chayim.
Overcome and you will get to eat from the tree of life. If you have ears--hear that.
Israel is a reminder that we are to overcome this world. YHWH will help us. YHWH overcomes.