2019-04-01 On This Day In History

I learned something today. As you all know, it’s April Fool’s Day. I try pranking people from time to time. Sometimes it works, but mostly it doesn’t. I did learn something today about the origin of this day that I didn’t know before. It actually started with a bill passed in the US Congress in 1903 when a clever couple of Irish representatives passed a spending bill to fund a study for gas-less cabbage. Of course, they meant it for a joke, but it passed both houses and made it to the President’s desk. Apparently, Herbert Hoover wasn’t to be fooled. He was a man who loved cabbage and all that went with it!

Now you know the rest of the story!

There was another “deceiver” in the bible – Jacob. In fact, his name, from what I’m told, means just that! As we see in scripture, Jacob indeed earned the name he was given at birth. How would you like to have been given a name to describe your besetting sin? Mine would have been “Sot” rather than “Scott.” What would have yours been?

Jacob was given another name, Israel, after his encounter with God. “Then he said, ‘Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.’” (Genesis 32:30) I’m not sure what all that means, but I do know that a little later, Israel got rid of all the foreign gods in his household (Genesis 35:2).

We do see the bible interchanging Jacob and Israel after that. It’s not that the one name replaced the other. In fact, there are places both names are used in the same passage. I guess the same is true for us. We have a new status, but the old hasn’t been erased from everyone’s memory. Nor should it. It is a good reminder of who we are and the transformative power of Jesus.

Father, thank you for liars. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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