How does a person change? Are we doomed to be whoever we are at our most sinful moment? Is change really possible? Is real change instant or gradual or both?

The Bible gives us an answer to these questions through the dramatic story of Jacob.

Jacob was a serial liar who did whatever it took to get what he wanted. He stole his brother’s birthright and blessing through lies and manipulation. His name even meant “supplanter.”

Yet we also know that Jacob goes on to receive a new identity from God with a new name—“Israel.”

Q: What happened to change Jacob from “supplanter” to the one God used to establish the nation of Israel?

A: An encounter with God.