David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Jacob Called Israel

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In Germany this month, a family won their legal battle to change their six-year-old daughter’s name from Alexa to something else (undisclosed). Alexa is the name and activation word used by Amazon’s Echo device. Children and even adults would “tease” the little girl by saying her name and commanding her to do things. One man accosted her on the street and said, “Alexa, dance for me.” Lauren Johnson, founder of the I Am Alexa Alliance, says, “The whole thing is a step beyond ‘normal’ teasing and bullying. It’s identity erasure…. The word Alexa has become synonymous with servant or slave,” she says. “It gives people a license to treat people with the name Alexa in a subservient manner.”

When Jacob had sent his family and servants across the Jabbok River, he remained alone on the near bank. A mysterious figure appeared and wrestled with him all night, and when he saw he could not overpower Jacob, he said he had fought with God and prevailed. He who could perform such a feat deserved a new name, so the man changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means one who wrestles with God.


  • When have you wished you could change your name or something else about yourself?
  • What steps have you taken on behalf of someone who was being bullied or harassed?
  • If God were to give you a new name, what might it be? What would you wish your new name to be?

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2, 3 & 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Spread the word

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