Sometimes I wonder why Jacob is still such a popular name for boys. Probably most people don't know its meaning and are ignorant of the earliest famous Jacob. Jacob bin Isaac was almost vicious in his deceit. Sure, he was put in a rough situation when he lived with his Uncle Laban, but is that any excuse? It seems that he felt he had gotten a rough shake in life (for which he had only himself and his mother to blame), and he was bound and determined that he was going to get the upper hand, no matter who got hurt in the process. Revenge, greed, deceit--can you find a worse role model, a worse namesake?
Yet God saw something in Jacob. Before Jacob was even born, God chose him to be the father of a nation. Sure, he gave him a better name (well, maybe), but God chose him and kept him even while Jacob was doing some pretty nasty things. Maybe I'm no Jacob, but I've done my share of deceiving, even self-deceit. Maybe God can still use me too.