What’s In A Name?
How many names do you go by? You probably do not just have one name but a number of names, nicknames or names that endear you (I am being positive) to certain people. For example at home my wife calls me Honey, and my kids call me Dad. I sometimes wonder what my dog would call me, seeing that we named her Sissy. Outside of the home I get called Mr. Kotchapaw, Mark, Pastor Kotchapaw, Kotch or by strangers “Hey you!”
Names are important. They are a means of self-revelation. They tell people something fundamental about us. What's more, the names people use to address us reveal something about the nature of their connection to us. When we meet someone, one of the first pieces of information we desire is that person's name. The disclosure of the name is the prelude for building a relationship.
In the ancient Near East, great significance was attached to personal names, for they revealed character and identity and signified existence.
“Throughout the Old Testament, God reveals himself to his chosen people through various names or titles—both those that he gave to himself and those that his servants were inspired to ascribe to him or to the place where he appeared to them. These names served to identify and describe God, but they also exhorted God's people to holy living, gave them hope, reminded them of their heritage, and challenged them to continue their pilgrimage of faith.” (Ken Hemphill)
For several Sundays during the summer months we are going to be looking at these various names of God, because we desire to help our people grow in their intimacy with Him, and looking at the various names of God will help us appreciate His character, trust in His leadership and worship Him for who He truly is.
Join us on this adventure. On the back side of this article are some examples of the names of God and the context in which they are found. Why not read through this material as you reflect on Scripture and allow the name of God to prompt your worship and prayer to God?
EXAMPLES OF GOD’S NAMES
When Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, God provided a ram for the offering in Isaac's stead, prompting Abraham to declare that he now understood God as Yahweh-Yireh, The Lord Will Provide (Gen. 22:14).
After God empowered Israel's army to defeat the Amalekites, Moses built an altar and named it Yahweh-Nissi, The Lord Is My Banner (Exod. 17:15).
Upon receiving God's call to be an instrument to deliver Israel, Gideon built an altar and named it Yahweh-Shalom, The Lord Is Peace (Judg. 6:24).
Reflecting upon God's faithfulness through both exhilarating victories and depressing defeats, David called him Yahweh-Rohi, The Lord Is My Shepherd (Ps. 23:1).
At the conclusion of the detailed description of the New Jerusalem, speaking for God, Ezekiel prophesied that the place would be called Yahweh-Shammah, The Lord Is There (Ezek. 48:35).