Those who know Your name put their trust in You! That verse alone is enough reason to spend some time learning God’s names. But there are others. If you are enlightened, encouraged, and equipped by my writing/teaching, then you are better able to engage! In what? Engaging the Church in its mission is what this ministry is all about. And trusting Him more makes us more suitable for His use.
There’s no preset length for this series. It could thread itself throughout the year. Scripture easily contains enough information on our Father’s names to do that. The series may be just a few posts. Your comments will be helpful!
Life Lessons: No Generic Father
Names have significance. That is especially true in the Bible. Names distinguish one person from another. But what do we most often call our Heavenly Father? We call Him, God. You’ve probably never thought about it in the terms I am about to unfold. But that practice isn’t doing us, or Him, any favors! We need to learn proper names. Why?
My wife and I grew up together. We were in the same class at school. When we began to date I learned some things about her family. Like many others, they had a family dog. What was the dog’s name? They called him, Dog. For whatever reasons, they took the generic designation for what he was (a dog) and turned it into a proper name: Dog.
Are there gods? Yes! The Romans had their gods. The Greeks had their gods. These gods had statues and idols contructed in their honor. Most people today are too smart to bow down to an idol. But bow they do. Today’s gods are just as false as those idols and much harder to see. They are the gods of:
- Sex, etc., etc.
It is very evident we have a concept of a god. But how do we address Him? Most often we refer to Him generically, just like that family pet. We just capitalize the G and make that His name. Is He God? Yes! But the more we know of His proper names the more we know Him as a Person and/or Personality. And the more we know of Him the easier it will be to trust Him. And the more we trust Him the greater our joys in life!
Life Lessons: Names Have Meaning
Just a quick review of Scripture will show us names matter. Ephesians 3 tells us we have all been named by God! Notice:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name…
In Biblical times, it was always the responsibility of the father to name the child. It symbolized the relationship between the father and the child. The father was to be the guide, provider, teacher, and protector. The child lived in submission to the father. In our Father’s view, that hasn’t changed. Might be a good place to take a note!
Keeping with that thought, Who named Jesus? It was God the Father. He told Mary and Joseph what His Son’s name would be. Why? The name was connected with Jesus’ destiny: to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Did Jehovah name others?
Saul was saved on the road to Damascus. Shortly thereafter, his name was changed to Paul.
The Creator named Adam. Then, Adam named Eve because it was his God-given responsibility to do so. Eve means mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20).
Abram was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5). Abraham was to be the father of many nations.
In Genesis 17:15 we see Sarai’s name (princess) was changed to Sarah (noblewoman). She got a promotion!
In Genesis 32:28 Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. He went from supplanter/trickster to God prevails. That’s a big change!
Life Lessons: God Has Named Himself!
Just those few examples show us Jehovah intends meaning in a name. If He has named Himself, and He has, then it would surely benefit us to unpack the meaning of His names! Each of our Father’s names unpacks for us some of Who He is and the things He wants to do. Our Creator is not into random and you rest assured that applies to His names. His names are very intentional. He reveals names to us that will help us love Him (Greatest Commandment), encourage our worship of Him, and cause our faith and trust in Him to grow stronger.
To those ends, I hope and pray you enjoy this series!