Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Who ya gonna call?

What's in a name?

Perhaps one of the first things you think about when we are waiting for your child to make his or her entrance into this world is the perfect name. What’s in a name really? Most soon-to-be parents read baby books to find the perfect name; others are more traditional and decide to use family names. 

In Biblical times, names were thought to reveal the essential character and nature of a person. Here are just a few examples from scripture:
  • Adam: means “man” or “human”
  • Eve: means “to breathe” or “to live”
  • Abraham: means “the father of many”
  • Sarah: means “lady” or “princess” (Gen. 17:16 NIV “the mother of nations”)
  • Isaac: means “he laughs” (see Gen. 21:6)
  • Jacob: means “he grasps the heel” (a Hebrew idiom for he deceives – see Gen 25:26
  • Israel: God contended (see Gen. 32:28)
  • Peter: means “rock” (see Matt. 16:18 and John 1:42)

I couldn’t help but think about the names of God as I read through the first few verses of Psalm 31 this morning. As you will see from the scripture below, David recognized God as his refuge and deliverer.

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” (Psalm 31:1-3)

In this Psalm, David cries out to God because he wants Him to stop those who are unjustly causing problems. David is making his request based on God’s name or character. David knows God loves him. Here he realizes he can run to God for refuge...a safe haven...protection from the "world" around him.

Throughout scripture God reveals His character and nature by His name. I have included a few of them and given scripture references so you can spend some time learning more about God and his character.  (Research taken from www.blueletterbible.org)
  • El Shaddai - Lord God Almighty, the All-Sufficient One – Scripture reference: Gen 17:1; Gen 28:3; Gen 35:11; Gen 43:14; Gen 48:3
  • El Elyon - The Most High God – Scripture reference: Gen 14:18; Gen 14:19; Gen 14:20; Gen 14:22; Psa 57:2; Psa 78:35
  • Adonai – Lord, Master - In the Old Testament Adonai occurs 434 times. There are heavy uses of Adonai in Isaiah (e.g., Adonai Jehovah). It occurs 200 times in Ezekiel alone and appears 11 times in Daniel Chapter 9. Adonai is first used in Gen 15:2.
  • Jehovah-Raah - The Lord My Shepherd - In the Old Testament Jehovah-Raah (The Lord my Shepherd) is used in Psalm 23. Other scripture references: Gen 48:15; Gen 49:24; Psa 23:1; Psa 80:1
  • Jehovah Rapha - The Lord That Heals – Scripture Reference: Exd 15:26, Jer 30:17; Jer 3:22; Isa 30:26; Isa 61:1; Psa 103:3
  • Elohim – God, Judge, Creator – Used over 2,000 times in scripture, Elohim first appears in Gen. 1:1
  • Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Will Provide – Only appears once in Gen. 22:14
  • Jehovah Shalom - The Lord Is Peace – Only appears once in Judges 6:24

So, where are you today? Do you find yourself in the midst of a crisis and need to call on El Shaddai or Jehovah Shalom? Perhaps you’re wondering how you’re going to make ends meet until your next paycheck? Maybe you or someone you know just got an unfavorable report from the doctor.

May I encourage you to call on the only name you can trust...He will meet you wherever you are.

Psalm 121 (CJB) If I raise my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come? My help comes from Adonai, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — your guardian is not asleep. No, the guardian of Isra’el never slumbers or sleeps. Adonai is your guardian; at your right hand Adonai provides you with shade the sun can’t strike you during the day or even the moon at night. Adonai will guard you against all harm; he will guard your life. Adonai will guard your coming and going from now on and forever.

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