Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's in a Name?

The anxiety comes and goes like the weather.  Lately, it's a persistent fog distorting all my thoughts.  My scripture cards have been out often.  These verses I keep returning to:

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe"  Proverbs 18:10.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God"  Psalm 20:7.

While these verses bring some comfort to me, I begin to really think about them as I meditate . . . and I begin to wonder.  Why God's name?  Why is there such an emphasis on "the name of the LORD," instead of just saying, "the LORD"?

It took a child to teach me . . . . or rather a child's Bible study.  I have read before many verses referring to God's name.  We are to call on the name of the Lord, sing praise to His name, exalt His name, ascribe glory due His name, revere His name.  And ultimately, trust in His name.  I've read lists of His names; seen artistic hangings of His names, and found beauty in the titles He carries.  I've found comfort in His names.  But recently as I walked through a study, God What's Your Name?, with The Thinker I began to really ponder what it means to trust His name.  I found that it's stunningly simple.

To know the name of the LORD is to know the LORD. 

Meanings of names have always carried weight with me.  As we were considering names for our children, I would pour over baby books and toss out names that meant "bitter" or "supplanter" or things that I associated with something negative.  I wanted to pass on more than just a pretty sound.

The name of the LORD is even more than that.  Each of God's names essentially defines who He is. 
     Elohim tells us He is Creator
     El Shaddai tells us He is Almighty God
     Jehovah-jireh tells us He is Provider
     Jehovah-shalom tells us He is Peace
     Jehovah-raah tells us He is our Shepherd

As I began to know God's names and read some of the stories around which they are presented to us in the Bible, I began to understand that trusting in the LORD's name means trusting in the many parts of who He is for each and every need I have. 

If I need healing, He is Jehovah-rapha.  If I feel overlooked, He is El Roi.  If I feel lost, He is Jehovah-raah.  I can trust in His name.

"Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." 
~Psalm 9:10

May you know His name.

Seek to know His name through His Word at Internet Cafe Devotions.



Dorie said...

What a beautiful post with such wonderful encouragement.
Thank you for sharing.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Beautiful post! His name is WONDERFUL! :)

Wanda said...

You've given me clarity. When someone knows my name, it's just that a name. It doesn't truly define the essence of who am. However, God is not like that. Wonderful!

gabe said...

I did a Kay Arthur study a few years ago and that was one of my favorite parts of the study. . .how she was always weaving in the names and meanings of God.

Love the sweet photo of your little one praying!

Cranberry Morning said...

Because we can completely trust in Him, because He's the Creator and Sustainer, the Author and Finisher of our faith, blessed be His name!!

lori said...

Doesn't that just OVERWHELM ya??
It does me and combined with that picture of that precious little girl calling Him the name she calls Him by...that is simply awesome!

peace girl!

Missie said...

amazing post and a constant reminder to have child-like faith. Thank you!

Kylie said...

I needed to hear this today. Thank you for posting!

Carrie said...

Lovely, GG! I studied KA's book on this for adults years ago, Lord, I Want to Know You. It was eye opening as I began to pray to see and know Him based on His different names. Blessings to you and The Thinker as you study together!

Maggie S said...

One of my girls names means "compassionate servant".

Thanks for the focus today. I have been wiggin'.

Thanks for stoppin' by the blog.

e-Mom said...

A wonderful post! I've been thinking about studying the names of God too. They do say so much about Him, and they are very comforting.

I read somewhere that "the name" is also synonymous with "the Spirit." When Scripture says "My name is in him," it means "my Spirit is in him." I must do more research on that though.

Like you, we took great care when naming our children. One of them means "sweet speech" and the other is "Christ bearer." That pretty much sums up their personalities... funny how that worked out!

(((Hugs)) e-Mom

Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

I really like how you expounded on the names of the Lord and your ponderings about why the name is so important. The post is more than just a list of the Lord's names. It's an encounter with His characteristics.

Sweet photo, too.


Annie said...

Thank you for the encouragement! I adore the picture of your sweet Little Princess praying.

Anonymous said...

Perfect Post - especially for the season! It is so wonderful that God is so EVERYTHING! And the picture of your daughter praying - simply saying it all!

I used the names for God in my son's 18th birthday prayer. I thought you might like it,too!

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