Pro 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. KJB
Tag Archives: name
JANUARY 16 – I know thee by name
Exodus 33:17 – I know thee by name
How pleasing is this statement, “I know thee by name.” I am not so good with names. Therefore I make the assumption that others are like me. There are times I walk up someone and re-introduce myself to them. Maybe I have met them once before and a considerable amount of time has passed. How surprised and pleased I am when the response is, I know who you are and then they say my name. I often wonder, what was there about me that caused this person to remember my name. Yet I am completely thrilled that I have been remembered.
There is no reason on this earth for God to remember my name. Yet I have no doubt that He does. In this world where so many people dwell at the present time for God to remember my name is astounding. I remember a story I read about a christian college president and the habit he had. A student that had graduated many years before walked into the presidents office and introduced himself and said I know you don’t remember me from all the students that have passed through these halls. That college president said, I do remember you and he pulled out a book and turned the pages and then pointed to that young mans name written there. That president said you are number 345 and I have prayed for you everyday.
God’s memory is not limited by time and space. From Adam and Eve to the last person born on this earth, God remembers. The Lord told Moses, “ … for thou hast found grace in my sight, … “. When my Lord looks down from heaven, He can call me by name. How comforting that is in a day when numbers often replace names. God loves me and knows my name because of His grace and not my worthiness.
Let us strive to have a worthy name because of the Grace of God.
You got it from your father,
’twas the best he had to give.
And right gladly he bestowed it.
It’s yours, the while you live.
You may lose the watch he gave you
and another you may claim,
But remember, when you’re tempted,
to be careful of his name.
It was fair the day you got it,
and a worthy name to bear,
When he took it from his father,
there was no dishonor there.
Through the years he proudly wore it,
to his father he was true,
And that name was clean and spotless,
when he passed it on to you.
Oh, there’s much that he has given,
that he values not at all.
He has watched you break your playthings,
in the days when you were small.
You have lost the knife he gave you,
and your’ve scattered many a game,
But you’ll never hurt your father
if you’re careful with his name.
It is yours to wear forever,
yours to wear the while you live.
Yours, perhaps, some distant morning,
another boy to give.
And you’ll smile as did your father –
with a smile that all can share,
If a clean name and a good name
you are giving him to wear.
The word name (šēm, H8034) raises a couple of questions. “Why does God give Himself a name?” and then, further, “Why does God give Himself several names?” As for the first question, a name is important because it is personal and enables God (and us) to make contact. Without names, most all communication would be practically impossible.
That second question, however, takes us far deeper. Why is God called by many names? Why isn’t just one, such as God (’Elōhiym, January 7), good enough? We would submit that God’s giving Himself multiple names serves three purposes, purposes that simply could not be served by any one name:
First, God’s multiple names more fully reveal His person. No single name of God could come even close to expressing His full nature, character, and work. That is a major limitation of language. As we will see, each name reveals something new, something unique, something deeper that we have not seen before.
Second, God’s multiple names more fully demonstrate His presence. How often do we really stop and think about the implications of the truth that God is with us? 2Sa_5:10, for example, declares that “David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him,” and as Luke recounts, when Joseph was “sold . . . into Egypt . . . God was with him” (Act_7:9). Without exception, every name of God speaks of His presence with us and the staggering implications of that fact.
Third, God’s multiple names more fully address His people. Anthropomorphism is the ascribing of human characteristics to nonhuman things. Many of us do this with our pets. God has done this very thing, though infinitely deeper. He speaks (Gen_1:3), hears (Exo_16:12), and sees (Gen_1:4). Scripture uses figures of speech when indicating He has a face (Num_6:25), a back (Exo_33:23), arms (Exo_6:6; Isa_53:1), and hands (Isa_14:27). Why does He do this? It is for our benefit, so we, in our limited human understanding, can grasp a little more of who He is and how He reaches down to us. Again, every one of His names underscores His relationship with His people, and no single name could possibly suffice.
Oh, let us rejoice in how God reveals Himself through His multiple names! Without this, we could never even hope to know Him.
Scriptures for Study: What do verses such as Psa_34:3; Psa_69:30, and 1Ti_6:1 encourage us to do concerning God’s name (and names by implication)?