What’s in a Name?
by Linda Mershon
July 3, 2017

In Bible times and years gone by, people would give their children names in conjunction with their characteristics or circumstances surrounding their birth. For example, in Genesis 25:24-26 the account of Esau and Jacob’s birth was given.  Esau came out red and hairy and he was given the name Esau which means “hairy.” Jacob came out holding onto Esau’s heel and was given the name Jacob which means “heel holder” or “supplanter” which is what Jacob did to Esau, both in birth and life.

God also gave some very specific names.  He gave Jesus His name in Matthew 1:20-25.  Jesus means “Jehovah is Salvation”.  He is also called Emmanuel in Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14 which means “God with us”.  Both were given to say who Jesus really was.  He is the Savior and He is God.

Yesterday, while reading my Bible, a verse stood out to me.  It was Proverbs 18:10 and says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe”.  It says we can run into the name of the Lord and be safe.  How do we do that?

Well, as I mentioned a name represents who we are.  In Exodus 34:5-7 it says, And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”  God proclaimed his name, and He gives us His attributes.  He did this in response to Moses’ request to see his glory in Exodus 33:18.

So God’s name is associated with who He is.  All His characteristics and all His goodness. We can run to the Lord and be safe.

Our name also says a lot about us.  What do people think of when they hear our name?  Do they think of a godly person, a selfish person, a worldly person only concerned with the things of this world, a trustworthy person, a person of great integrity, or one who is unfaithful and on whom you cannot depend?

Think about it and determine with God’s help to have a good name. Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”