Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Power of the Name

     Most of us had a nickname when we were growing up.  Some were fun and perhaps, some were hurtful, but often, they reflected some characteristic or trait that others saw in us.  For example, those of us who grew up watching "The Lone Ranger" knew that his side kick Tonto always called him "Kemosahbee".  This was a word denoting respect and meaning "faithful friend" according to the story line.  However, there is no name as powerful or safe as that of our Lord.
       Proverbs 18:10 reads:  "The name of the Lord is a strong tower."  It is in God alone that we find all that we need in this life and for eternity to come.  Throughout Scripture, God is called many names which point to His character and sovereignty. This listing is not complete but contains those which many of us are familiar with:
     Elohim:  God "Creator, Mighty and Strong"  (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33
     El Shaddai:  "God Almighty"  (Genesis 49:24 and Psalm 132: 25).
     Adonai:  "Lord" (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15).  This name for God often replaced YHWH as the Jewish people felt God's name was much too holy to be spoken.
     YHWH, Yahweh or Jehovah:  means "Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4, Daniel 9:14).  This was the name best associated with God and the one He called Himself when He and Moses met in the wilderness - "I Am that I Am".
A strong tower in Heidelberg, Germany
     Jehovah Jirah:  "The Lord will provide" (Genesis 22:14).  God provided a ram for a sacrifice instead of Abraham's son Isaacc in the wilderness.
     Jehovah Rapha:  "The Lord who heals"  (Exodus 15:26).  He heals both body and soul.
     Jehovah Nissi:  "The Lord our Banner" (Exodus 17:15).  God went before His people like a banner when they defeated the Amalekites.
     Jehovah Shalom:  "The Lord is our Peace" (Judges 6:24).  This was the name given by Gideon.
     Jehovah-Tsidkenu:  "The Lord Our Righteousness" (Jeremiah 33:16)
     Jehovah-Rohi:  "The Lord Our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
     Jehovah Sabaoth:  "The Lord of Hosts" (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7)  He is the God of all creation over both earth and heaven.
     Just in these few names we can see that God desires relationship with us.  Through His Word He tells us who He is and what He requires of us.  Furthermore, His names should bring us comfort knowing that He is the completion of all we need for life.  When we are afraid, we can seek our El Shaddai to protect and keep us.  If we have need, Jehovah Jirah is our resource.  During sickness, we can call upon Jehovah Rapha.  However,  God has lifted up the name of His Son that we might come to salvation.
     Philippians 2:9-10 tells us:  "9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,…"  Our Lord Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man, and in Him, we have forgiveness of our sins.
     Dear friends, God has provided for us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and it is found in His name from start to finish.  We have only to call upon Him in earnest prayer.
     When uncertain times come our way, we would do well to meditate on the name of the mighty God we serve.  In Him, we have a faithful strong tower just as Proverbs tells us.  He will never leave nor forsake us.  Therefore, let us put our trust in the One who never sleeps nor slumbers.  Call upon the name of our Lord.

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