July 5: What’s in a Name?
I’ve heard it said that the most boring parts of the Bible are the “begats”: “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son… and called his name Seth… And Seth… begat Enos… And Enos… begat Cainan…” etc., etc., etc. (Genesis chapter 5) Then there are more boring lists of names throughout the Old Testament history books, ancient people we don’t know who fought with David, built the tabernacle, or served in the worship of the Lord. When we are diligently reading through the Bible, admittedly, it’s tough not to yield to the temptation to skip these chapters so we can get to the good parts.
Let me challenge you by saying, “Not so fast.” Since “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…” Second Timothy 3:16 (NKJ), consider that God had a reason for moving His authors to include these lists. For example, First Chronicles chapter 26 tells us of the gatekeepers and the men over the treasuries of dedicated things in the tabernacle. From time to time, certain men were not only named, but were given descriptions.
• Of Obed-Edom, it is said that “God blessed him. (verses 4-5)
• Of Shemaiah, Obed-Edom’s firstborn and his line, it is said “they were men of great ability.” (verse 6)
• Then again of all Obed-Edom’s family the passage proclaims they were “able men with strength for the work.” (verse 8)
• Zechariah the gatekeeper was known as “a wise counselor.” (verse 14)
• The Hebonites are called “capable men.” (verse 31)
Blessed, having great ability, displaying strength for the work, wise, capable: these are all amazing, complimentary descriptors. Skipping over the chapters containing all those names would have caused us to miss the fact that our names can cause God to have good things to say about us. What’s in a name? When our name comes up before God, is there anything associated with it that would cause God to single us out and describe us in a positive way? I am certainly hoping that when God thinks of my name, Sharon, He readily adds a positive comment like “Sharon, a woman who lives out the life I purposed for her”; or “Sharon, producer of work that glorifies Me.”
But we don’t have to guess about what God adds to our names. He has said of us, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people… called… out of darkness into His marvelous light… the people of God… (those who have) obtained mercy” First Peter 2:9 (NKJ). Do what I did: place your name in front of each of those phrases for an immediate uplift:
• Sharon, part of a chosen generation
• Sharon, one of a royal priesthood
• Sharon, a member of a holy nation
• Sharon, God’s own special person
• Sharon, called out of darkness into His marvelous light
• Sharon, a woman of God
• Sharon, having obtained mercy
What’s in a name? Since our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, all God has said about us, is true of us. Worship God today as the One who has named us and who speaks well of us when He thinks of His children.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,
Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Also still available:
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)