“Giving names to things is a way of knowing them and seeing them as well.” — Allen Lacey
I heard this in a class once. Researchers showed a battery of images to individuals who had one eye covered. The covering of a certain eye interacts with the memory. If the individual knew a word for an object flashed before his eyes, he could remember it. If he didn’t have a word for the object, he didn’t remember it.
The researchers’ conclusion? We need a name to know.
“In the beginning was the Word …”
He gave us names to know him and his actions.
6823 times from Genesis to Malachi, God is referred to as Jehovah, the self-existent one, I Am Who I Am.
He is El, mighty (Genesis 28:3). He drives out nations before his people. Jesus drives out demons. He says he is El Shaddai (Genesis 17:1), the entirely sufficient One. He provides old man Abraham with a son. Paul recounts God telling him, “My grace is sufficient for you …” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Moses calls him Adonai, Master (Exodus 4:10). He orders Moses to act as he desires, and Jesus commands wind and waves to act as he wishes. Abraham calls Him Jehovah-Jireh, God the Provider (Genesis 22:14). He sends manna to the Hebrews in the desert, and Jesus provides food for five thousand.
God says he is the Healer, Jehovah-Rophe (Exodus 15:22-26). He heals a widow’s son through Elijah. Jesus heals lepers, restores sight to the blind, and sends the lame out walking. David says the Lord is Judge (Psalm 9:8), and God says judgment belongs to him alone (Genesis 18:25). Jesus says God gave him judgment (John 5:22).
Moses called him Zur, or Rock (Deuteronomy 32:18). Jesus said his teachings are a foundation like rock for a person’s life (Matthew 7:24).
Gideon says the Lord is Peace, calling him Jehovah-Shalom (Judges 6:24) after the Lord promises it in verse 23. Jesus gives the disciples his peace (John 14:27).
David calls him Eyaluth, his strength (Psalm 22:19). God tells Paul, “My strength is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Hagar called God, El Roi, the One Who Sees (Genesis 16:3), because he’d seen her sadness. Jesus told Nathanael he’d seen him under a fig tree, far away (John 1:48).
Isaiah says God’s sign will be one whose name is Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:4). Jesus says, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).
Isaiah also calls God savior, Yesha (Isaiah 43:3). Jesus saves Peter from drowning (Matthew 14:28-31). And why not? His name, Y’shua in Hebrew, tells us Jehovah is salvation.
What do you call Jesus?
How do you know him in experience?
What do his names mean to you?
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