Now Elizabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias after the name of his father Luke 1:57-59;
Names are very significant and important that God did not create anything to which a name was not given. Names are more than marks of identification and differentiation of one person from the other, they are significantly attached to destiny. Experience has shown through the pages of the scriptures that names by which people were called and identified had a very strong attachment to the lives they lived, outcomes of their destinies and how they ended their journey in life. This perhaps was the reason God found it necessary to change the names of certain people with whom He entered into covenant relationship and also determined ahead of time, the names some were to be called which were a prophetic revelation of the lives they would live.
Before the conception of John the Baptist, the angel of the Lord met with Zacharias his father and prophesied the birth and the life the child would live. Not only this, a clear instruction was given as to what name the child should be called. After the birth of John however, a different name was given to him against the instruction of the Almighty God. The child was called ‘Zacharias’ whereas God’s purpose was to have him called ‘John’.
Who gave this strange name? The scripture reveals that the neighbours, friends, family members, cousins etc were the ones who gave the strange name; the name was their idea and initiative. I wonder what the implication of going about with a name different from the plan and purpose of God would have been for John had these people succeeded in establishing the foundation of his life on this strange name!
It is a pity that a lot of people go about with strange names God never intended for them to be called; people around them have succeeded in giving them strange names that are having serious negative impact and destructive influence over their lives.
Jacob was named ‘Jacob’ – supplanter and so he lived until God changed his name; Nabal was called ‘Nabal’ – Foolish and Churlish and so he lived and died! Jabesh was called ‘Jabesh’ – the son of sorrow and so he lived until God changed his destiny; Mahlon and Chilion [the sons of Elimelech] died prematurely in the land of Moab true to the meaning of the names they were identified with ‘Wasting away’ and ‘sickly’!
What negative names have people given to you? What strange identity and labels have people stamped on you? Have people been calling you with unpleasant names like ‘barren’, ‘sickler’, ‘debtor’, ‘failure’, ‘loser’, ‘invalid’, ‘useless’, etc ? Here is good news for you: The verdict of heaven upon your life is not for evil.
‘And the mother answered and said, not so; but he shall be called John’ Luke 1:60
Although there was no evidence of any previous discussions between Elizabeth and her husband, who was at the moment deaf and dumb, as to what name the child should be called, but there was a strong resistance and disagreement from Elizabeth’s spirit against the strange name his son was called. Her protest that the child should be called John was met with hot argument from the family members on the ground that there was nothing wrong naming the child after his father-Zacharias and moreso that nobody in the linage had ever been called ‘John’.
At the point of this hot argument, the family members signified to Zacharias, the child’s father to indicate what name the child should be called. Zacharias asked for a writing material and to the amazement of every one he made the inscription on the tablet ‘HIS NAME SHALL BE JOHN’! This was the end of all argument! Of course it is the father that has the exclusive right of determining what name his child should be called; that is why no one has the right to label you with negative names against the purpose and plans of your heavenly father for your life.
Just like John was the first person in his linage to be named John, God is set to give you a unique and glorious name no one has been called in your family. God is determined to make you a pacesetter, a role model a rear gem to the admiration of the whole world. Never accept any negative name and label, for God says concerning you:
‘And the gentiles shall see thy righteousness and all kings thy glory; and thou shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shall no more be called forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be called desolate; but thou shall be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah; for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married’ Isaiah 62:2 & 4.