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What's In A Name?
by Curt Klingeman
05/05/13
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Exodus 34:5-7 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 (KJV).

The Lord declares Who He is through His Name. He reveals His nature by the mention of it. Through His Name, He gives us songs of praise and by it; we are able to worship Him. Knowing His Name enables us to come into a deeper understanding of Who He is and how He looks upon us. It helps us come into the place of intimacy with God, as we come to appreciate Him even more. When we speak His Name, we declare Who He is in One Word. It is synonymous with His ways and thoughts.

In the opening passage of Scripture, the Lord declares His name and reveals some of the things it means. In the Hebrew, “The Lord Almighty” comes from two words. “Lord” is Jehovah, which means the Self-Existent, or Eternal, and is the Name of the Supreme God among the Hebrews. “Almighty” is El, which means the Almighty, or the Mighty One. Nevertheless, “The Lord Almighty” also declares that He is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. It reveals that God keeps mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity (offence against God’s law and holiness [intentional or unintentional]), transgression (rebellion), and sin (misstep, slip, deviation from what God has marked out, or missing the mark). However, He will by no means clear the guilty, while visiting (punishing) the iniquity (guilt) of the fathers and those who follow in their footsteps. Verse 14 also says, “thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose Name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (KJV). This is a small example of what “The Lord Almighty” should mean to us. Just singing or saying “The Lord Almighty” is an act of worship that becomes a song of praise. Similarly, by singing or saying “Jesus,” we are offering up high praise, simply because of all that His Name stands for.

Our names work in similar fashion. When someone mentions the name of another person, those who hear that name have an instant word picture of him. The name declares his physical attributes, character, behavior, and so on. Even if the person is unknown to the listener, he will try to “put a face to the name” in order to picture who the person is. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (KJV). When people say your name, what would come to mind?

The greatest Name of all is Jesus. If you have Jesus, you have a Good Name. If you know and walk with Him, your name will become synonymous with His attributes, even if your past was tainted. While the Lord will give you a new name in heaven, your present name can become new on this side of eternity. 2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (KJV). As you identify with Jesus through faith, His grace is more than sufficient to overcome your past. As all things are new in Christ Jesus, your name will means something new to others as well. Hopefully, you will also allow your name to mean something to new to you!

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