What Is In a Name?

By Jody Peterson
Office Assistant & Special Events 
What is in a name, each of us have at least one, most in Canadian culture have 3…a first, middle & last, then there are nick names or pet names, and each has a different use and application.
When you think about it we all have several names, my first name Jody is a from my Mom’s name, Judy. My middle name Lynne is for my grandmother Lillian and Holmes was the surname that my dad gave me which identified me as belonging to the Holmes family. When I got married, I took my husbands name that identified that I had become part of Peterson Family.  Then there are nicknames such as: my family calls me Jo, when I was a kid and I had gotten myself in trouble I would cringe hearing “Jody Lynne Holmes”

In the Book of Proverbs 22:1 Solomon puts it like this, The Value of a Good Name: A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Our name, to the world, is our identity, when we produce our official identification the first thing that will be looked at is our name, it often goes before us and as we become known in a community will carry our reputation & identity along with it. The reason we spent so much time picking names for our children is because a name speaks to identity, and identity is a big deal. Who are you? Who do you associate with? What are you known for? What family/organization/workplace etc. do you belong to? Do we want to name them after a family member, friend even celebrity that we look up to and admire?

You may have noticed that there are many different Names of God through the Bible and each one speaks to a different character trait and part of His multidimensional personality and nature. It is these names and traits that we can call on, and depend on because they are who God is. These names carry power and when spoken over your circumstances and needs, or just in prayer to glorify and celebrate who God is are powerful. Just a few of these are:

El Roi - The God Who Sees - Genesis 16:13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” God sees all, even those the world would call insignificant and unworthy. Hagar was a slave girl, mistreated and abused, but God still saw her.

El Shaddai – All Sufficient Lord God Almighty - Genesis 17:1  When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. God promised that Abram/Abraham, who had no children would be the father of many nations, at 100 years of age. It is interesting that it was at this time, with this promise that God changed Abram’s, name to Abraham, forever changing his identity.

El Elyon - The Most High God – Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. God is the MOST HIGH, there is none HIGHER, no king, no president, no one on earth who has existed or will ever exist will be exalted higher than GOD! There are times when our life situations or circumstances can seem bigger, loom larger than God, but He made all, sees all, knows all…Psalm 68:1 He is lifted high and His enemies are scattered. When we hold Him high, place our eyes, thoughts and focus on God, all circumstances contrary to His word are scattered.

Adonai - My Lord, Master - Psalm 16:2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.”

Yahweh - Lord, Jehovah - “He Who Makes That Which Has Been Made” or “He Brings into Existence Whatever Exists” This Name of God appears in over 6800 times in the original Hebrew Bible. He is the beginning of all things, the maker of all things, the Lord over all things that are, that were and that will be.

Jehovah Nissi - The Lord My Banner – Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love. Banner in the Bible is defined as a large flag or worked with embroidery and beautifully ornamented, a signal-flag, not carried about, but stationary and usually erected on a mountain or other lofty place. During battles as soon as the banner was seen the war-trumpets were blown. The Bible tells us that when we belong to God, his banner is over us and this marks us as His!

Here are some more for you to research:

Jehovah Raah - The Lord My Shepherd
Jehovah Rapha - The Lord That Heals
Jehovah Shammah - The Lord Is There
Jehovah Tsidkenu - The Lord Our Righteousness
Jehovah Mekoddishkem - The Lord Who Sanctifies You
El Olam - The Everlasting God
Elohim - God
Qanna - Jealous
Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Will Provide
Jehovah Shalom - The Lord Is Peace
Jehovah Sabaoth - The Lord of Hosts

Names of the people and things in creation are important to God as well, in Genesis 2:18-20 God gave Adam the honour of naming all of the animals and the Bible tells us that one day God will give each of us a new name. Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” & Isaiah 62:2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name.  the name that He has chosen for us and will be ours for eternity.

Psalm 147:4 - He counts the numbers of the stars; He calls them all by name.
Names are so important to God and important to us, so wear your name well,  and ask God who He says you are, who He sees you as ... we are His children, His workmanship, which of His  wonderful traits do you carry? 

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