THE NAMES OF GOD IN GENESIS: What's in A Name?
by Dr Gregory Magruder | June 3, 2018
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 06/03/18
"What’s in A Name?"
INTRODUCTION: Names are important. When we know someone’s name, we show we care and that they have value. It suggests that we have a relationship with them. Names identify a person and often reveal who that person is. Parents name a child after a valued family member to honor the relative. Some people are named after famous people to get their child to aspire to greatness. Some names have a special meaning and the parent wants a child to reflect those qualities. For instance, Roy means “king” and the parent wants the child to be strong like a king. Some names are coined to show the uniqueness of the child. Names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We begin a new series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.”
WHO IS GOD TO YOU?
*The name you use for God reveals the way that you view God. How we name him is how we know him. In the Old Testament, names were used for identification and identity. Special meanings were attached to names to reflect the character of the individual (Nabal = fool). Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven (Psalm 148:13).
*God reveals himself to us through his names. God’s names reveal his personality and his nature. We understand who God is through his name. He is not an “it” or a “thing.” He is a being we can know personally. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).
*Knowing and meditating on the names of God helps us to pray better, worship better, and feel safe and secure. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called (Isaiah 54:5).
Who is God to you? What name do you give God?
HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME.
*Jesus’ favorite name for God was Father. Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s
Prayer to address our prayer to the Father. Father denotes a family relationship, intimate care, and personal closeness. The Aramaic form of father is Abba which means daddy. Abba shows the intimacy and care of God for his children. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9).
*We cry “Abba” through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enters our lives and brings communion with God. The Holy Spirit connects us with the Father. We can share with him and have a relationship with him. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…” (Romans 8:15-16).
*The Father is our heavenly father. He is holy, and he is all powerful. We have a caring, loving God who is holy and majestic. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9).
*Jesus said we are to revere and honor the name of God. Hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9). Hallow means “to make holy, set apart to be exalted and worthy of absolute devotion.” Something that is “hallowed” is separate or unique. Jesus is saying we are to pray that God’s name (nature, character, and personality) is to be treated differently from all other names. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9).
*Do you know God as Father? Have you been “born again” through faith in Jesus Christ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
God reveals himself by many names, but first and foremost, he is our loving Father.