In listening to the lectures by Dr.Mulholland lately, he’s reminded the class over and over again about the importance of the word “name” throughout scriptures and ancient theology. That we can gain much in our reading of God’s word, if when we see the word “name”, we think of the concept of “nature”. Not nature like taking a walk down the Appalachian trail, but nature as in “it’s God’s nature to be Loving” kinda thing.
Obviously there are verses that this is obviously not meant. Genesis 10:25, “..and his brothers name was Joktan.” Crazy name too, by the way, eh? Good luck naming your son Joktan today. (it means “small”)
But how about in Genesis 12:2, “..I will make your name great…” Makes a lot more of a connection if this is a promise from God to transform the very nature of His people into His own.
Or in 1 Peter 4:16, “If any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this (nature).” One of the natures of Christ we do not consider very often, is to suffer. This verse is more than offering the name of Jesus Christ as a badge to be proud of. It’s declaring that in our suffering, we are connecting with the very nature of Jesus Christ.
And finally, in Revelation 3:12, “If you conquer…I will write on you the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” The words actually begin with a term “if you are conquering”, which meant/means to be living as New Jerusalem citizens in a fallen Babylon world. If we are living toward Jesus and His Kingdom, God promises to transform our very nature toward His own, and toward a resurrected nature. 🙂
It’s tempting to provide more examples like this, but I believe it’s beneficial to whet your appetite, and tell you to go look for more uses of the word “name”. Obviously, again…not every time…but many times it can mean SOOOO much more than what someone calls out to get our attention. May God bless you as you read His Word….and take on His name.