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Don Stewart :: What Does the Name of God Mean?

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Don Stewart

When we used the word "name," it is the way we address something or someone. However in Scripture proper names have significance. Sometimes the same person will have two names.

For example, when Rachel died her son was called, "Bennomi," "the son of my sorrow."

It came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin Genesis 35:18

Jacob, the father, named him, "Benjamin," "son of my right hand."

God's Character Is Revealed

God's name, as revealed in the Bible, is more than a combination of sounds - it stands for His character. God reveals Himself by making known or proclaiming His name or character.

I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD (Exodus 6:3).

We also read in Exodus.

And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion (Exodus 33:19

Scripture also says.

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:5,6).

We Are To Call Upon His Name

To worship God is to call upon His name.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD (Genesis 12:8).

To worship God is to fear His name

If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name - the LORD your God-(Deuteronomy 28:58).

To worship God is to praise His name

Therefore I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing praises to your name (2 Samuel 22:50)

To worship God is to glorify His name

All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name (Psalm 86:9).

It Is A Sin To Misuse His Name

It is a sin to misuse the name of the Lord.

You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name (Exodus 20:7).

It is a sin to blaspheme or profane the name of the Lord

And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord (Leviticus 18:21).

We also read in Leviticus.

Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death (Leviticus 24:16).

God's Name Is Set Apart

To reverence God is to sanctify or set apart His name

This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Matthew 6:9).

His Name Or Character Defends People

The name of God is that which defends His people

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you (Psalm 20:1)

Because Of His Name God Will Not Reject His People

God will not forsake His people for His name's sake

For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own (1 Samuel 12:22).

Summary

The name of God speaks of the character of God. God's character is shown in a variety of ways through the use of the word name. For example, we find that it is a sin to misuse the name of the Lord. The Bible also says that God will not reject His people because of His name or character.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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