What’s In A Name?
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, But we will remember and trust in the name of the Lord our God.
In many cultures, and especially in the ancient world, a name has represented the character or another significant aspect of a person. Throughout the Bible, the names of God give us insights into His greatness. For instance, Elohim tells us He is the Creator, El Roi says that He sees everything all the time, Jehovah-Jireh promises that He will provide, and Adoni indicates that He is the sovereign Lord who rules over all. All these names (and many more) are like facets of a diamond, shimmering with the light of God’s power, majesty, and goodness. They reinforce our awe of God and reenergize our faith in Him through the good times and bad.
We tend to trust tangible things that are inherently strong, such a chariots and horses- or possessions and bank accounts. In fact, we often trust in our abilities, our status, our parent’s money, our spouse’s reputation, or a hundred other things before we trust in God. It’s almost as if we try everything else and then realize, “Oh, I could have trusted God!” Precisely.
The psalmist recognized our tendency to trust in powerful things we can see instead of in a God we can’t see. Those things have value, but they also have limitations. On the other hand, God’s infinite love and awesome power- represented by His names in Scripture- make Him our first resort, not our last.
Who steals my purse steals trash….but he that filches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.
William Shakespeare, Orthello
The beauty of being New Testament Christians is that we have only one name to remember- the name of Jesus, for in His name is all the essence of God. Every benefit and blessing from God comes to us through the name of Jesus and we can trust in Him and His name.
The psalmist tells us that there are those who trust in the strength and abilities and might of humans and each of us is tempted to turn to human sources for help first rather than coming to God in prayer. We coin phrases such as “When all else fails, pray” as though prayer is our last resort. I’ve lost count of those who wait until the situation is desperate before they will pray or will ask for prayer. Many attempt to swim the flood until their strength is gone before crying out for the lifeline. Many will be willing to suffer what could have been prevented before they will call on the name of the Lord. We have been given great promises that can be accessed through the name of Jesus.
Now suppose you knew a very powerful person and they said to you,when you go to the bank for a loan, mention my name. Would you not do so? Or suppose your best friend was influential and you needed a job and you had permission to use their name as a reference. Wouldn’t you do so? Quite often we place our trust and hope in people, and the things of this world. Now I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t use available resources or to accept the assistance of those who have knowledge, power and influence. As a matter of fact, Jesus instructed us that if we were wise, we would
make friends with those who have influence. That was the point of the parable of the unjust steward.
But the Bible teaches us to make our first resort the name of the Lord, to run to Him in the time of trouble, and to bring our burdens to Him before we try to carry them ourselves.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs to it and is safe and set on high [far above evil].
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil. It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts] And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can [mere] man do to me? It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in princes. The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!” For He will save you from the trap of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions, And under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a wall. You will not be afraid of the terror of night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon. You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High]. Because you have made the Lord, [who is] my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will command His angels in regard to you, To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They will lift you up in their hands, So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra; The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him; I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never]. “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. “With a long life I will satisfy him And I will let him see My salvation.”
These are a few of the many scriptures that invite us to place our trust and confidence in the Lord.
In this day of fear, unrest, confusion, and chaos, we would do well, especially as the people of God to choose to trust God first, to go to Him in prayer, to seek His counsel and find His comfort, to trust Him with what we do not know or understand, to bring our burdens and cares to Him, believing that He cares for us enough to do what we need done.
So today if you’re surrounded by trouble, call on His name for He said,
“They will call on My name, And I will listen and answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
If you have needs ask for He said, “Whatsoever you ask in my name, it shall be done to you.”
Let us trust in the name of our God.
Dr. John Thompson