WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 35:1–10
“Who is God?” To help you answer this question, take a look through the Bible for names God uses to describe himself.
In our culture personal names do little more than distinguish us from each other. But in Scripture names not only identify a person, they also describe the character and essence of that individual’s nature. In the case of many of the Old Testament’s characters, naming carries special significance. And that’s also the case with God. God revealed the names that describe him, rather than allowing his people to choose names for him.
Who is God? Look at his names. Scripture calls him, among many other descriptors: the Strong One, the Most High, the Everlasting, the Holy One, the Light, the Lord, the Provider, the Merciful, the Awesome One, a Prince, a Savior, a Sanctuary, a Shadow from the heat, a Shelter, a Sun and Shield, a Sure Foundation, the Alpha and Omega, the Ancient of Days, the Author of Peace, the Sovereign, the Bright and Morning Star, the Creator, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, the Hope of Israel, the Holy One of Israel, Yahweh, King of kings, Lord of lords, Master, Defender, Fortress, my Rock and my Shield, my Redeemer, my Protector, my Father, the I Am, the Amen.
God’s names reveal his perfect and eternal authority and power.
Yet he stoops to meet us where we are. Just when we need him most, when our lives spin out of control, when we desperately search for hope, meaning, peace, purpose and direction, this God—the One who embodies all of these names—comes to us. We can, as the ancients did, encourage each other and “strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come … to save you’” (verses 3–4).
What “names” describe us? Selfish and ungrateful? Fallen and sinful? Weak and helpless? Blind and deaf? Lame and mute? Yet the vast, wonderful, awesome, great and powerful God comes to redeem us. What could be more incredible?
To Take Away
- What name immediately comes to mind when you think of God?
- When was the last time God met you in a moment of weakness and need?
- Read again through the list of names for God mentioned above. Which name means the most to you personally?
In Other Words
“Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded.” —J. I. Packer
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.