The Power of God's Names
As you explore the richness contained in the names of God used in Scripture, you will learn to trust the Lord's goodness, rely on His promises, and live in His abundance.
Taken from The Power of God's Names Copyright ©
2014 by Tony Evans. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. www.harvesthousepublishers.com.
Used by Permission.
What’s in a name?
A lot. Especially when we talk about knowing God through His names. Getting to know God by His names is more than simply learning a new word or discovering a new title He goes by. Learning to know God by His names opens up the door to knowing His character more fully and experiencing His power more deeply.
In Scripture, God reveals Himself to us through His names. So to fully grasp the significance and power of God’s names, we first need to understand the importance of names in ancient cultures. In Old Testament times, a name was more than simply nomenclature. Rather, it revealed important information about the individual or thing itself.
A name is so important in biblical settings that Scripture frequently mentions God Himself changing someone’s name to reflect a new reality. Abram, which means “exalted father,” was changed to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude.” Jacob, whose name meant “grabber of the heel” and “deceitful,” received a new name after wrestling with God. His new name, Israel, means “one who prevails.” In the book of Hosea, God changed the names of Hosea’s son and daughter to signify changes in His relationship with His people. Lo-ammi (“not my people”) became Ammi (“my people”), and Lo-ruhamah (“not pitied”) became Ruhamah (“one who is shown compassion”) (Hosea 1:6-9; 2:1,23).
Moving to the New Testament, we see Jesus telling Simon, His new disciple, “ ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter)” ( John 1:42). The significance was that the Greek word translated Peter is petros, which means “rock.”
In Scripture, a name often connotes purpose, authority, makeup, and character. In fact, a person’s name is frequently seen as an equivalent of that person.