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During a job interview, a woman was asked to give her name. She replied, "My name is Lilly." When the boss wanted to know why she was named after a flower, she told him, "My parents gave me that name because when I was born a lily fell on me from the sky." A couple days later, the boss interviewed a man for the same job. He wasn't much to look at and had a very rough appearance. The boss asked, "What's your name?" He gave a crooked smile and said, "Piano." 

Names are important to us because they often do more than just identify us, they can actually reveal who a person is, and what he or she is like. God goes by many names in the Bible. One commentator has counted over 60 found in Scripture. Now that seems a lot but God is so awesome that the number of names we could use to describe Him is as endless as He is. 

His names describe his character. When we study what He goes by, we will actually get to know what He is like. 

While names are important in our culture, they were even more important in biblical times. Proverbs 22:1 tells us that a good name is more to be desired than great riches. Names didn't merely distinguish or label a person, they were often thought to reveal the very nature of an individual. For example, Nabal, whose name meant 'fool' lived out what his name meant in 1 Samuel 25:25: "He is just like his name - his name is Fool, and folly goes with him."

The meaning of the word 'name' in the Old Testament means, 'individual mark' and communicated the very essence of an individual. In the New Testament, the word for name comes from a verb that means 'to know'. To know the name of God means to personally know His personality. During this new series on the Names of God, it's my prayer that we will not just know who God is, but that we will actually get to know Him much more than we do right now. 

These names are given by God, not thought up by people. God is not some sort of abstract thought or nameless power. He is personable and knowable. And one of the ways His personality is known is through the giving of His names.

Each name of God reveals one of His qualities or characteristics. We'll focus on one of these names each week, and rather like looking at a multifaceted diamond through a looking glass, I hope when we're finished we'll appreciate His beauty a bit more. 

I would encourage you to use these names when you call out to God in prayer. While we learn the Hebrew names of God, I encourage you to also try to memorise the English meanings and then use these titles in your praise and worship times and your prayer times also. As we go through each name ask yourself the question. 'Do I know God in this way?' 

I have chosen 9 names that I think will help each one of us grow deeper in our knowledge of God, we'll be looking in the Old and New Testament and I think we're going to be blessed!

God the Creator - Elohim
God the Covenant Keeper - Yahweh
God the Lord - Adonai
God of Power - Jehovah Sabaoth
God the Shepherd - Jehovah Rohi
God our Peace - Jehovah Shalom
God the Almighty - El Shaddai
God our Provider - Jehovah Jireh
God is my Banner - Jehovah Nissi

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017

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