What's in a Name?
The Bible puts an amazing emphasis on names. In fact, there folks mentioned in the Bible about whom we know literally nothing other than their name.
God Himself has a number of names: He's YHWH, El Shaddai, El Eloah, Yahweh Elohim, Adonai, El Roi, Yahweh-Jireh, Yahweh-Rapha, Yahweh-Mekoddishkem, and many, many others.
And His only begotten son Jesus has many names, as well. He's the Messiah, the Lamb, Word of God, First-born from the dead, Alpha and Omega, the Son of Man, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, and even the Name Above All Names. In Revelation 19:12 we even learn that Jesus has a name only He knows! Additionally, God was careful to record the earthly genealogy of Jesus, ensuring the names of those comprising Christ's lineage were recorded for all to see in the gospel accounts of both Matthew and Luke.
There are so many instances in the Bible of names having prophetic significance, and instances where God changed a person's name to indicate a new identity. Take Jacob, for example. His name meant "the supplanter," foreshadowing his theft of his brother Esau's birthright. Later, after wrestling with the preincarnate Christ for an entire night, God changed Jacob's name to Israel, which roughly means, "he prevails in struggle with God." With this new name came an entirely new identity, and a revelation from God of his own personal destiny and that of his descendants.
And take the Jewish zealot Saul, that great persecutor of Christians. After a dramatic encounter with the resurrected Christ, Saul often went by his Roman name, Paul. He preached the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles alike, established several churches in Europe and Asia, and became the most prolific contributor to the New Testament with 14 of its 27 books attributed to him.
Clearly, names are important.
Although we're not currently allowed to tell you the names of the three boys we are adopting from Poland, we'll be keeping those names as their new middle names and giving them new first names. We'd like to share with you the first names we've chosen for them:
Isaiah: "God is Salvation"
Zechariah: "God Has Remembered"
Ezekiel: "God Strengthens"
One of these future sons had a birthday today. We celebrated it with cupcakes, and sang happy birthday to him using his future name.
Happy 7th birthday, Zechariah!