What is in a name?

Written by on June 24, 2024

“What is in a name?” Shakespeare’s Romeo once asked Juliet, “While a rose by another name might smell as sweet.” In the bible, a name has great significance. The name defines what kind of person you are. It carries with it the essence of a person. A name is a title by which a person is renowned by another. It is a way to tell people, places, and things apart. In scripture, God’s name reveals something uniquely precious. God declares his precious nature, character, greatness, and all he is and does.

In the Old Testament, the name stood for a person’s reputation, fame, and glory. The word translated name in the Old Testament means “A mark or a brand.” A study of the bible’s name often reveals much about the personality of the person mentioned. For instance, Abraham means Father of a multitude, Jacob means Tricker, Goliath means Splendor, David Means Beloved, Isaiah means the Lord is salvation, Nahum means Comfort, Jonah means Dove, Amos means burden bearer, while Hosea means salvation. All of these people proved true to their name.

In the African culture, we tend to name children after people who come before them, circumstances that followed their birth, or the child’s birth season. Most of the names given tend to have a negative connotation, and with time, the child grows into the character of the name and manifests in the individual. We accord children names that describe our hopes and future expectations of them. We should understand that names say something and are significant. People are given names for a reason.

In Proverbs 21:1, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” A good name here is valued more than the riches of the world. A good name connects with our family history. It draws on years of people who have lived a good life. An unpleasant name, however, is associated with the evil in society. A name gives all the power and authority of the person who carries that name to anyone who calms it. There is a saying that you are as good as your name. If you have a good name or reputation, people will be drawn to you, while with a bad name or reputation, people will avoid you.

 “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 21:1

The name of God in Scripture has given us something expressly precious. The name of God is unique. It reveals his personality that he is with us. It reveals his purpose that he is our salvation. His name reveals power. The name of Jesus carries with it the power and authority of Christ. Philippians 2: 10-11, “That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven and those on earth and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” When we become followers of Christ, our names change. We can call upon the power and authority of the son of God, who gives us that new name. Taking on the essence of Christ’s character, we identify ourselves with him.

Christ’s name is the source of our salvation. His name is the hope of our hearts. His name is everything. His name unlocks the door of heaven and closes the gates of hell. Your name is exceptional and recorded in the histories of our Father in Heaven. How you value and treat it will affect generations to come. God bless you with the vision that is yours, who you are, and the great privilege that is yours to belong to Christ Jesus.


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