A name is a good thing to have. It’s even better to have a good name. Too bad certain parents during Bible times didn’t understand that. How they landed on some of those names is beyond me.
“Bad news, husband. The Hebrew midwife who just delivered our baby says the child scored very low on the Standard Newborn Intelligence Assessment Test.”
“Then we shall call the child . . . Dodo.”
Really—it’s right there in Judges 10:1! (Well, at least the Dodo part.)
Who knows where the parents of Er (Numbers 26:19) came up with his handle.
Husband: “We shall call the child . . . um, er—”
Wife: “Well, Um is OK, but I like that last one better.”
Apparently giving people last names didn’t really catch on until quite a bit later in history, which is probably a good thing. My friend from church, Mr. Byrd, likely would’ve estranged himself from his own kids if he’d named one of them Dodo.
There is something to be said for the early Native American approach to choosing a name. For example, guys, wouldn’t you pay special attention to someone who said her name was Whispering Deer? Of course, this is because, in your mind’s eye, you are envisioning the following scenario:
You: “Come to me, my dark-eyed Indian beauty. Lean close and tell me your name.”
Her: “I’m Whispering Deer.”
You: “Then I, too, shall start whispering, dear.”
Whispering Deer’s quick uppercut to your lower jaw snaps you back to reality, and you realize that the vision in your mind’s eye is far from 20/20.
Waiting a while to name a child has obvious advantages—it allows parents time to study various characteristics and then name their kid accordingly. True, there is a risk of resentment on the part of some children whose names were chosen based on this method.
“Hi, and welcome to the Olive Pit. My name is Nostrils the Size of Airport Hangars, and I’ll be your server this evening. Say, don’t I know you two? Aren’t you my estranged parents, Father With Missing Brain and Mother Whose Judgment Is Tragically Impaired?”
At this point, Mother leans over to Father and says, “I told you we should have named her something more feminine. Hey, maybe it’s not too late! Nostrils, would it be OK if we changed your name to Ears That Stretch Forth Like Satellite Dishes? Maybe it would help you get a date for the teen banquet!”
Mom is still trying to get the ketchup stains out of her dress. Nostrils has very good aim.
Jesus, of course, is aiming straight for your heart. Not with a ketchup bottle, but with His incomparable love and purpose for your life.
Did you know that in the Bible Jesus goes by many names? Messiah. The Word. Alpha and Omega. Believe it or not, there are about 700 different names and descriptions of Jesus throughout Scripture!
Why so many? Because Jesus wants to be so much to you personally. Teacher. Lord. Comforter. Friend. Your Rock of Salvation.
The name of Jesus is holy and precious. The Bible tells us that the heavenly Father gave His Son “the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). Why? So “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (verses 10, 11).
Using the name “Jesus” or “God” as in “Oh, my _ _ _!” is a poor habit to get into. (Some people rationalize this by suggesting that they’re thinking of god with a little “g.” Give me a break.) Movie stars, musician—and sadly, too many Seventh-day Adventists—seem to have forgotten the holy nature of Jesus’ name. If you’ve fallen into that trap, I hope you’ll find an alternative expression for shock and surprise.
Now I, Man Whose Stomach Growls From Hunger, must leave. You can probably figure out why. I’ll be sure and remember to say my blessing first. I like talking to my Provider.