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Editors:
Cathy Sifuentez
Christy Reynolds

Central Sisters Write

Vol. 7 Issue 2
February 2009

Published monthly by the Women’s Ministry at Central Church of Christ, Amarillo, TX

It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV

What Is God’s Name?

Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. Psalm 113:2-3 NIV

The Jews called Him Yahweh, which they pronounced and wrote without vowels (Yhwh) because they considered Him too great, revered Him too much, to say His name. In English, a capital letter is all that stands between Him and idols (God vs. god). We lose so much in translation!

Names were very important to the Jews. A name meant something and was descriptive of the person in someway. The Jews believed a thing – whether tangible or intangible – could not exist unless it had a name. It not only was identification but also an identity. Consider all the names given in the Old Testament along with the name’s meaning (as in Rachel & Leah’s sons). “Thingie” or a “whatcha-ma-call it” were not possible phrases in the Hebrew language.

Many of us have more than one name – our birth names, a shortened version of our name, a nickname – but they generally don’t have a meaning that defines us. Did you ever notice the many names of God used in scripture?

One of the most dynamic ways that God reveals Himself to us is through His names. Throughout scripture He gradually reveals His personality and power through the names He calls himself. He allows us to get to know Him gradually, as we do any friend. If we are to understand Him and praise His name as we are commanded in His Word, we must know what those names are and what they mean.

About 800 names for God are given in the Bible. Names that are repeated more than once show an important aspect of God and deserve our particular attention. Take time to look them up in your Bible dictionary or concordance and pencil in the meaning in the margin of your Bible. It will make your reading much more meaningful. He knows us by name; why shouldn’t we know His?

Mary Ellen Evans

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