Saturday, October 3, 2020

The Significance of the Names of God Today

The absolute truth of the matter is this: God provided His people with the means to call on Him using His various Names that fully represents His attribute and His power. Somebody shared this  wonderful story: The early church leader Augustine was once accosted by a heathen who showed him his idol and said, "Here is my god; where is thine?" Augustine replied, "I cannot show you my God; not because there is no God to show but because you have no eyes to see Him."

There are three Names of God revealed and associated with significant events. When God redeemed Israel from Egyptian bondage, Moses heard God’s name as the “Great I AM.” Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM" (Exodus 3:13-14).

During the New Testament, God sent Jesus as the Saviour of fallen humanity: She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Then, when Jesus returned sometime in the future, He will come back as the “Word of God” and the “King of kings.“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelations 19:11-16).

Thus, in understanding the significance of God’s Name today, there are three things for our learning perspective. First, God’s Name connects us to His power. Next, God’s Name conforms us to His character. Lastly, God’s Name communicates His faithfulness. Accessing them becomes a key to discover God’s reality in our lives today, tomorrow and until he comes. Furthermore, when we understand the value of God’s Name in our lives, we can avoid how the world deals with God’s Name as E.A. Robinson shared, “The world is a kind of spiritual kindergarten where bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks.” Let me challenge you to study further the Names of God because each Name of God reveals one aspect of His revelation to His people who believe in Him. When we do, God becomes personal in His dealing to each of us.

As a final note on this topic, allow me to share a fascinating revelation of God’s Name explained using the Chinese character for “GOD” from God is represented in the Chinese language by the word Shén. This word may be written in two different forms (see to the right and below). The etymology of this image reveals details about God's work in creation. On the left side of the character, we see an image meaning to REVEAL or DECLARE. Over and over in the Biblical creation account, we are told that "...God said..." (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, NKJV). On the right side of the character, two images are intertwined. There, we find a MAN and a GARDEN. Man, the crowning jewel of God's creation (Genesis 1:26), was placed in the garden of Eden.

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