What's In A Name

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 “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.” And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 

God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” Exodus 3:13-15

Insight

My last name is Nance and from time-to-time someone will pronounce it as Nancy. I just laugh, but others get pretty defensive and fired up if you mispronounce their name. I get it because our names can be our identity.

Some people commit their lives to bringing honor to their name. Others spend their days attempting to change the association their name brings. No matter what our aim, our name says a lot about us. The same can be said for God.

God has a ton of names, and each name addresses a characteristic or a promise about His character and being:

  • Yahweh: The One who has existed and will always exist. 

  • Yahweh-Rohi: The Lord is our Shepherd.

  • Yahweh-Rapha: The Lord is our healer.

  • Yahweh-Jira: The Lord who provides.

  • Yahweh-Shalom: The Lord is peace.

These are only a few, but there is one name that God gave Himself that sums all of these up. In the verses we are focusing on today, we see Moses asking God, “What name do I give people when they ask what Your name is?” A strange question if you ask me, considering the people knew who God was and what He was capable of. As a response, God hits Moses with a simple and profound answer. He informs Moses to tell the people, “I am has sent me to you.” 

The name “I AM” has always been such a game-changer for me in my walk with the Lord. When I first learned about the two-word name God gave Moses, I always wondered why in the world God would give not only a simple name, but a name that seems incomplete. I picture God telling Moses, “I AM” and then Moses leans in with anticipation waiting to hear the rest of God’s name, and then Moses realized, “Oh... that was it?”

Moses would eventually find out the significance in God referring to Himself as “I AM” without anything else following. God needed to give the people a name that showed His character and His promises for them. God called Himself “I AM” because the amount of names God could end with are endless. Ultimately, God revealed how He is everything that could ever be needed. 

The same reality is accessible for those of us who trust in God today. There is one name in particular that absolutely changed the course of humanity, and changes our lives personally. My hope is that we can hear God telling us, “I am Jesus.” The name of Jesus provides the hope of a Savior, and a Savior who is always with us. We get to live a life liberated from the enemy, death, guilt, shame, and sin because Jesus is our Savior. We get to live a life free from true loneliness and isolation because Jesus is present with you and I, at every moment and at every place. 

When Shakespeare wrote the line, “What’s in a name?” he was using the line as a chance to show that names are simply labels. When it comes to God, “What’s in a name?” is everything. God’s name “I AM” is everything we will ever need. The access we have to His promises and His character come from simply calling out to Him. In our moments of temptation, frustration, loneliness, or devastation call out to “I AM” and know God will answer. 

Reflection

  • Learn and write down some of the names of God you know you need in your life. 

  • Find moments in the Bible where you see the different characteristics of God on display and use those moments to remember that same God is with you.

Prayer

Father, thank you for having so much power in Your name. I am blown away at the reality that I can simply call out Your name, and You respond. I am grateful that You are always with me, and You sent Your Son to save me. Help me to learn more about Your name and see the power it holds in my life. I thank You for who You are Father, and I love You. I pray all of this in Your holy name, Amen.

PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.


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