Worship #4 – Celebrating God’s Name
In today’s world, our birth certificate, driver’s license, and passport identifies us by our name. A person’s name in the Bible, however, was often more than just their identification. A person’s name carried with it the essence of that person’s identity.
Naming a child was significant. Mary was told by the angel to name her son Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
Changing a person’s name was significant. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, from meaning “exalted father” to “father of a multitude.” Sarai’s was changed to Sarah. Jacob was changed to Israel. Hoshea was changed to Joshua. Simon was changed to Peter. Saul was changed to Paul.
Names are important. All Christ followers have their names written in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3; Revelation 21:27).
Since names are significant in the Bible, the name of God is especially significant. “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3).
When God called Moses to be the deliverer of God’s people in Egypt, Moses wondered how to describe God by name to them.
So God revealed his name to Moses: “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14), meaning, “I am who I am. I am who I will be. I am all that you need.”
Think of the many names, titles, and metaphors given to describe Jesus – the Alpha and Omega, the Image of the Invisible God, the Heir of All Things, the Word, the I Am, Immanuel, the Man of Sorrows, Redeemer, Living Water, Sun of Righteousness, Rock, Mediator, High Priest, the Good Shepherd, the Lion of Judah, Savior, the Light of the World, the Living One – just to name a few!
The reason why so many names, titles, and metaphors are used to describe God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit is because God cannot be adequately described by only one name. God’s attributes are like a multifaceted diamond that sparkles with different color when rotated in the light.
The names of God are like summaries of God’s different attributes. When we celebrate God’s name, we are worshiping God for who he is, his person, his character.
Today, using a name of God, “ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name” (Psalm 29:2).
~ Pastor Dave