“What’s in a name?” Juliet tells Romeo in that famous Shakespeare play. If you know Romeo and Juliet at all, you’d know it mattered quite a bit to the story! If it weren’t for the names ‘Capulet’ and ‘Montague’ there would be two less deaths in the end. A lot is in a name.
This past Sunday we looked at the importance of God’s name that he reveals to Moses in the context of delivering Israel out of the clutches of Egypt. God’s name was a declaration of his character, as well as a promise of his loyalty to Moses and His people. As I labored to expand on this topic this week, I received this excerpt below of Alec Motyer’s book Psalms by the Day from Tracie Aldridge (thanks Tracie!). Motyer does a great job of highlighting the invitation of intimacy God is giving by providing His name:
The divine name ‘Yaweh’ will at first sound strange in your ears, being used to the established (but mistaken) English convention of representing the name as ‘the Lord’. We who are of an older generation will remember the days when calling someone by their Christian name was a privilege granted, not presumed upon. It meant something to us when a senior friend said, ‘Please call me by my Christian name’; the relationship had ripened into a new intimacy and privilege. So it was in Genesis 4:26 when people began to call their God by his personal name; so it was, even more, when the significance of that Name was revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:15).
(Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, Christian Focus 2016)