Tracy’s Thoughts Day 12
What’s In A Name
As you travel through Genesis you go through many interesting places and run into many interesting people. Several of those places and even people have names I find hard to pronounce. I guess I shouldn’t find that unusual, I’ve traveled quite a bit and I’ve found many cities hard to pronounce. In fact, some people not from around here would find some of our cities hard to pronounce (look at Mineola). Somehow, it just seems a little different in the Bible. Maybe it’s the fact that there are several incidents where God himself changes people’s names. It could be confusing.
Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance, maybe someone you have known in school, you meet up with them again and they no longer go by the name you have always known them by? A lot of times those old friends just let you keep calling them by their old name; but they clearly have a new name. In fact, the old name just doesn’t seem to fit them anymore. I have a friend who recently adopted several children. These children have suffered both physical and emotional abuse. When she adopts them she not only gives them her last name but each child received a new first name. She wants them to know their old abusive life is over, it’s a new day, they have a new life.
I saw this very example while I was reading today in Genesis 35 with Benjamin’s birth. Poor Rachel, having a terrible time in childbirth names her newborn Ben-Oni which means son of my trouble. That was an appropriate name, after all, with this birth Rachel dies! But I love Jacobs wisdom, he quickly overrides his wife’s choice of names and names his newborn Benjamin which means son of my right hand.
Here’s my thought, how many of us need a new name? No, not literally but figuratively. Maybe there were words that have been spoken about you since you were a child that need to go out of your life. Words like, their such a clutz, not the brightest bulb on the tree, if they had a brain they’d be dangerous, their afraid of their own shadow, or they wouldn’t know how to come out of the rain. These words are not really meant to define us, but unfortunately sometimes they do. I’m sure Rachel really didn’t want people to think every time they saw her son – yep that’s the boy who caused all his mothers trouble now she’s dead. What a name! As bad as we wish it weren’t so, words and names carry weight. Here’s the good news we don’t have to let those name define us, God has given us some new names like, redeemed, chosen, forgiven, friend, masterpiece, treasure the list goes on and on.
So, today, regardless of what your parents might have named you or nick-named you; let’s remember what God’s named us, His name is the one that counts!
Let’s pray, Lord we thank you for the new names you have given us. The next time we “hear” anything contrary to what you say about us, let us quickly recognize it for what it is and replace it with what you have said. Also let us be mindful of the names we give others, even in jest. Help us to only be life givers in thought, words and deeds. In Jesus Name! Amen