Friday, February 28, 2014

Naming Names

"Now the first lot for Asaph came out for Joseph;
the second for Gedaliah..."
1 Chronicles 25:9

My Bible reading today took me to Chronicles, where I found myself reading through name after name after name.  I am always kind of fascinated by those chapters.  I used to just breeze right on past them, thinking they weren't really all that important, but that was a long time ago.  Several years ago I came to the realization that they are important, simply by virtue of being Scripture, and then a few years after that, I came to really enjoy them.

Partially I like them because I like to sort of say them out loud inside my head, and see how they sound.  Sometimes they are rather melodious.  Other times, I have to admit, they sound rather awkward.

The other reason I like to make a point of concentrating on them a little, is that I will recognize them.  Maybe I've read about them in some other place already.  Maybe I will sometime soon.  But if I gloss over them, I'll never know.

But sometimes all those names seem unnecessary.  In some places, we can see that the listing of names was important, so that we can see the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus, coming from the lineage of David.  But what about other times?

Well, Isaiah 40:26 tells us, "He has created the stars; He brings out their host by numbers, He calls them all by name... Not one is missing."  Surely our Lord who calls the stars by name, values our names beyond measure.  And Hebrews 12:23 tells us, "you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven."  And then I see how perfectly God remembers and records each name.

We are listed by name, too.  Revelation 3:5 says, "he who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, "A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth."  I think this verse is referring to your reputation, and being honored upon your death, but in light of these other chapters, I interpret them more literally:  "a good name" is one that is written in the Book of Life, and the day of your death is the day you will join Him in His Father's mansion.

Revelation 21:22-27 talks about names, too.  It says, "But I saw no temple in the new Jerusalem, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it.  The Lamb is its light.  And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it... But there shall... enter it... only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."

And I think, most beautiful of all is Luke 10:19-20 ~ "I give you the authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this.... but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."




  1. This is a marvelous post, and I enjoyed it immensely. I too am at the stage where I read all of the names carefully and thoroughly. I didn't think anyone else did that.

    There is one little typo in your Hebrews 12:23 however - "an innumerable company of angles" - now I know why my geometry teacher was such a strong believer !

  2. lol... Thanks be to God for your observant eyes, and your geometry teacher's faithfulness ;)