The Importance Of A Name

By Not Known

One of the most daunting tasks for parents is choosing the ‘right’ name for their child. Looking back, I remember the endless nights my wife and I spent toiling over English and Chinese baby name books, trying to choose suitable names for our daughters.

The process of choosing the right name for a child is a long and arduous journey, that made wedding planning seem like a walk in the park!

A name is more than just an identity, it also describes the parent’s hopes and expectations for the child.

Names of Bible characters reveal to us three things: an experience with God, a reminder of God’s character, and how they were expected to live. If a Bible character informed us much about God, how much more will God’s own name tell us about Himself.

In Exodus 34:6-7, we see God’s response to Moses’ prayer, by revealing His names and His divine attributes. He reveals Himself as the LORD [Yahweh], LORD [Yahweh God], the Compassionate One, the Gracious One, who is slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, who forgives iniquities, transgression and sin. Yet, He does not leave the guilty unpunished.

God’s names and attributes reveal His nature and His manner of dealing with His people. This helps us understand how God relates to us. He is not a distant God, rather, He is personal. And He looks upon us with mercy and compassion. When we do wrong, He is patient and ready to forgive. It tells us that God is active and passionate in warning us of sin and calling us to repentance because He wants us to be the people He has made us to be. And lastly, it helps us understand that God does not give up on us (see the incident with the golden calf only days before- Exodus 32).

Upon that revelation, Moses readily identified God as ‘the LORD’- the name that the Hebrews used to represent God. In fact in Chapter 34 alone, he acknowledged it 18 times that it was none other than God himself. Moses was certain in his mind to whom he was pledging his allegiance.

It did not take long for Moses’ response to the LORD’s revelation: he “bowed to the ground at once and worshipped.” (Exodus 34:9)

We too know who this God is, for the four Gospel accounts tell us that in the person, the character, the life of Jesus Christ, we see the same God, and his character!

In Jesus, God reveals himself and how he relates to us. So let us be clear in our minds to whom we pledge our allegiance, and continue to worship God alone.


Amos Lau