Names are important, right? To most I’m simply Pam. But I respond differently to those who call me honey, Mom, Memaw, Aunt Pam, PJ, Pammy, and quite a few others. Each name has a meaning and purpose and often reflects on the specialness of the relationship and my role in it.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that names are important. And as much as I enjoy and am blessed by all of my names, God’s many names are so much more important. God reveals His names to us in the Bible to display exactly who He is and all that His character holds. It’s an important part of knowing God and worshiping all that He is. Plus His word tells us that He wants us to remember His name, call on His name, and exalt His name. And while He performed many mighty deeds in response to people calling upon His name (read 1 Kings 18:21-39 for one of those amazing stories), there are also accounts of what happened to those who forgot His name. . . (and read a not-so-amazing story in Jeremiah 23:25-27.)
Here are some of God’s directives to remember, call on, and exalt His name:
“Oh give thanks to the LORD [YHWH], call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. . . .
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array.” (1 Chronicles 16:8-10, 28-29)
“I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).
“Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God” (Psalm 20:7).
“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake” (Psalm 79:9).
“It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 92:1) (Note the use of one of His names.)
“O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, And keep Your law” (Psalm 119:55).
“I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name” (Psalm 138:2).
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).
I’ve really been challenged by this recently. It’s motivated me to better know His names, strive to really understand them, and then use them specifically when I worship my God.
Think about it. He has each of those names because He is each of those names. Besides experiencing tremendous awe at each utterance of His name, we should also experience incredible joy, hope, strength, comfort, confidence, and many other things as we stop to call out to and proclaim the name of our God. They’re more than mere words. (As if words could describe God.) It’s the only name that as it leaves our lips is “holy, holy, holy”. And the only name that literally holds power. After all, “AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED” (Acts 2:21). The power of each of God’s names stirs and confirms in us a truth about Him that is truly transforming. And every jot and tittle of His word only confirms all that His name embodies in every way.
So I’ve decided that I want – no, need – His names on the tip of my tongue for whenever I need to remember Him, call on Him, or exalt, adore, and humble myself before Him in worship. Because He wants me to have no doubt about who He is. The great I AM . . .
El Shaddai: “God Almighty.”
El Elyon: “The Most High God.”
Elohim: “Only true God.”
El Roi: “The God who sees.”
Jehovah Jireh: “The Lord will provide.”
Jehovah Nissi: “The Lord is my Banner.”
Jehovah Shalom: “The Lord is Peace.”
Jehovah Sabbaoth: “The Lord of Hosts.”
Jehovah Rohi: “The Lord our Shepherd.”
Jehovah Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.”
Jehovah Shammah: “The Lord is there.”
Jehovah Mekoddishkem: “The Lord who makes you holy.”
Jehovah Rapha: “The Lord who heals.”
And many more. . . (Go here for a complete list of names and titles.)
Take the time to watch this great video of the names of God. Don’t watch it passively, but position yourself to take in every word. Ask God to open your eyes and soften your heart to more of who He is. (Note: This video is about 11 minutes long, so make sure you have time to finish it before you start it. But don’t forget!)
How do you use God’s names in your times of prayer and worship? How do you feel you can or should should use them more?