Good work saints~ I hope all is so well for you this chilly day. Jesus bless you today as you minister missionally within your spheres of influence.
I had mentioned in an earlier email, Day 13, two of the things I am looking for in reading through the Bible this go round are points of redemption/reconciliation and dwelling/presence. These points show at a much greater clip than I had originally anticipated.
Have another little project I am doing this go round. I have found myself underlining every time the words “the Name” appear. To date we are up to 75 times. They precede several items, but the most predominant is “of the Lord.” Take the phrase “I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD.” Why didn’t the chronicler just say, “I have built a temple for the LORD?” I am looking at why the insertion of the Name in so many places. In meditating on it and praying about it. Here are some of the things the Holy Spirit has shown me:
1. The first time it showed up was Gen 4:26, “At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD.” It is a concept which has been around for a long, long time.
2. The idea of a name indicates authority, reputation, fame, distinction, appellation, and title. The unique distinction of Yahweh compared to any and all garden-variety of gods in the ANE world, is like no other.
3. The words the name in Hebrew is Hashem. When I spent some time working at a synagogue in the Cherry Creek area, men showed up for prayer nearly every morning. They dawned their prayer shawls, phylacteries, and thongs. As they prayed, I understood some of the Hebrew, but not too much. As they prayed the main title used by them towards Father was Hashem. This is not a casual title or word filler. It carries significant power and authority. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps 20:7). Just the name is more stable than the might of a war horse and an iron war machine. “Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Ps 124:8). It isn’t even the Lord, but the mention of his name which possesses the power to help. “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Prov 18:10). The mere mention of the Name is fortification. I could go on and on here on this point.
4. Can anyone remember the names of Noah’s three sons? Shem, Ham, and Jepheth. Right, you are correct. Good job. Check it out Noah named one of his sons “Name.”
5. Right on the heels of the Noah story is the Babel story. The hubris involved in the lives of these folks is appalling. Look at what they say. They are not satisfied with the the Name of God. They have to do something in and of their own power and strength. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Gen 11:4). They wanted their name to be greater than Fathers. The audacity.
6. When you go to the New Testament, there is a whole new reference point- the name of Jesus. His name is Yeshua, salvation. The essence of the savior is imbedded in the vocalization of his name. As Savior he is the embodiment of all that Father ascribed in the calling of his name Yeshua.
7. Our mission and commission with Christ is for each of us to “(as you are) go(ing on whatever trajectory you are on) make disciples (in your world ) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matt 29:19). We don’t go alone, we go in power. We go in the three names that are far above any and all names. Don’t be fooled saints in this point, regardless of your vocation, you are a missional member of the Kingdom of God here on earth. It is not up to clergy or those ‘of the cloth’ to bring healing, salvation, deliverance, hope, and benevolence to the masses. You are called to your various spheres of influence to be Jesus’ hand extended. You are the ones cajoling, urging, even crying out to your friends and family to let Jesus work in their lives. As you go into classrooms, real estate offices, construction sites, businesses, whatever, you are ambassadors. Sent by the Highest Name of all Names, the greatest lover of all times, the most benevolent giver ever, to rescue lost and anxious folks, trying to do it all on their own. Trying to make a name for themselves rather than relying on the Name which is the only name to chase after. If you want some real excitement in your life- start talking to people about Jesus, see one of them get on fire for Jesus, and a level of joy will flow through your bones in the likes of nothing you have ever experienced before. The kingdom of God only grows when each of us promote Jesus. It doesn’t happen on its own or through osmosis. It takes a person of courage to stand up for Jesus and speak out. It isn’t someone else’s call or job, it is yours.
8. This says it all- “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” (Phil. 2:9-10).
Just a few random thoughts on “the name.” I hope it is all theologically sound. Stay warm and well fed. It is going to be a cold one tonight. Pastor Mark.