The Name of God

When people have an encounter with the Creator, they often begin by asking for his name.  It seems like a reasonable request. “Which god are you?” “There are so many.”  In the Biblical accounts, God often responds vaguely.  “I am who I am”.  He appears content to be defined by his relationship with those who knew Him.  He attached His identity to their names.  “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses…” In fact the character and nature of God are primarily revealed through His relationship with people. People of other nations referred to him as the God of Israel, or the God of Daniel, or the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Some people are very concerned about the correct pronunciation of the right syllables in the Name of God.  I think it’s not nearly as important what we call Him as how we represent Him.

God told Moses to put his Name upon His people.  “This is how you are to put the Name of God upon the people: Say to them, ‘May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord turn and look at you face to face. May His face break into a great big smile until your face mirrors His smile. May the Lord be merciful to you and give you peace!'” (Numbers 6:22-27  paraphrase mine). He places His Name upon us by blessing us, by caring for us, looking at us and smiling in recognition, by His relationship with us.

When the Creator places His Name upon us He is entrusting us with His reputation and identity. We now bear the Family Name. The primary way He is known and defined on earth is by association with us His human family. We are not only partakers of the divine nature, we are also mirrors (the image of God). So when we pray “hallowed be Your Name” we are saying “May your image be beautifully and accurately reflected by your people”. May the Family Name (reputation) be respected and honored on earth as it is in heaven”. He associates his name with you. He is now known as the God of Mark, John, Michael, Richard, Terry, Tamy… Not only do you bare His Name, He bares yours.

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