A good childhood friend of mine and his wife have been dealing with the loss of a beloved dog they had for seven years before succumbing to an ailment earlier this year. While I haven’t spoken to Eric since we were in high school together, I have followed his exploits on Facebook and yesterday he flew to Houston from his home in Arizona to pick up a new puppy – an Australian Shepherd. The pictures of the new addition to the family are great and now, of course, many of us are waiting to see what the new puppy’s name will be. There isn’t any rush, but I’m curious to see if his name will reflect some attribute of the new arrival.
Way back in Genesis, God gave Man dominion over the animals and even empowered him to name each of the animals according to their kind. Since the beginning of recorded man, back during the creation story, God made Man a little lower than the angels and higher than the animals that roamed the earth and flew in the air. Adam was charged with the task of naming them.
Throughout the ages, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have all been known by different names – names that reinforced or described certain attributes of each member of the Godhead. God the Father has also been known as Elohim (creator, mighty and strong), El Shaddai (God Almighty), Adonai (Lord), El Roi (God of Seeing), El Elyon (Most High) and a host of other names that describe different traits of the Father. Jesus has also been known as the Alpha and Omega, Annointed One, Beloved, Son of God, Son of David, Son of Man, Emmanuel, Comforter, Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God and may other names familiar to all of us. Finally, the Holy Spirit is also known as the Breath of the Almighty, Spirit of God, Spirit of Grace, Indwelling Spirit and may other names we have seen throughout the Bible.
Notice that these names all list characteristics of each member of the Trinity and so it is rare that they are only known by one name – after all, we depend on different traits at different times in our lives depending on the situation we are in or the need that we have. But when you come right down to it, God has numerous attributes that reflect His awesome nature.
So names are important! Our verse for this evening is from the book of Genesis when God gives dominion to Man. We are told, in Genesis 2:19-20, “Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to think about all His names and call on Him for whatever our needs are. My prayer is that you will take to heart all the attributes of God and how much He loves us. There is nothing too large for God to handle. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…