What’s In A Name

January 22, 2013 — 3 Comments

Hi, my name is Sele. (pronounced Sell) And I am in the business of selling cars for a living. I actually work as a Sales Manager at an automobile dealership. Whenever I go out to meet one of our customers, I am usually greeted with confused looks. These looks are always followed by “what did you say your name was?” After repeating myself, I am usually asked about the origins of the name to which I always reply: “I’m a junior, I got it from my Dad.” I have been told numerous times that my parents must have known that I would be selling stuff for a living. I generally respond that they probably just guessed I would since I liked to talk a lot as a child.

Today, however, upon meeting a customer for the first time and repeating my name, the customer looked me in the eye and said, “If you name is “sell”, then you can call me “buy.” I laughed and told him that it was nice to meet him and I loved to meet customers who referred to themselves as “buy,” as long as they bought from me.

If I were born in the middle ages, my last name would have probably been Seller. During these times it was common for someones last name to be a reflection of the trade or craft that one did to earn a living. If your last name was Miller, then you probably ground flour from gain. A Wainwright would have been a wagon builder or Taylor would have made or repaired clothing for a living. Even the name Outlaw reflected that the person in question was of questionable character. However not all family names could have been deciphered so easily. You would think that Banker would have been someone who loaned money for a living. However, that would not be the case, generally that person was one that lived on a hillside.

Names have always been important. They give us identity. They allow us to separate ourselves from others. And they make it easier to call someone out in a crowd, rather than just yelling “Hey you.”

Names are important in the Bible as well. They are so important that God decided to change the names of some of His children. Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became known as Israel, and Simon became Peter. Saul changed his own name to Paul to reflect his Roman heritage to better fit in with the Gentiles to whom he was going to spread the Gospel.

Names are also important when it comes to God. There are many different names for our Heavenly Father in the Holy Scripture. Yahweh, Adonai, Elohim, and El are just a few of the names used in the Old Testament to refer to God. Lord, Father, The Almighty, and The Holy One are used in the New Testament to refer to Him.

In the Old Testament, Moses asks God who he should tell the Israelites when they ask who sent him to them.

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,

the name you shall call me

from generation to generation.  Exodus 3:13-16 NIV

And John gives us a different name for God when he relates his vision to us in Revelation.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”  Revelation 1:8 NIV

Names are important but when it comes to God, but the name is not the most important thing. It really doesn’t matter what you call Him; as long as you call Him.

What is your favorite name for God?

[Photo Credit: an untrained eye via Compfight cc]

3 responses to What’s In A Name

  1. Wondered how you said your name. Thanks for the clarity. As for God’s Name: WOW! I don’t know that I have a favorite. I would Faithful One would right up there. Immanuel would also work.

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