God’s names reveal God’s nature. When God reveals a new name in the Bible, He uncovers previously hidden attributes of His character. The more we know His Name, the more we know our God.
We understand names carry great significance. Businesses invest time and money in deliberation, strategically choosing and designing catchy names, brands, and logos. Parents mull over baby names for hours, carefully deciding on the perfect name their child will carry.
Recently, a young companion illustrated to me the importance of a name. She chattered non-stop as we headed toward the barnyard. Upon arrival, she proudly held fuzzy balls of purring fluff for me to see. Each meowed and purred at her attention.
“I call this one Calli, because she is a calico kitten.”
Good choice, I thought.
“Here comes Greg,” she said, as a dusty grey kitten squirmed into her lap.
“And this one?” I asked as I held up another.
“Oh! I named him Tucker, because of his tortoise shell markings.”
Pretty smart, for one so small, I thought again.
I studied the litter of kittens more carefully. Their names revealed characteristics I previously ignored. As she continued to point out details of each one, I held another soft bundle of fur, gazing closely into its bright green eyes as whiskers twitched and wet paws stretched.
At that moment, I realized again the importance of studying and valuing the things that matter to us. There in the barnyard, I remembered God’s many names and the significance of them. Over time, I have grown to know Him more clearly, love Him more deeply, and appreciate Him more fully by studying His names.
Written below you will find a few benefits from studying the names of God. God’s names really do reveal His nature.
Security and Identity
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ” Genesis 1:27
In the first chapter of the Bible, God introduces Himself as Elohim — Creator God who spoke all things into existence. All except for mankind! Humanity He created in His own image, forming every detail personally with His hands. Then in the ultimate expression of love and intimacy, He bent low, placing His mouth upon clay-formed lips and breathed.
How amazing! God intimately filled mankind with the essence of Himself. I wonder if at the core of our insecurity and at the root of lost identity, we might find a lack of knowledge of the nature of God’s commitment to us and His loving care.
Elohim, the first name we discover, presents God as one who will not rest until He brings confusion into order, darkness into light, and dust into life! In Him we may trust and in the power of His Name we rest. We discover true security and core identity only in the knowledge of His Name.
When Peter speaks before the Sanhedrin, he draws from the Psalmist’s words, “Then I called on the name of the LORD: O LORD, save me!” Peter boldly declared,
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
What Name bears such significance? What Name, unlike any other name, rescues and saves? There is only One! Only one of God’s names reveals such excellence — the Name of Jesus!
The beautiful Name of the Lord Jesus Christ — each portion carrying deep significance — should be the first Name we learn. Lord represents the Father; Jesus identifies the Son; Christ (the Anointed One) signifies the Holy Spirit. In His Name we find salvation and the fullness of the Trinity.
Confidence in Prayer
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, and I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Whether in desperate situations or the monotony of everyday life, as we acknowledge and declare His Name in prayer, God releases power and authority through our humble words. He hears. He moves and responds. By proclaiming His Name over situations, circumstances shift. Confessing the greatness, the goodness, and the glory of His Name releases His Spirit into unseen realms, transforming the seen ones.
At times uttering His Name takes on a warrior tone, another Name spoken in hushed reverence, still another sung with joy. What assurance comes as we pray, not to a deaf and distant god, but to our Lord — our Healer, Provider, Shepherd, and Peace.
Puts All Things Into Perspective
“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: ‘LORD, save me!'”
Just as the small moon, at times, blocks the sun’s light from reaching earth, present reality, at times, eclipses the larger truth of who God is and the greatness of His Name. The more we study God’s names and His attributes, the clearer we see the fleeting nature of this present life and difficulty.
Limits constrain everything earthly. But nothing constrains God! He defines Himself in limitless terms: omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal, without beginning or end.
Deeper Awe and Worship
“Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, you his servants; praise the name of the LORD. Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.”
For some people, finding a reason to praise God may initially appear difficult. Yet as we practice the adoration of His Name, worship bursts forth. God remains forever worthy of exultation. He commands worship, not because He is a self-seeking egotist, but rather because worship strengthens us! As we pour out unrestrained worship to Him, we become complete and fully satisfied.
For me, the abandonment of worship flows easily. When asked why, I give no other reason than He is worthy!
Every morning when I awake, I ask, “Today, is He worthy?”
Every morning, I come to no other conclusion but, “Yes! Yes! Today, and every day, He is worthy! Today, and every day, my God is worthy of ALL praise.”
Strength under Trial
“We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Allow these words to comfort, strengthen, and seep over you.
“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
When everything feels like it is closing in, when there seems no way out or around a difficulty, “our help is in the name of the LORD.” God’s Name is always enough. In sickness, the whisper of that Name brings healing. In defeat, the mention of His Name secures victory. Where depression and anxiety paralyze thoughts and actions, the uttering of His Name enables release.
Power in Spiritual Battle
“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
To “know” God’s names means to know both intellectually and experientially. It means to personally “know.” As a child, I knew I could run to my earthly father in times of trouble. Why? Because he was strong enough, loving enough, and wise enough to deal with any struggle I faced.
How much more my Heavenly Father!
“The people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”
When we “know” His Name, He gives us authority to release the characteristics and qualities of His Name into situations we are contending for.
David came against Goliath, “in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45). As we face our own battles “in the name of the LORD Almighty,” He fills us with courage, boldness, audacity, tenacity, and anything else we might need to overcome.
“Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their God.”
We face our personal faults, fractures, and failures daily. However, the more we gaze into His magnificence and perfection, the more we will realize success and living life well depends not on us, but on God. Every mighty man or woman of God comes to the same conclusion. Though weak, they become strong in Him. Though fearful, they grow bold in Him.
One only needs to turn to Hebrews 11 to read the exploits of faith-filled ones, those who knew God well. The more we know God through His names, the more we too become “fully persuaded that God (has) power to do what he (has) promised” (Romans 4:21) and faith builds, rising to dominate our words and actions.
The more time my little companion spent with her kittens, the more she knew them, not just by color, but by their character. She knew which ones would play inquisitively and which ones would withdraw to solitary corners and watch.
The more we spend time with our God, studying His names, the more we will know Him and His ways. God’s names reveal His nature, attributes, and character.
The intentional study of God’s names results in eternal dividends.