There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might. Jeremiah 10:6
Until the birth of Jesus, people only knew God in part. Jesus’ arrival, however, gave new disclosure of His Father. New names, names only hinted of in the Old Testament, took center stage and God was understood in a whole new way.
Names for God prior to the birth of Jesus were ones that befitted an all knowing and powerful God. He was called the God Who Sees, God Is My Banner, The God Who Hears, and many others. These were enough to give His people comfort and strength.
With the birth of Jesus, however, came new understanding. It was a knowledge of God born of new names. Immediately after His birth, the shepherds were told that He was Savior and Emmanuel. As He grew, He revealed Himself as the Bread of Life, the Shepherd, the Son of God, the Vine, the Lamb of God, the Lord of Glory, the Last Adam, and the Precious Cornerstone. Each one gave believers new eyesight into the complex and unfathomable depths of God. They experienced Him through His names because there was a new dynamic in their relationship. Intimacy.
The names of God that are the most precious to me are the names I’ve had to embrace out of great need. I’ve ‘grown into them’ experientially. There are still so many that I know in my head but I am not fluent about them yet. They are not as precious to me because I’ve not needed them like I’ve needed others. Isn’t it true that God is most valued where I’ve needed Him the most? Spiritual need is everything. Denying my need robs me of knowing Jesus as my treasure.
Jesus came and shook up the way people related to God. Someone who could be kept at arms length became very personal as they saw God in the flesh. An encounter with the God-Man never left one neutral. There was a repelling or an attraction. For each who embraced Him, stunning revelations ensued. The names of God, old and new, had a deeper power and influence over their lives.
Some rainy or snowy day this December, I am going to make a list of God’s names and after the ones I’ve come to love, I’ll jot down the memory associated with them that made Him dear to me.
You are not finished revealing Yourself to Your children. Help me learn to know, experientially, every name which describes You. Amen