(A) What's In a Name?

by Brandon Renfroe

The names we read in the Bible carried great significance. The names had a literal meaning, and their definitions were often exemplified in the lives of those who bore these names. Hannah named her son Samuel, which means "asked of God" or "heard by God." Hannah knew that God had heard her prayers, and she had purposed to dedicate her child to serving Him.

The Bible also tells the story of a man named Nabal. Nabal's name meant "fool," and his behavior reflected that name. David's men had protected Nabal's men, but Nabal refused to give food to David and his company. Nabal's wife interceded for him, but when he found out she had, his heart was fatally hardened.

We also read about a man named Nathan. The name Nathan means "He give" or "God has given." Nathan had to deliver a very difficult message to David, regarding the sin David had committed with Bathsheba. Nathan had to make David realize his sin, and he also had to tell David his punishment.

We did not get to decide what name we were given at birth, but we can determine what kind of name we will have when we die. We must each work to forge a good reputation and a good name for ourselves. And we must consider whether our behavior makes us worthy of a good name, at this moment.
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