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God is a name changer

I will change your name


When I first met my wife Christine, her name was Gilchrist. It is quite rare to meet a person whose name began with Christ and ends with Christ! When we married Christine adopted my surname and became Christine Green, so in a sense you could say that I changed Christine’s name. Another legal way of changing your name in modern times is have it changed by deed poll.


In the bible name changes are highly significant and often reflect a new identity or character.

God is in the business of changing the names of his covenant people. Here are some examples from the Old Testament.

Genesis 17:5 The Lord changed the name of Abram meaning ‘exalted father’ to Abraham meaning ‘father of a multitude of nations.’


Genesis 17:15 The Lord changed the name of Sarai meaning ‘my princess’ to Sarah meaning ‘princess and mother of the nations.’


Genesis 32:28 The Lord changed the name of Jacob meaning ‘supplanter, cheat, heelgrabber’ to Israel ‘a prince with God, striver with God and man’


When God gives someone a new name, he gives them the nature and character to go with it. God fulfilled this for the above examples.


Jesus, the son of God continued to change names in the new testament.

John 1:42 Simon meaning ‘hearer’ was changed to Petros meaning ‘rock’ or ‘stone.’ You could say that when Simon heard the Living Word, he was transformed into a rock who provided solid strength to his brothers.


In the book of Revelation 2:17 we are told that Jesus Christ will give each victor a new name, and a name which no one will know except the one who receives it. This suggests to me a wonderful intimacy between the Lord and the recipient.


Over the centuries and millennia God has given various name changes to the nation of Israel. In Isaiah 62:2-4 No longer ‘forsaken’[1] and ‘deserted’[2] but a ‘delight’[3] and ‘married’[4].


In Hosea 1:6-9 the Lord calls Israel the following names v6 Lohrumah meaning ‘not obtained compassion’, v9 Lo-ammi meaning ‘not my people’.

But in Hosea 1:10 and in Hosea 2:1 God shows the future name changes he will bring for Israel. In 1:10 they will be called ‘sons of the Living God’ and in 2:1 ‘ammi’ meaning ‘my people’ and Ruhamah meaning’ those deserving compassion.


Here are some examples of how God has changed our names through Jesus Christ.

Old Name

Alternative Name

New Name

Alternative New Name

Lost

No contact with God

Found

Saved

Dead in spirit

Dead in sin

Alive in spirit

Born again

Sinner and outcast

Nothing in common

Sons of the Living God

Joint heirs with Christ

Blind

Unable to see God

Seeing

Able to see God's work

Deaf

Unable to hear God

Hearing

Able to hear God's words

Heart of stone

Unfeeling and uncaring

Heart of flesh

Caring and sharing

Perhaps today, the Lord could change any unwanted names that others have applied to you, and if He does so, He will give us his grace and favour to enter the new names and characters. Consider the following table of names.

Old Name

Alternative

New Name

Alternative

Rejected by men

Outcast

Accepted by God

accepted into God's family

Wounded

Healed

Poor

Amply supplied

Lonely

Alone

Comforted

in his family

Neglected

Attended to

Confused

Lost direction

Seeing clearly

New direction

Hurting

In pain

Healed

Soothed

Grieving

Rejoicing

Cursed

Blessed

In pain

Pain free

Sick

Healthy

Rebellious

Submissive

Bitter

Sweet

Fearful

Fearless


Prayer; if any of these old names have been applied to you, let us now ask the Lord to change these name(s) knowing that if He does then He will give you the character and nature to walk and live in your new name(s).

Amen

[1] azubah [2] shemamah [3] hephzibah [4] beulah



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