Every year here in southwest Missouri in November, an onslaught of hunters converge into the tens of thousands of acres of hardwood forests in hopes of bagging a prize buck. Imagine yourself in the middle of a 2000 acre tract alone in a deer stand. You hear the sounds of other hunting parties, for many have the same thing in mind as you do. You hear the word, “Daddy,” faintly off in the distance, and then it fades into the whisper of the wind in the leaves. You don’t pay it much mind.
I dare say that if you had heard your name coming through those trees, be it ever so faint, it would have gotten your attention. It would have generated thoughts immediately! Who could that be? Is that one of my kids? What are they doing out here? Are they hurt? Do they need me? And chances are that it would have sparked a search for that voice until you had found that person who had called your name.
Are names important? In this scenario a certain name is. The use of our name gets our attention. It could have been anybody’s daddy from anywhere, but when our name is uttered, we perk up.
I can’t help but think of our Father in heaven. We have been made in His likeness, in His image, both physically and emotionally. If our attention is corralled, galvanizing us into a desperate action by the mere mention of our name, could it be that His attention could be gotten in the same manner? Could it be that if only we could call upon the Creator and our Father using His real name, His given name, the name He said was His name forever—would that perk up His ears to our prayers, to our requests, to our cries?
The scriptures say that if we humans know how to give good gifts unto our own children, how much more will the Father give to those who ask Him. If we could respond to a faint cry of our own name in a deep forest, is it a big stretch to believe that the Almighty God, who is Love, could not be moved in His heart by hearing His own name expressed by one of His little ones?
The substitution of titles for YHWH
Now we know His real name. YHWH, pronounced “Yahweh,” is not a new revelation unto man. The name of the God of the Hebrews has been known for many centuries, but the translators have deliberately substituted the titles “LORD” and on occasion “GOD” and “JEHOVAH” for “Yahweh.” This is despite the passage quoted above, “Yahweh is my name forever.”
But Yahweh already knew that men would try to change His name throughout the ages. That’s why He said that it was His name forever and how we will remember Him. His name is His memorial unto all people in all times. You know His real Hebrew name, and you will begin to remember Him. His name Yahweh has been set up from the ancient times as a way for His people to bring Him back into their memories. The Hebrew word for “name” is shem, #8034, meaning “reputation; memory; renoun.” It was sometimes used as a synonym for “memory” (“Name,” Vine’s Expository Dictionary).
Believing in His Name
Just how important is the name of the Supreme Being? “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on His name,” (John 1:12). Two major points are to be considered from this passage. First, when we receive Him, we are given authority and power to become the Spirit-Creator’s children. A comma sets off the second part of the verse. It is set up like an appositive, which renames what just went before in the verse. The second part of the verse says, “even to them that believe on his name.”
In other words, those who receive Him are those to whom He gives power and authority to become His offspring. And these are equal to those who believe in His name. His name is very important then. Those believing in it are equated with those who have received Him, who have received His Spirit (“I will come to you,” He says in John, speaking of the Comforter, the Spirit). Those believing in His name are those who are to become His children. The Creator came in human form; the Word was made flesh. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” He came unto His own people and they did not receive Him. But some will.