There has always been something significant about the names of the Bible. Many people had their name changed as their character changed or they met God. The couple I’ve read a bit about lately is Abram and Sarai. God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah because of His promise to them that He would make them the parents of nations. Still others had their name changed in the Bible either by God or by pagans. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel after he wrestled with God. Joshua’s name wasn’t always Joshua but Hoshea, a change that Moses made as Hoshea served him. His name meant “Salvation” at first, but Moses changed it to “The Lord Saves”. Solomon’s name was changed by God to Jedidiah “Beloved of God”. Daniel and his three friends had their names changed by the pagan King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon, in an attempt to steal their Jewish identity from them and make them pagan. It didn’t work because Daniel and his friends knew the meaning of Daniel: “God is my Judge”.
Even characters in the New Testament experienced new names. Simon was called Peter by Christ, A change from “He who hears” to “Rock”. Saul was called Paul, from “death” to “small”. I wonder if he thought about that as he wrote his epistles about living Christ’s life and becoming nothing that Christ might be made manifest.
So then, what does all this matter? My name is Joshua Aaron. It means “The Lord saves the mountain of strength.” I believe there is a reason that is my name, and perhaps Mom can help me with the story on this. Aaron means mountain of strength, yet the Aaron of the Bible was weak and easily swayed by the people. Even the strong need saving. Truly, my name is a promise. Even when I feel strong, I still need saving. God promises to save. Zepheniah 3:17 starts by saying, “The Lord your God is in your midst. The Mighty One will save.” I think we all know the rest of the verse. I’m at a time where I feel weak, even unto death, and wonder why I can’t sense God in my midst. Yet, even now, the Mighty One is in my midst and He will save. The Lord saves the mountain of strength even when he is Saul.