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.
“Even the strong need saving”
Absolutely true. And it seems that in some ways the strong need saving more than the weak–because the weak recognize their need for salvation, whereas the strong can be easily blinded by their own strength.
I think of the times when God weakened a strong man, ultimately in order to save him. Nebuchadnezzar grazed as a donkey in order to be humbled. Saul became blind and had to be led by the hand. And then their are those who never humbled themselves to receive salvation–King Saul, Solomon the wise, Darius, Ananias and Sapphira. They were so strong or so smart or so wonderful that they refused the salvation of God.
Yes, we all need saving, even the strong.
I’ve always wondered if names themselves affect a person’s behavior. As in, the actual sound of the names evokes certain behavior. Like, Aaron sounds a lot different than Joshua. Could our personalities be altered because of the way our brains process the sound? Do less or more vowels make a difference? Does length affect us?
This idea came upon me because of honor roll, actually. All throughout school, the people on the A honor roll have been thus: Ashley Borhart, Aaron Boyer, Allyson Muneke, Allison Rogutitch. Do the A’s have anything to do with how our intelligence has developed? Hmmmm…….