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THY NAME: MY NAME

‘I have called thee by thy name.’—ISAIAH xliii. 1.

‘Every one that is called by My name.’—ISAIAH xliii. 7.

Great stress is laid on names in Scripture. These two parallel and antithetic clauses bring out striking complementary relations between God and the collective Israel. But they are as applicable to each individual member of the true Israel of God.

I. What does God’s calling a man by his name imply?

1. Intimate knowledge.

Adam naming the creatures.

Christ naming His disciples.

2. Loving friendship.

Moses, ‘I know thee by name, and thou hast found grace in my sight.’

3. Designation and adaptation to work.

Bezaleel—Exodus xxxi. 2; Cyrus—ISAIAH xlv. 3; Servant of the Lord—ISAIAH xlix. 1.

II. What does God’s calling a man by His name imply?

1. God’s possession of him. That possession by God involves God’s protection and man’s safety. He does not hold His property slackly. ‘None shall pluck them out of My Father’s hand.’

2. Kindred. The man bears the family name. He is adopted into the household. The sonship of the receiver of the new name is dimly shadowed.

3. Likeness.

The Biblical meaning of ‘name’ is ‘character manifested.’

Nomen and omen coincide.

We must bring into connection with the texts the prominence given in the Apocalypse to analogous promises.

‘I will write on him the name of My God.’ That means a fuller disclosing of God’s character, and a clear impress of that character on perfected men ‘His name shall be in their foreheads.’

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