Word For Your Weekend: What's In A Name? [The Names of God - Part 1]

My husband, Dan, and I have three sons.  When we received the news that our third child was a third boy, the reactions of friends and family were interesting.  We heard everything from, “That’s great!” to “Oh, wow, I’m sure you wanted a girl!”

When we were looking for names for this precious baby we could not agree.  My husband it a stickler for praying about our children’s names and hearing from the Lord, but I’m...not.  Daily I asked the Lord for a name, all the while texting my husband every idea that came to my head hoping to hear him say, “That’s the one!”.

When I was about 25 weeks pregnant I had a dream that our son was born and when I looked at him I knew his name was David.  I woke up from the dream thinking, “Hmmmm...that’s interesting, but I don’t like the name David.” I shared it with Dan and he immediately liked the name.  However, I was stubborn and resistant and said, “Nope, we need something more interesting.”

Fast-forward several weeks later and we were discussing baby names once again.  We talked about how everyone felt a little sorry for us because this baby wasn’t a girl, but how we already loved this boy so much and were thrilled at the thought of meeting him.  I said to Dan, “We need a name that means beloved...because this boy is our beloved third son.”

Do you know what name comes up first when you Google “boy names that mean beloved”?  David.

I didn’t tell Dan the results of that Google search.  I kid you not.

Fast forward several more weeks and we were still discussing name options.  I was 38 weeks now and watching Dan and our older boys play one evening. I suddenly had a vivid vision of a toddler bouncing around them and I heard myself saying, “Watch out for David!”  Despite my stubborn hesitation up to that point, all of a sudden, in that moment there was no other name I liked or would even consider. I knew that was his name - David - beloved.

David is now 6 months old and I was just this week telling someone how he lives up to the meaning of his name on a daily basis.  When I look at him I remember what his name means because he is his name.  He is beloved.

The names of God are much the same and more.  They tell us more about Who He is - His character, His reputation, His promises.  

In Old Testament times, names carried a special significance.  So much significance, in fact, that multiple times in Scripture God actually changes a person’s name to reflect a new reality in their lives (Genesis 17, Genesis 32, John 1).  

I love that our God has a name for every circumstance or situation we might find ourselves in.  Here are some that are most dear to me (this is not an exhaustive list):

El Hanne’enam - The Faithful God  (Deuteronomy 7:9)

El Shaddai - The All-Sufficient God (Genesis 17:1)

El Olam - The Everlasting God (Genesis 21:33, Psalm 90:1-3)

El Roi - The God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13)

El Hakkadosh - The Holy God (Isaiah 5:16)

El Channun - The Gracious God (Jonah 4:2)

El Sali - God of My Strength (Psalm 42:9)

El Rachum - God of Compassion (Deuteronomy 4:31)

El Yeshuatenu - God of Our Salvation (Psalm 68:19)

Immanuel - God With Us (Isaiah 7:14)

El Hannova - The Awesome God (Nehemiah 9:32)

Jehovah Nissi - The Lord My Banner (Exodus 17:15)

Jehovah Rapha - The Lord Who Heals (Exodus 15:26)

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord My Provider (Genesis 22:14)

Jehovah Shalom - The Lord My Peace (Judges 6:24)

Looking at this list of different ways the Lord describes Himself in Scripture, I can’t help but be incredibly encouraged.  I’m excited to explore some of these names with you in the coming weeks. Today, be encouraged to know that you are loved deeply by the God Who is all of these things!

Think about…

  • Are there any of the names of God on the list above that stand out to you personally?

  • Is there a particularly difficult situation or circumstance that you are facing right now? Which of God’s names might bring you comfort in the face of it?

  • Do you know the meaning of your name?


Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit - thank You that You are all of the attributes listed above and so much more.   Thank you that You are faithful, all-sufficient, everlasting, that You see us, that You are holy, gracious, compassionate, that You give us strength, You give us Salvation, You are with us, You are awesome, You are our banner, You heal, You provide, and You are our peace.   Help us rest in all that You are today. Amen.

(c) 2018 By Hannah Kistler