“The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah:”
I am named for my two grandfathers, whom I never knew. Carl was my maternal grandfather’s first name. William was my paternal grandfather’s middle name. I am proud of my name and for what it stands for. I am, in a sense, carrying on both of my family lines with my name. Names mean something, don’t they?
So, when you come to the Old Testament, most people’s names meant something. Take for instance, the names mentioned here in the first verse of Zephaniah. (Oh, by the way, we are starting a new study today which will take us through the next 53 days.)
Zephaniah means “whom the Lord hid.” Gedaliah means “whom the Lord made great.” Amariah means “whom the Lord promised.” And Hezekiah means “whom the Lord strengthened.”
So, what does that mean for us?
The most famous name ever given is found in Matthew 1:21. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus’ name meant Yahweh saves. Even His name brought the message of salvation to mankind. Every time Mary called Jesus in for dinner, she would be uttering the message.
Think on that for a minute. How many of us name our children so that we are reminded of a message from God each time we call them. I have known a lot of women named Faith or Grace. I have even known a girl named Merry Christmas (no joke). I am not telling you to go and rename your children now. That would be silly. But look up the meaning of their names if you don’t already know it. The next time you call their name, think about what that means.
I am so glad that Jesus lived up to His name, aren’t you? He was born with a message. He grew up in that message. He died giving us that message. He certainly was the salvation for man. Yahweh saves. He saved through His Son. I pray you know Him as your Savior and Lord. The next time you say His name, think about what it means. He came to save you.
Oh God, I am eternally thankful for the message written in the name of Jesus. He saves!