“No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5
As I sat last night watching some program on the History Chanel last night, and let me say, I find most of the religious shows on that channel to be trash, I heard something that actually sparked my pondering on how God conquered the sinful nature of man and makes it known. Name changing.
In ancient times, when a king would conquer in battle and capture a rival king in battle, he would often change the name of the losing king. Name rights were held in high regard and to lose ones name was seen as losing everything. What more could one have to give after losing his name? In a worldly or secular view, this would be seen as being crushed by your opponent. When we look at it with our view through faith, we see God doing this not out of spite, but love in regards to giving his servants a new identity, or rather, almost as the finality of adoption or sonship.
God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel,” (Genesis 32:28). He changed Simon’s name to “Peter,” “rock” (John 1:42). Sarai, Abraham’s wife to Sarah, mother of nations (Genesis 17:15). When I wonder about this, I can not help to think that God conquered them. The finality of realizing God is God and “Thy will be done”. Total acceptance of Gods will.
Most times, we tend to look outside of ourselves and see evil in the world and wish to conquer it. It is only when we look inside ourselves, and see the evil that exists within that we come to understand, it is in need to be conquered first.
There are many instances of name changes in the bible. One in particular stands out. Death. When our Lord Jesus Christ, rose form the dead, He conquered death and named it, Eternal Life.
Revelation 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.