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"But now, this is what the Lord says - He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have REDEEMED you; I have summoned you by NAME; YOU are MINE.'" - Isaiah 43:1

I was exploring Exodus when I realized, after a lot of searching and giving my laptop a migraine in the process, that there was no other use of the word "exodus" in the Bible, other than the title to the 2nd recorded book of the Bible. I searched multiple versions and the only instance of the word "exodus" I could find in the 6 versions that I read was in Hebrews 11:22 in the NIV.

That's when I began looking at the word "Exodus" as a title - the common title to the book in our standard English Bibles and began digging.

"Exodus" as a title,

is actually Greek (Exodos) and not Hebrew.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. In Hebrew, the 2nd book of the Bible is not "The Book of Exodus" but, rather, "The Book of Names".

The Hebrew word "Sh'mot" is used instead of "Exodos" (Greek) and the names have 2 very different meanings. The words in Hebrew and Greek for the title of the book we call Genesis have two very similar meanings, both reflecting the definition "the beginning" or "origin". The words in Hebrew and Greek for the title of the book we call Exodus are a whole different story with the Greek meaning something similar to "a going out" - which captures the story of the book of the Bible, while the Hebrew meaning is "names".

Why the difference?

In Hebrew, the names for the books of the Bible were taken from the first verse of each book. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis) or "These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob; each with his family." (Exodus).

Yes - it is the same with the other books! Greek: "Leviticus" vs. Hebrew: Vayiqra - "He called"; Greek: "Numbers" vs. Hebrew: Bamidbar - "In the wilderness"; Greek: Deuteronomy vs. Hebrew: Devarim "The words". (reference)

So.... after that long rabbit trail....

I realized that maybe instead of researching what I was originally writing, which was called "Achieving Exodus" I would research and write about "Being Called by Name".

What is it about names?

Historically (and biblically) speaking, a name was not just an identifying reference to a person - it spoke of someone's destiny or character.

It was purposeful.

When a name is changed from one thing to another, Biblically, it was significant to a spiritual transition or growth. Abram meant "high/exalted father" while "Abraham" means "father of many nations". And Jesus means "to deliver/to rescue". Jesus changed Simon's name to "Peter" - Simon meaning (roughly) "God has heard" and Peter meaning "Rock", in this case referencing a foundation (Matthew 16:18). Jacob's name was changed to Israel after wrestling with God.

Names were very important, and names are still very important.

What is most important is not necessarily what we are named

but for what we are known.

If God were to rename you...

what do you think He would call you?

This is what the Bible says about you, as a child of God:

A question I was asking myself after reading all these "truths":

What keeps us from living in and believing in these new names given to us?

I'm honestly asking this from a place of not "feeling" like I am any of these. I don't see it right now. I am struggling. My faith is not what it was a year ago. I feel broken in places that I didn't even know could break a year ago. I feel used. Abandoned. And tossed aside like trash.

So, what is my name?

The truth is that we don't have to "feel" it.

We just have to accept the Word of God.

We need to accept what God says and realize that, no, we might not be there yet. We might be low and struggling and unable to find our footing after being knocked down.

We might be hiding in our fear or sorrow.

Look at Gideon.

Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress. Normally, you would thresh wheat on the top of a hill. Gideon was hiding. Yet, when God called him, He called him, "you mighty man of valor!"

I imagine Gideon looking left and right and behind him, curious as to who had jumped in the winepress with him that the Angel of the Lord may have been speaking to. Because I believe that Gideon did not see himself as a "mighty man of valor". In fact, Gideon's response was, Where is God in all this??? (paraphrase). Gideon was the from the weakest clan and was the least in his father's house. Judges 6

Yet, God called him - not dependent on where he was or his circumstances - but of where he was going to be.

We may have been used and forsaken by those we loved and trusted.

Look at Hagar.

A slave taken in by her master, chosen to bear a son to him. She was cared for. She was obedient and she had faith in the people around her. She trusted them. Until she was cast aside, throw out of her home and left deserted with nothing but her child. She was abandoned because of the decisions and choices of others - used and discarded.

Yet, the Lord sent His Angel and Hagar was told "fear not" and then provided for. And the Lord told her that she would be the mother of a nation. That she, who was cast out due to the jealousy and cruelty of others, would rise up and be of a great people.

She may not have felt it or seen the possibility at the moment, but the Lord saw what was to be.

If I ask the question again

and if you answer it, not based on where you are now

or who hurt you

or how you feel

but, instead, you answer it based on

the fact that God has plans for you

that neither you nor anyone can see yet...

If God were to rename you...

what do you think He would call you?

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