A new name
When I was a child, I had a bookmark with not only my name, ‘Nancy’, but also the meaning of my name, ‘Grace’. A quick search on the internet can yield the meaning of other names… though I have no idea how the meanings developed. When we named our children we did as most do, we selected names we liked rather than basing the selections on the meanings. Not so in most cases in the Bible as names were often tied to the circumstances surrounding a child’s birth.
In Genesis 17, two names were changed by God: Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah. Sarah is the one who intrigues me today… or rather God’s actions regarding Sarah. The name she was given at birth was ‘Sarai’ which means ‘contentious’ [likely to cause people to argue or disagree]… got to wonder what her parents were thinking! Yet she did live up to her name… even if not always by her choice.
She was a very beautiful woman… so much so that when they went to Egypt earlier Abraham feared for his life so he told Pharaoh that she was his sister (which has some truth to it). Pharaoh took her to make her his wife and would have had God not intervened. Then yesterday I read of her scheme to get Abraham the child he had been promised by having him sleep with her servant Hagar. As soon as the pregnancy was confirmed Hagar began to despise Sarai and the feeling was mutual. Sarai so mistreated Hagar that the servant fled… until God intervened.
Anyone else see the pattern emerging? Sarai was good at causing or getting caught up in problems… she was ‘Contentious’… then God would step in and intervene. Makes me wonder for a moment why her? Why select her for the mother of all Jews? Why make her the woman through which Jesus would be a direct descendant?
The answer is so beautiful! God saw in her what others missed. This beautiful, head-strong, take the bull by the horns gal was a strong woman through which he wanted to bless and work through… imperfect though she was! So God declared her name to be changed from ‘Sarai… aka Contentious’ to ‘Sarah… aka Princess’!
My heart rejoices this morning because of the implications of Sarah’s name change to my life! Many are the times I could shake my head and ask why God would want to work through imperfect me! I falter. I can be selfish. I can be too hard on others… and on and on and on. Yet God reached out to me and chose me to be a princess! That’s right… I am not just ‘Nancy’… I am ‘Nancy, Child of God’!!!! My name is even written down in his book as such… a child of the King… Princess Nancy!! Thank you, God! My heart rejoices in you this morning! Thank you for picking me when I would never have picked me! Thank you for giving me a new name through the grace your pour down on me! Thank you for offering the same name-changing opportunity to every man, woman, and child walking this earth! The question is… are you ready for a name change? Or maybe you have had one and just need to be reminded that you are a princess or maybe a prince? Don’t you just love God’s free name changing services?