What's in a Name?
From that article, Keathley asserts that, "The great purpose of man, especially the believer in Christ, is to glorify God. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Essential to our ability to glorify God is the knowledge of God and knowing Him personally in view of that knowledge."
So you might ask...is God "knowable". Throughout Scripture, God is revealing Himself to mankind. Sharing His personality, His nature, His character, His plans, His purposes...and His names!
The Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” The many names in Scripture constitute additional revelation of God’s character, His works, and His relationship to us based on His character and works. The names which God chose for Himself and which are ascribed to Him in the Word of God are additional revelations of the who and what of God that we may know and relate to God.
Note David’s declarations about God’s name and word in Psalm 138:1-2. God’s name declares much about His person, but it is God’s Word that reveals God and His name.
We know what God is like, not only by His perfections and works, but also by His names. They tell us many things about God’s care and concern for his own.
The Name of God in General
There are a number of instances where no name of God is employed, but where simply the term “name” in reference to God is used as the point of focus:
(1) Abraham called on the name of the Lord (Gen. 12:8; 13:4).
(2) The Lord proclaimed His own name before Moses (Ex. 33:19; 34:5).
(3) Israel was warned against profaning the name of the Lord (Lev. 13:21; 22:2, 32).
(4) The name of the Lord was not to be taken in vain (Ex. 20:7; Deut. 5:11).
(5) The priests of Israel were to minister in the name of the Lord (Deut. 18:5; 21:5).
(6) The name of God is called “wonderful” in Judges 13:18.
(7) To call on the name of the Lord was to worship Him as God (Gen. 21:33; 26:25).
(8) Salvation is through His name (John 1:12).
(9) Believers are to gather in His name (Matt. 18:20).
(10) Prayer is to be made in His name (John 14:13-14).
(11) The servant of the Lord who bears the name of Christ will be hated (Matt. 10:22).
(12) The book of Acts makes frequent mention of worship, service, and suffering in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:18; 5:28, 41; 10:43; 19:17).
(13) It is at the name of Jesus that every knee will one day bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).
Early in Scripture, God revealed much about Himself through His name. In Genesis, we find the name "El Shaddai" The timing of this revealed name was impeccable! Abram and Sarah were promised a son, but were far beyond the child bearing years in life... A child would require a supernatural miracle... and so God reveals Himself as THE ALMIGHTY!
A.W. Pink, in Gleanings in Genesis says, "The revelation which God here made of Himself was well suited to the occasion. This was the first time that He revealed Himself as "the Almighty." None but One who possessed all power could meet Abram’s need at this time. Ninety and nine years of age, his body dead; Sarah barren and long past the age of child-bearing - how could they have hope to have a son? But with God all things are possible. And why? Because He is El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One."