WHAT’S IN A NAME
The ancestry of Abraham is recorded in Gen. 11:10-26 through the line of Shem. The Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah and Redeemer of Israel, was born of the seed of Abraham. In this section of scripture, from the meaning of at least eight of these names, the character and mission of Christ are foretold. To study the meaning of names has always been of great interest to me and I trust this will be a blessing to you.
SHEM means “a name.” Even before the conception of the Lord Jesus, the angel told Mary his name. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” – Luke 1:31. He was indeed unique. In this name is authority, power, excellency, majesty, etc. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”– Acts 4:12.
The lame man in Acts 3 was healed through faith in this “name.” “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know.” All service rendered in His name shall be rewarded. “And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance.” – Col. 3:17,24.
Because of His condescension “…God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” – Phil. 2:9-11. O, praise God for the precious name of Jesus; just to bow before Him now in humble adoration and acknowledge His worthiness of all honor! I highly treasure this name; the sweetest I know. Hallelujah!
ARPHAXAD: “One that heals or releases.” Jesus returned to His home town, Nazareth, after His temptation in the wilderness, and entering the synagogue on the sabbath day. Stood up and read from the book of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” – Luke 4:16-18.
The word “heal” means “cure, make whole, restore health.” This is exactly what Jesus did during His short earthly ministry, which was a foreshadow of the effectiveness of His sacrifice at Calvary - Matt. 8:17. The gospels record many deliverances, such as: healing the lame, blind, deaf and dumb, lepers, a woman with “an issue of blood,” raised the dead, (Lazarus, Jairus’ only daughter, the widow’s only son). This certainly healed the brokenhearted, cast out unclean spirits, etc. He had power to forgive sins and did - Matt. 9:1-6. Bless God, His blood has never lost its power! What a man! He is just the same today as yesterday, and worthy of our trust.
One day, this same Jesus is going to “heal, restore,” His people Israel of all their woes. “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” -Hosea 6:1-2.
SALAH: “Mission, Sent forth.” It was in the mind of God to send His dear Son on a mission, even before the foundation of the world. “Sent” means “send away to a place appointed.” “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” – John 3:17. He was willing to leave that intimate place of fellowship with the Father (John 1:18) by coming to this sinful world (the appointed place) to fulfill His will.
The world was already condemned or under the sentence of death because of Adam’s sin. “…as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” – Rom. 5:12. The only way of deliverance for the guilty sinner was death, and Jesus was willing to pay the debt by taking the sinner’s place. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” – Heb. 9:28; John 3:15. Thus He accomplished “the definite task” of the Father and “became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” – Heb. 5:9. What a gracious Savior!
PELEG: “A Channel, Passage Way.” “God is a Spirit,” and must have a channel through which He can exhibit His divine attributes, i.e. love, mercy, grace, etc., to both sinners and saints. Jesus Christ is that channel. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth.” “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” – John 1:14; Heb. 1:3.
Thus Christ was the representation of God’s substance, deity in the world. He is the “passage way” for every blessing that flows into this world from a loving gracious God. “…we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” “…having made peace through the blood of his cross” – Col. 1:14,20. “…saved from wrath through him.” “…we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” – Rom. 5:9,11. “…a son and…heir of God through Christ” – Gal. 4:7. Made rich THROUGH His poverty - II Cor. 8:9. He gives us freely all things THROUGH Him - Rom. 8:32. Ultimate victory over death is THROUGH Him – I Cor. 15:57. O, what eternal riches and blessings are ours to enjoy! “That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” – Eph. 2:7. O, to be found in Him, and to have that righteousness, which is THROUGH the faith of Christ, is my desire! How about you?
To be continued