When my husband and I were choosing names for our children we each made a list of ones we liked and then tried to find some common ground! We did not consider very carefully the meaning of the names we chose. I would do things very differently now, because I have come to understand the importance of names to God and their meanings. In the Bible every name conveys something about the person and their character.
It is the same with God. He has many different names recorded In Scripture, each one of which encapsulates a different facet of His nature and who He is.
Today’s verse tells us that His Name is near to us, but I was wondering which Name is meant by that! As I was pondering on this, I felt that for every situation we find ourselves in, there is an aspect of God appropriate for those particular circumstances, and we can find Him near to us in a personal way as represented by that particular name. For instance, there are times when we will need a Shepherd to lead and guide us (Psalm 23), or when we will especially need to know that our Father is near. Sometimes we will need to know Him as the LORD who heals (Exodus 15:26), the LORD who will provide (Genesis 22:14), the LORD is peace (Judges 6:24), and so on. In the Psalms David addressed God in many different ways. For instance, in Psalm 18 he called Him: my Strength, my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer, my Shield. Each of these names (and there are many more in Scripture) brings a different facet of who God is for His people, and as we trust Him we will find that He is near to us in these different ways.
It is a wonderful truth that God is near. He is not far off, even when we feel as if He is. He has promised that He will never leave us. The problem is that we are often distant from Him. This can happen when we have allowed sin to come between us, or when we have become distracted by the world and have lost our focus on Him, but He has promised that when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Why not do that now, and call on Him, using the particular Name that is most appropriate for you today, in the circumstances in which you find yourself? His Name is near to you!
Prayer: Lord, thank You that Your Name is near to me today. I want to draw near to You and ask You to be my... (use whichever Name is appropriate in your situation today – eg `my Shepherd, my Father, my Strength, my Rock, my Deliverer, my Peace`. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Amen.
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