What is in a Name?

When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.  And the LORD said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.” She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.” When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the LORD said, “Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”
Hosea 1:2–9
What is in a Name?
            There are parts of the Bible that often make us scratch our heads in wonder. From our broken and sinful eyes, it would appear that God sometimes acts in cruel and unfair ways toward His people. But the sad truth is that our sins deserve even worse punishment. In these verses we see the Lord instruct Hosea to take a wife who is a prostitute and to have children with her. And as he does each child is given a name that most parents would not choose for their children. But God wanted His people to know that they had sinned and had brought about God’s wrath because they refused to turn from their sin and repent. The breach between God and Israel continued to widen. It could still be restored, however, through the people’s repentance and God’s restorative action. Israel’s history stands as a warning to all believers. We are to trust only in God and not mingle in false religions and beliefs which only serve to turn us away from God and His salvation. We are to be guided by the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, and walk in His truth. And at your Baptism, you were given a new name as well. You were given the name of Christian, and in His name, we find our true identity.
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