What's in a name?
The Book of Genesis, Chapter 6, verses 6 and 7, come just before the Biblical flood and are some of the saddest verses in the Bible.
“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (KJV)
God says, I repent that I have even created this monstrous, disappointing creature that I had high hopes for and look what it has become. Now that is a sad place.
Now let’s at look at Romans 11:29: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
These two simple passages have created a huge chasm we’ve got to figure out. God says that he is sorry he even made them, then in the new covenant he says he will never be sorry for calling them and filling them with gifts.
In Genesis 17, we find the communication that God is having with Abraham. For us, he is the father of faith. He was a man who was raised up in what is now Iraq. He was an idolater who worshiped all kinds of stone idols and we know that from history.
God begin to deal with Abraham when he was 75. At 75, God called him and told him to leave his family and his land and to go to a place God would show him.
Chapter 17 opens and Abraham is 99. God appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty God.” Now this is the first time that God reveals himself to Abram as Jehovah. I am that I am!
God tells Abraham he is going to teach him some things about himself at a deeper level than Abraham has understood.
I really believe that God wants to show us things about his character and about his nature, his personality and his abilities that we’ve never even begun to understand.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before me and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.’ Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: ‘As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham.’” (Geneis 17:1-5)
God addresses Abraham’s name because it was a bit of a sham. Abram in his native dialect means exalted father, but he’s 99 and has no children. Have you ever gone to a place where you’ve gone on your face and said “God, OK, I just can’t be this in name only. At some point something has got to start happening that matches what you said I am. I am not an exalted father. I don’t even have a child, and I’m nearly 100.”
God says he will take care of that and puts an “h” in his name making him Abraham. The “h” in Hebrew means the making of a covenant. He makes Abraham a covenant man. God’s covenant is that Abraham has been made the “father of many nations.” Abraham is no longer called something that he is really not. He will become what he was called to become because God joined himself to him in covenant.
Likewise, God won’t call you to do anything that he doesn’t gift you to accomplish.