Friday, December 21, 2007

What's In A Name?

I thought we could have some fun by looking at something in the Bible that is not obvious to the casual reader, but that shows us the great lengths to which God will go to get His message of love, grace, and redemption to us. There is a little known prophecy in Genesis chapter five that lays out the Gospel and because most of us don't speak Hebrew we miss it.

But before we look at this passage we need to understand that the sin that Adam committed did not take God by surprise. God knew what was going to happen before He created Adam and He already had his plan of redemption in place; Ephesians tells us that this plan was in place before the foundation of the world.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:3-6

The first prophecy of this coming redemption is found in the third chapter of Genesis, where we read:

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Genesis 3:15

But as I mentioned above, there is also something amazing found in Genesis chapter 5. We often just glance at chapters like this one when we are reading through the Bible and we ask ourselves what we could possibly learn from a list of names like this; what's the big deal about who begot whom? Well, after you see this you may never look quite the same way when you come to a list of names in the Bible.

In Genesis 5 there is a list of names, a genealogy that runs ten generations from Adam to Noah. Unlike most of our names today the names in the Bible actually have a meaning; that is why, for example when God changed people's names in the Bible; their name had some meaning that represented who they were in their relationship to God. Well this is also true of the names in Genesis five; each name in this list has a Hebrew meaning, and the meanings are as follows:

  1. Adam – Man
  2. Seth – Appointed
  3. Enosh – Mortal
  4. Kenan – Sorrow
  5. Mahalalel – The Blessed God
  6. Jared – Shall Come Down
  7. Enoch – Teaching
  8. Methuselah – His Death Shall Bring
  9. Lamech – The Despairing
  10. Noah – Comfort and Rest

When you put these ten names together in a sentence, in the exact order that they appear in this genealogy, we see something truly amazing. We get a sentence that says:

“Man [is] Appointed Mortal Sorrow [but] The Blessed God Shall Come Down Teaching [that] His Death Shall Bring [the] Despairing Comfort and Rest.”
In this brief sentence God has spelled out the message of the Gospel for us. So the next time you run across a list of names in the Bible pause and thank God for the love and grace that He has shown us, and praise Him for the redemption that is ours In Christ Jesus.

What an awesome God we serve! Print This Post

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