The Name of the Lord


The Lord’s name, part 2

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Written by ANDRÉE SEU

August 23, 2011, 8:30 AM

Somewhere in the recesses of time someone named a baby after Andrew the Apostle. In the late 1800s, another person picked up the French and feminized version for her baby girl Andrée. This child grew up to be a nun and was friends with my grandmother, who in turn suggested the name to my parents in 1951, perhaps in honor of her friend, or perhaps because it had the number of syllables they were going for to sound good with my last name.

Then there is God’s name—owing nothing to fashion, or euphonics, or tributes to best friends in convents. His Name is eternal and His Word settled in the heavens. In the most startling request in history, Moses asked God to show him His glory. God responded by saying He would show him His goodness (Exodus 33:18-19), thus indicating that His glory is His goodness:

“The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. . . .’ The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty . . .” (Exodus 34:5-7)

It would seem that the Lord dearly wants us to take His name to heart, for He mentions it in several places, for example in Psalm 145:8-9 and in Nehemiah 9:17, in the middle of a trip to the woodshed so that we will know His offer of mercy always stands, as long as we are in the land of the living.

The only person in recorded history who didn’t like God’s name was Jonah. He got mad at God one day because He wanted to save a nation of Jew-haters who were famous for beheading their victims and displaying their severed heads on gate posts around the city. Jonah said, like a child having a tantrum:

“That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster” (Jonah 4:2).

But Jonah aside, for you and me God’s name is very good news.