Names can ignite treasured memories or they can bring to mind people and experiences we’d rather forget.
When I hear the name Barbie, I think of the iconic doll from my childhood. Elizabeth reminds me of the Queen of England. Sandy reminds me of…tragedy.
Two years ago this week, Hurricane Sandy formed in the Atlantic Ocean, traveled up the east coast, and made landfall in New Jersey. Dubbed “Superstorm Sandy,” it is the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Storm surge resulted in severe flooding in New Jersey and New York. Residents and businesses are still trying to recover.
In 2004, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne set records for making landfall three weeks apart in the same town—my town. Then there’s Andrew, another name that stirs memories of disaster. In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew landed near Miami. The resulting damage was so severe that it was directly responsible for changes in Florida building codes.
It’s no wonder the names Andrew, Frances, Jeanne, and Sandy have been retired from future storm name lists.
In ancient Egypt, 3,500 years ago, another name was associated with natural disasters. Through ten plagues, the God of Israel waged war on Egypt’s gods. Water-turned-to-blood, frogs, insects, hail, locusts, even oppressive darkness were all used to manifest the power and glory of the one, true, living God. His name is Yahweh, and that name is not retired.
Yahweh, the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, is more than just a name. It describes the very nature of God: the self-existent One who is not dependent on anyone or anything. The great I AM who chose to be in a covenant-relationship with His people.
But Yahweh is just one of many names God revealed for Himself in His Word. How many of His names do you know? How many do you want to know? What will you do about it?