Some people like to change their names. Few believe in numerology and want to change their name for good luck or good fortune. Few think their name is unlucky and want to change. There are Christian disciples who take a new name after taking baptism. Sovereign Lord calls by name, that provides a person dignity, affirmation, and identity. (Isaiah 43:1) In the Bible, God gave new names to a few which means: —a new relationship, a new character quality, or a new phase of life.
1) Promise and Covenant: God called Abram and promised him to be the father of nations. However, he was without a child. But God promised a child for Abram and Sarai. God changed their names: Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah (Genesis 17:5,15)
2) Deceiver becomes devout: Jacob encouraged by his mother Rebekah was interested to get the right of first born and blessings. For that he took advantage of his brother Esau, when he was hungry, got the birthright. Then he feigned as Esau and got blessing from his blind father Isaac. For twenty years he had to be in his uncle Laban’s home as a consequence. When he returned, he spent the whole night alone. He wrestled with God to bless him. Jacob prevailed in pursuit of God and received blessing. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28)
3) Transformation: God chose Simon to be His disciple. His name Simon which means: ‘God has heard’ was changed to Peter meaning a rock. (John 1:42; Matthew 16:17-18) Indeed, Peter, who was weak to deny Lord Jesus, was transformed and stood like a rock to speak boldly on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2)
4) Mission: The persecutor Saul had a personal encounter with Lord Jesus Christ. His life was transformed when Saul became Paul ‘Apostle to Gentiles,’ planting many churches, developing leaders, and writing letters to churches, part of the New Testament. (Acts 14:9)
5) Eternal name: God promised a New Name for overcomers. (Revelation 2:17; 3:12)
Do I celebrate in joy as God has called me by name?