Wow! After spending three months in the first two books of the Old Testament, we are moving to the first book of the New Testament; and in reality it’s not such a long stretch. Although several thousand years separate the two, Matthew is a continuation of God’s great story that began in the Garden, migrating to Egypt and then into the wilderness.
After perfection was shattered by rebellion, God promised a Savior would come from woman’s seed to crush the enemy. “The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; 15 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 3:14-15).
And He sent His Son, Jesus our Savior.
And in Exodus we saw the numerous foreshadowings of His deliverance from bondage through His Passover Lamb.
And He sent His Son, Jesus the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.
Consider His Name
“But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus,” (1:20-25).
Consider His Name, Jesus. “…and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins,” (1:22).
Consider His Name, Immanuel. “ ‘…and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us,’ ” (1:23).
Wrapped in His unmatched Name is the fulfillment of mankind’s greatest need, His Saving and His Presence.
How can we respond to His Name?
Know the Savior. He came to die for us that we might be saved. Receive His salvation through placing our faith in what only He could do. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep,” (John 10:11, 14-15).
Seek His Presence. He came to be with us, forever. He will never leave or forsake us, but unfortunately all too often, we move away from Him. There is a metaphor I heard many years ago that describes this so well: (An old couple is driving, when passed by a car with a young couple. The young girl is sitting close to the driver, evidently enamored to be in his company. The old wife comments as the young couple passes, “Remember, when we used to be like that?” To which her old husband, behind the driver’s wheel, replies, “I haven’t moved.”)
A good question to consider, have we moved? If so, let us quickly return to enjoy His company. “‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord,” (Jeremiah 29:13).
And may we never forget:
- His Name is Holy. “Then say, ‘Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us from the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name,’” (1 Chronicles 16:35).
- His Name is Glorious. “Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name,” (1 Chronicles 29:13).
- His Name is Incomparable. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).
Therefore, let us always Reverence His Name.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” (Exodus 20:7).
Often we think as long as we don’t combine God’s Name with some form of profanity, we have this commandment covered. But let’s look a little closer for understanding. The Hebrew word translated as “vain” is defined as follows:
“a masculine noun meaning emptiness, vanity, evil, ruin, uselessness, deception, worthless, without result, fraud, deceit. The primary meaning of the word is deceit, lie, or falsehood.”
So, yes, we absolutely should not use His name as evil profanity. But perhaps even more notably, in our day and age, is that we are not to use His Name in a way that makes it meaningless, empty or worthless.
Today we hear His Name used as an expression with no more reverence than a “Gee whiz” or an “Oh my!” How can we treat His Holy, Glorious and Incomparable Name as something so useless, and in a way deceive even ourselves? Does not a flippant toss of the Name of God present a lie to the world around us that His Name is less than He truly is, high and lifted up?
Let us always speak His Name with reverence; never in a cavalier and careless manner, but always with an attitude of humility and exaltation.
“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Let us be careful and reverential, so whenever we speak His Name, it is with great understanding of the glorious privilege we have to speak to Him or about His Holy, Glorious and Incomparable Name!
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in holy array,” (Psalms 29:2).