Words of Worth

Living up to a Name

September 9, 2011

People don’t always live up to their names. Neither do hurricanes. Take Irene. Irene means “peaceful” and hurricane Irene was anything but peaceful. Clearly she did not live up to her name. But it is no surprise that hurricanes sometimes don’t live up to their names considering how they are named.

Before the 1940s, only the worst storms were given names and usually based on the place or time of year they made landfall such as the Miami Hurricane of 1926 and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. However, 1950 marked the first year when Atlantic tropical cyclones received official names, albeit not human ones. These initial names were taken from a phonetic alphabet transmitted by radio or phone so the 1950 season featured Hurricane Dog, Hurricane Easy, and Hurricane Jig. This practice only lasted until 1952 because the list of names was recycled each year and that became confusing. In 1953 the National Hurricane Center began using female human names, which made storm identification easier, and the first hurricane names were often borrowed from forecasters’ wives until men’s names were added in 1979. Nowadays six lists, which alternate between male and female names, are rotated from year to year in the Atlantic. So the 2011 names will be used again in 2017. But when a storm is violent enough, its name can be retired to honor its victims and survivors. It may not be surprising if Irene’s name doesn’t make the 2017 rotation.

How hopeless and insecure we may feel at times when we can’t place our trust in the meaning of a name!

But God always lives up to His name.

In biblical times when God’s people had a special need, God revealed a name that would identify an aspect of His character that would provide the solution to the problem that the people were facing. For example, when David faced Goliath in I Samuel 17:45, David proclaimed to the huge giant that he came against him in the name of the Lord Almighty, which reveals the all powerful nature of God. Goliath did not stand a chance in that confrontation!

How h0peful and secure we can always feel because we can place our trust in the meanings of God’s 200+ names!

Each one of His names highlights one of His marvelous attributes upon which we can fully rely and depend.

Won’t you join us over the next few weeks as we study some, not 200 (we promise) of the names of God and what they reveal to us about His character? It will help you to know Him more and to know Him more is to love Him more.

God’s name is a strong tower that no hurricane can cast down and in Him we can always feel safe and secure! (SV)

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
–Proverbs 18:10