“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
When I worked in the courthouse my favorite hearings were the name change hearings. It was fascinating to hear what names people wanted to be known by. I am convinced that names are significant.
What amazed me was how many people changed their names because of a father. Many people changed their name to draw near to a father figure or to distance themselves from a father figure. In all of the cases they wanted their new name to speak of their new identity. People chose names that made them feel loved, powerful, and free.
Throughout the Bible names are very significant and the prophet Isaiah emphasizes this truth. The name God gives is meant to evoke joy, renewal, and the comfort that comes from knowing that God has you.
Has anyone given you a name, or a nickname, that made you feel loved, powerful, or free?
Does it seem possible that God could rename you, “My delight is in you”? Is it possible for you to hear God call you beloved?
This is more than a feel good message. Knowing, believing we are beloved by God sets us free to follow Christ in ways deeper than we imagined. Remember, Jesus ministry of compassion and justice, forgiveness and renewal, began at his baptism when God gave him the name, “Beloved.”