What's In A Name?

In American culture it has become commonplace to just pick a name that you like and bestow it upon your child. This is a far cry different than how names used to be picked in generations past. There is so much more to a name than just what meets the eye at first glance. As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." The truth is that if the rose were not named a rose it wouldn't smell like a rose. The fragrance may be similar, the appearance may be similar but attributes and traits would be that of the flower's name and no longer that of the Rose. If a rose were called a Tudaisy then it would smell like, look like, and share the characteristics of Tudaisies. It wouldn't be a rose, it would be a Tudaisy. That's an extreme example of the power of names, so let's take a deeper look at Names.


Names are not just names. Names have meaning and a purpose. They are not just some form of distinguishing ourselves among each other. They identify us. In one sense, names are prophetic in nature. They identify what type of person we are going to be in our lives, and what our nature and characteristics will be. For example, Jesus was called by many names. He was called Joshua which means salvation, and was also called Emmanuel which means God among men. There is multitude of names used to describe him and each one describes his nature, his essence, and who he is as a person. Each of the names of Jesus are also directly tied to the Names of God, and God's names are identifying characteristics of who God is. God the healer, God the provider, The Lord of Hosts etc.

Another tradition of Hebraic understanding was that when you named something you had dominion over it. When God created all of creation he named a few things. He named the days and nights, he named the sky, he named the sea, he named the sky and he named Man. Everything God created he has ultimate dominion over because he created from his very being. All creation exists within God and its very light is the manifestation of the words God spoke in order to begin the creation process. It is interesting that that God didn't name the animals specifically such as dog, cat, horse etc. Instead he gave that honor to man. In doing so mankind didn't just arbitrarily name animals like Hippo, or snake just because they were the first things that came to mind, or names that they liked. Adam gave names to animals based on their nature and characteristics. For instance, the name given to the snake was Nachash (serpent), It is the same word in Hebrew that means to hiss, to practice witchcraft, to practice divination, to observe signs. An interesting side note is that this identifies that the first witch was Satan, and clearly identifies that all forms of witchcraft derived from him.

In genesis 1 we see that God gave dominion to Adam over all these things,

"28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so." From the very beginning God's intention was to give us dominion not only over this earth and all in it, but he gave us authority over Satan, the enemy of God.

When we sinned against God we gave the authority we once had to Satan. This is demonstrated in Luke 4, "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” The result of this sin caused us to lose the dominion we once possessed, but thankfully Jesus redeemed that. In Matthew 28, after Jesus had died and been resurrected he stated, " Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."

Now you may be asking, "This is good stuff, but what does it have to with dreams?" That's a great question! Since there is clearly meaning behind dreams, and names identify the nature and characteristics of a person or thing, then it is safe to deduce that the names of people in dreams are important as well. When a person appears in your dream the meaning of their name may indicate what God is trying to do in your life. For instance, if you dreamed about a person named Anne, that would indicate God is trying to show you grace in some area of your life. The name of the person will indicate the authority that is at work in your life. If you dreamed something like this, "I was in the middle of bad storm. The winds were blowing, buildings were collapsing and I was terrified. Then, my friend Grace came and grabbed me by the hand and led me into a safe place where she was sheltered from the storm. She was well prepared, and I was very thankful she brought me in." This would show that there was a storm in your life happening that is bringing you great distress, but God has sent you a grace, or given you grace to shelter you from the storm. During this time he has prepared a safe place for you in preparation for the storm, and your heart will be thankful as you wait for things to blow over. The simplest expression of that Dream would be to say, "Grace in a Storm."

That's all for today. Be blessed loved one!

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