Do you know where the word Yahweh comes from?
Yahweh, name for the God of Israelites, is originally YHWH in Hebrew but in order to pronounce it, over time, the vowels “a” and “e” were added by men so that we can pronounce it easily today as “Yaweh.”
The original YHWH cannot be pronounced easily. Try to pronounce it and what you end up with a breath of air, signifying the breath of God.
So when God changed Abram and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah, He retains their original identifies, He did not delineate their original identities but He made it better and transformed it by adding the “H” God element into their names. So now they are still Abraham and Sarah but they are boosted with the dynamism of God in their lives and their futures.
In the same way, God cherishes your unique identity, even those parts which you would rather forget or you hate. God accepts the full of you, but God transforms the bad parts by breathing in His new life into it. As we know, God’s breath contains the heavenly life of God. When he breathes into your names, your identities and destines are transformed into glorious and perfect, even you who are downtrodden, lost, misaligned and wasted.
God often transforms identities, destinies and lives of many people. Let’s look at some people in the Bible whom God transformed and super-packed their names and identities.
|Abram||Abraham||Gen 17:5. As above|
|Sarai||Sarah||Gen 17:15. As above|
|Jacob||Israel||Gen 32:22. Jacob meaning “deceiver” depicts his life of constantly having to outwit others in a harsh environment to get resources and do well. To Israel, because he wrestled with God and men and prevailed. 12 tribes of Israel.|
|Saul||Paul||Acts 26: 14. Notice the duality of both names, replacing “S” with “P” slightly, Saul shifts from being a persecutor of Christians to the great disciple of Jesus, Paul. God is amazing and creative!|
|Simon||Cephas, Peter, meaning rock.||John 1:42. Impetuous, spontaneous Simon who faltered at his test disclaiming Jesus at His death. When Jesus encountered him again after His resurrection and gently restores him and bestows upon him Peter, Cephas Rock, stability and an unwavering faith in God.|
|Moses||“drawn from the reeds” Reeds grow at riverside bank. Transition lines from boundaries from ocean / land. Hints at future when God will use Moses to part the red sea for Israelites to cross.|
|Jabez||1 Chronicles 4:9 Someone who has a “bad” name as his name means pain. But God redeemed Jabez’s name and destiny when he cried out to God, and God turned his life into a blessing.|
|Saul||1 Sam 28 of King Saul. Saul is reminisce of Sheol (hell) as they stem from the same Hebrew root. It is that why Saul, when he departed from God, seek out the witch of Endor to call up the dead?|
You are God’s Handicraft
In practicing to decipher names on myself and others, I have found that God is much more creative, imagination, humorous and insightful than we often limit ourselves in thinking about Him. Most of all, I find that God takes a genuine delight in our names, our lives, destiny and potential. He is like a master artist and we are His handiworks, reflecting His glory, wisdom and overturning.
How to Start:
- Understand concept of your names, destiny and how God looks upon them
- Be open that God may inspire you on your names creatively. Here are just a few ways:
|Etymological||Analysis of root meaning of a name and separate syllabus|
|Homological||similarity of sound with another word,|
|Word associations||links one name to another|
|Allusions||Words create new meanings when placed together|
|Anagrammatic||rearranging of letters|
- Prayerfully ask God to guide you
- Collect different hints and information that God brings to you over time. This process may take years but if you dutifully record them down, over time you will reveal more and more layers to your name and destiny that God tells you
- In the meanwhile you will also grow in God and understand what He wants in your best destiny for Him
Note: God should be the guide and source of our knowledge. Do not seek knowledge from forbidden sources e.g. divination.