Names intrigue me.
When I was teaching, one of the most exciting parts of a new school year was receiving my new class list. To some this was simply a list of names, but to me these were never just names. No, the names on this list were a window into the collective family with whom I would share the next nine months.
Before I met these children face-to-face, could I possibly learn anything from the names?
Eagerly, I sat each year thoughtfully reading each name. Did the parents of this child choose the name simply because of its sound or popularity? Was it an honored family name passed through the generations? Or had the parents with great care and consideration, chosen the name with meaning and purpose?
Names in the Bible
In Bible times, it was a much more common practice to attach meaning to names than it is today. Just as I did with my yearly class list, we can sit with the names of the Bible to see what they might tell us.
Moses – to pull out or draw out (Exodus 2:10)
Isaac – he laughs (Genesis 17:19, 18:9-15, 21:3)
Jacob – to follow or come behind; takes by the heal (Genesis 25:24)
Often as we see with Moses, Isaac, and Jacob, the name shines light into personal character and story. It is no different with our Savior.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;Isaiah 9:6
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Our Savior’s Name
One of the beautiful names given to Our Lord is the name Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
Setting aside for the moment the question as to whether this name is a singular name (Wonderful Counselor) or two separate names (Wonderful, Counselor), let’s bask in the light shined on our Savior by the word Wonderful.
As we begin, it is important for us to note that the Hebrew word translated in Isaiah 9:6 as “Wonderful” is the noun pele. This word means a miracle or marvelous thing. In the Bible, it is only ever used of God. Never is it associated with man.
Might the depth of this name have lost some of its brilliance?
Today, we have come to use the word “wonderful” almost solely as an adjective. We use it to describe something else as exciting, amazing, or admirable. Perhaps some of our wonder has been lost in part because we ascribe it to God as an adjective.
It is not simply that He is wonderful. No. His name is Wonderful. He is Wonder.
Ponder His Name
There are several instances in the Bible (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 77:11, 77:14, 89:5, 119:129; Isaiah 25:1; Daniel 12:6) where the Hebrew word pele is used of God. Each time the word speaks to His extraordinary acts. It calls out deeds that are supernatural and beyond our capacity to understand. Ones that defy explanation and inspire amazement.
Are you amazed? Stand in wonder as you spend some time today allowing the light of His glorious name to shine brightly onto who He is.
His name is Wonderful. He is Wonder.
This 48-page downloadable resource includes 10 Scripture-based exercises for growing in the wonder of God and learning to worship Him in awe. Perfect for individual use or small groups.
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