Abraham, Sarah, & Isaac • Devotion #2: Abraham’s Name Changed
Noble Baird | Community Center Director
For as long as I can remember, people have always questioned my name. Whenever I meet someone new and introduce myself, I always look forward to their reaction. They usually give me one of two reactions, that of disbelief or surprise because they think its a cool name. Noble is not a typical name by any means. I have found this to be true over the past 26 years as I have never met anyone else with the same name. However, I have also come to understand that for some reason it is a difficult name to spell as well. Whenever I walk into Starbucks or a sandwich shop to place an order the name on the order or cup will be: Mobile, Nobel, Noel, Noah, or Nable. It truly feels like I win the lottery whenever someone actually spells my name right on the first try!
In Genesis chapter 17, God appears before Abram and makes a new covenant with him. It is within this covenant that God promises to multiply Abram’s offspring and bless them as long as they continue to follow after God as their one and only God. As part of this covenant, Abram receives a name change. In Genesis 17:4-5 it reads, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” This name change is not only signifying the promise of the covenant with which Abram enters with God, but it is also a reminder of what his legacy will now be.
A question that I am often asked is why did your parents name you Noble? To which I give a two-fold answer. The first is that my father was reading a Louis L’Amour book and Noble was one of the characters in his novel. Secondly, my parents wanted to give me a name that they had hoped one day I would live up to and fulfill. Boy did they give me a tall order! However, I am grateful for the name my parents gave me. Yes, the misspelling can sometimes become annoying, but I would not change my name for anything. You see, Abram was given a new name. It was a name that he would have to live up to, and that would leave a legacy for generations to come. Translated literally, Abraham means “father of many nations.” God did not give him this name to simply help the questions and, I am sure, the misspelling of Abram; but He gave him this name to signify the new covenant that was promised.
Abraham left behind a legacy to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so many more as he truly become the father of many nations. However, more importantly, he left a legacy of faith and obedience in the one true God. It is God that would fulfill the promise He made to Abraham. As you continue on in your week, I challenge you to think about your name. Maybe the actual meaning of your name is not significant, but what is more important is what your legacy will be. How will you be remembered? Abraham is remembered for his faith and obedience. Because of that, God made a covenant with him and made a great nation out of his family. What legacy will your name leave behind?