If I asked this in church or on the street, most people would just look at me funny. They might ask “What do you mean ‘do I know God’s name?’? It’s God! Well, yes and not exactly.
Names in the ancient Near East often functioned differently than names do today. In addition to identifying a person’s family or lineage, names were thought to reveal the nature of a person as well as some of their character. God’s name in Hebrew does that in many ways and there are fifty-two names referring to God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Many times we read in our English Bible the name of God translated as Jehovah but in the Hebrew it is YAHWEH, although you will not find this written out completely because it is the Holy Name of God. It will be abbreviated. God’s names and the names for Jesus and the Holy Spirit all point to their nature, their innate character being distinct from each other and yet One as the Godhead, Three in One.
Each of them has a specific purpose and power, yet all of them are God. So how can we learn to recognize God in all of these names? By studying the Bible, praying about His nature and His character, seeking Him in Scripture and in everyday life! This is what we are supposed to be living out in our lives as Christians and followers of Jesus after all! So why do people seem to freak out when God’s true name is brought up or the name of God is shown as Adonai, the Lord? Because His nature and character is pure and holy, that is at least one of the reasons!
I won’t go into all of God’s names or the names of Jesus, but all of the names in Scripture describe His character and His attributes, just as many names of people in the Bible described their position or their family tree. Why bring God’s name up now? Because we have abandoned our respect and honor of His name, because we don’t revere names much at all anymore.
God loves us with a love that is boundless and deep and He has this for each of us because He designed each one of us to be or rather to have character traits which reflect Him. Whether we do so or not is our choice because until we choose to follow and believe in Jesus, we can’t reflect God in our lives. Before we are saved by Jesus, we are tarnished by sin, no matter how much good we try to do on our own.
Yes, donating lots of money can help many people in certain situations, if it is given to the right organization. But many who do this are doing it for tax purposes, getting something in return for their “help”. But, does it translate into more eternal rewards? Not unless you are doing it out of love through salvation by belief in Jesus.