I got another one of those emails from a salesperson who opened the message with a personalized greeting meant to draw me in and make me more favorable to their pitch. But their “personal touch” was a scam. They proved they don’t know anything about me by calling me “Dr. Andrews.” Just because I work at an institute of higher education, doesn’t mean I have a Ph.D. I am, in fact, struggling to finish my master’s. It was not a genuine greeting.
Using someone’s name implies some kind of connection, a level of personal knowledge -whether casual or intimate. One of the first things we do when meeting someone new is to share our name. It is like opening the door to our home. But we don’t let everyone inside. Some people don’t get past the doorway, some step into the front hall, and others are welcomed to the kitchen – the heart of the house. I’m a pretty transparent person. Still some people may know my name but they don’t know me. My closest friends gather around the kitchen table over a cup of coffee (or tea).
When Moses met with God on Mount Sinai, he pleaded with the Lord to accompany him and the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. God replied, “I will do the very thing you have asked because I am pleased with you and I know you by name” (Ex 33:17). He wasn’t just talking about the name Moses was given at birth. The original Hebrew means “I know you because you are mine.” Back up a few verses: “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (v. 11). Do you understand what that means? God claimed Moses as His friend. He knew him.
Not only did He know Moses, but He also revealed Himself to him. Moses asked God to show him His glory. And He did – as much as He could without killing him. He “came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His name, the Lord” (Ex. 34:5). Did you catch the last part? “He proclaimed His name, the Lord.” He knew Moses. Now Moses knew Him.
Nobody knows you better than God knows you. And nobody loves you more than God loves you. He said, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Is 43:1). God has claimed you, Beloved. You are His friend. His child. His own.