Monday, April 15, 2013

What's his name?

Exodus 2:18 (NKJV), When they came to Reuel their father [Moses' father-in-law], he said, "How is it that you have come so soon today?" Exodus 3:1, Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian.
Judges 4:11, Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses...

These three verses all refer to Moses' father-in-law. It appears that he had three different names. However, there is a revelation in this.

In Exodus 18:24, Moses took advice from his father-in-law. I always wondered why Moses would take advice from a Midianite (Ethiopian). This man was from a different nation. I found it unusual until I discovered his names.

The first name, Reuel, means,  friend of God (1). He was a friend of God. The second name, Jethro, means, his excellence (2). This tells us he was a person with authority. The last name, Hobab, means, Cherished (3). From this, we know he had God's favor.

So what was his name given at birth? The Bible does not reveal that. The three names given are all we need to know why Moses would take advice from this man. The names reveal much.

Names in Scripture are always used to describe a person. Another great example is Jacob who later became Israel. The Bible says in Genesis 25:26, "Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob." He wrongfully took hold of his brothers heal so they called him Jacob. Later on in Genesis 32:28, God changed his name to Israel. The name Israel means, he has the power to rule as God (4).

However, numerous times in Scripture, he was still called Jacob. The most interesting pattern is found in Genesis 45:27-28. The Bible says, "But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Then Israel said, "It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive...""Jacob was identified by both names---five words apart.

Jacob was still the same man as at birth until he saw the carts and believed. When he believed, he became one with the power to rule as God. This is the message of salvation. Take your place of dominion as a child of almighty God.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, H7467.
(2) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, Strong's number, H3503.
(3) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, Strong's number, H2246.
(4) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, Strong's number, H3478.

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