“Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King”. Psalm 48:2
A name is a word or term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely or within a given context. In the ancient world, particularly in the ancient near-east (Israel, Persia, Egypt etc.) names were thought to be extremely powerful and to act, in some ways, as a separate manifestation of a person, deity, or group. In the Old Testament, the names of individuals are meaningful: for example, Adam is named after the ‘earth’ (Adamah) from which he was created. (Genesis 2) Based on all we have gathered so far, a change of name would have to be a change of status and possible a change of mission. For example, Jacob’s name was changed from’ deceiver’ (he defrauded and dealt dishonestly) to’ Israel’ (he wrestled with God and made it out alive; so to speak). His change of name showed his intent and status had changed and he was now on a different mission. The patriarch ‘Abram’ and his wife ‘Sarai’ were renamed Abraham and Sarah when they were told they would become the father and mother of many nations (See Genesis 17). Basically with their change of name; it was time to set up the nursery. Simon Barjonah (son of Jonah) had his name changed to Peter the ‘Rock’, when Christ Jesus handed him the keys to heaven. throughout the bible, characters are given names that reflect something that happened significantly before or during birth; or names that might describe a direction or cause of action. Solomon derived from the root word ‘Shalom’ means peace. Therefore throughout his reign as Israel’s king, there was no warfare (I am literally ‘hatin’ right now).
When Institutions, corporations, companies, firms and groups are named; it is often after the founder, location, the mission or motto of the intended course. For example, most Wall Street firms are named after their founders and most Law firms after their existing partners. Religious institutions, often opt for location, denomination, creed or mission e.g. ‘Abundant Life ministries‘, ‘Blue-Creek Baptist Church’ etc. As years go by and time passes on, founders die, buildings change, edifices are renovated, and even locations may alter. But the essence and the name of the Institution is rarely ever disturbed. This may be due in part to the fact that as long as the mission has not changed, it is duly unnecessary for the name to be changed. And also for respect and preserving the ‘spirit’ of prolongitivity. In addition, it very well may be due in part to a desire to receive a baton with the intent of preserving the original goal and mission. I am often wary and suspicious of characters that must thrive and be unduly famed on the brows of others. If your mission or non-mission must be pursued; then start your own playground from the scratch. I have done it before. At the ripe old age of twenty-one I registered my first company in this city (there are ample and credible witnesses). ”Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: For their Reedeemer is mighty; He shall plead their cause with thee.” Proverbs 23:10-11
Did you know that the second oldest and prestigious university in the English-speaking world is Cambridge University. Cambridge the town; was named after the River Cam (with a bridge), from which the university was subsequently named. That was the year 1226, a whooping 800 plus years ago. Today it still stands; still majestically spewing out Scholars, integrity and prestige. The Oxford University which is the oldest in the English-speaking world is second to none. A home and origin to the finest of Scholars, Kings and Statesmen a 1000 years and counting, is still distinguished OXFORD!. The oldest Institution of higher education in the United States is Harvard University. Named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who died in 1638. In fact a statue (though we do not promote idolatry) of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark. Yale College‘s roots can be traced back to the 1640′s when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a college in New Haven. But it was named “Yale College” in 1718 in gratitude to the Welsh merchant Elihu Yale, who had donated the proceeds of the sale of some personal acquisitions. Today in that beautiful quaint Connecticut town still stands Yale College. These aforementioned and prestigious universities have been chancelled, governed and led by the best of the best; the finest Scholars and the ‘cream of the crop’ in higher learning for a total of almost 2000 years. Every one has come and gone, and left it in the fine and traditional state they met it (with the name intact of course).
There are some people who though not perfect (neither of us are), lived a worthy life and left a commendable legacy. Their integrity shows that whatever they did or accomplished was carefully and prayerfully thought through. We trust that they had a vision and their very lives and mission blessed that endeavour. A name says a lot and plays a part in the continuity and the value of a group, a person and /or an institution. A diversion from truth to a seemingly look-alike version is not the truth. It almost sounds like the statement: “I am almost saved”. If you are you will say it and to some extent it will be perceived and eventually seen. God is always specific in His dealings with us; that is why He has a different name for different attributes of His Deity and character. When He calls Himself ‘Jehovah Rapha’; it means exactly the God that heals you, not the God that looks or sounds like a doctor. Jehovah Jireh is definitely the God that provides; not the God that looks like He might provide or has some provisions, but actually does give.
“For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that no word more should be spoken unto them: for they could not endure that which was enjoined, If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned; and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake: but ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not, when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape, who turn away from Him that warneth from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also the heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.“—Hebrews 12:18-29 (R.V.).
“For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. ‘The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” 2 Kings 19:31 “But He chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved.” Psalm 78:68 The name has said it all.