September 5, 2019
Volume 23, Number 29
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” That’s a line from Shakespeare I can quickly recall. But a story I just came across challenges the idea that names don’t matter so much.
In the British Isles, I read, the name “Alexa” has declined in popularity. In 2017 the name was given to 301 baby girls in England and Wales, but in 2018 that number dropped to 118. What’s behind the sharp drop in popularity? One theory says that Amazon’s Echo may be the reason. That’s the device that can respond to your commands – when you begin your request with “Alexa …”
I’ve seen this phenomenon firsthand. Our daughter got an Echo last year. When her young sons saw they could request songs just by asking Alexa, they couldn’t stop asking. Now imagine having a daughter with the same name: “Alexa,” you ask your daughter, “What time is your band practice?” Which Alexa is going to answer, and which answer will be right?
In the Bible we read of Israel’s frequent mistake of calling upon the wrong God. “God” is a generic term that refers to One who is all-powerful and in charge. Israel’s God was Jehovah (or Yahweh as the name may be more accurately known), but their neighbors served other “gods”. Baal was one name given to a god; Molech was another. Did it really make a difference which god they were calling upon?
In Isaiah 41 God challenged His people to compare their false gods with the only true and living God: “Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you” (Isaiah 41:23,24). The bottom line was clear: The false gods were powerless, even to speak.
Idols are common in some countries around the world. But they’re here in America, too. Paul stated the principle behind this claim in Romans 1:25: “… because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
Yes, we do that today; we worship “things” that are man-made, rather than the Creator who made us. We bow down to money, to celebrities and athletes, to houses, and to entertainment. How foolish is that?! Which of these created objects can save us?
“Man is a worshiping creature” we’ve often heard. We seem to have an innate drive to call upon someone or something for the help we need. But upon whom will we call? Does it matter? God’s word assures us that this is life’s most important question.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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