29 Feb 2020
Names are important. You may be called after your Granddad or Granny or maybe you were given a name that had no connection with your family at all. What about Elijah's name? It was very important and I'll tell you why. We don't know who gave him his name — possibly his father or his granny but it was a name that was making a statement in a very difficult time in his country.
When Elijah lived, Israel was surrounded by several heathen nations who worshipped false gods. They had gods of the hills, gods of the valleys, gods of rain, harvests and so on. Even in Israel itself there were people who worshipped these false gods — the Baals that are often mentioned in the Old Testament. That is why Elijah's name was so important. His name means 'the Lord (he and only he) is God'. Elijah's name was telling people what he believed and what they should have believed too. There is only one living and true God, the God who makes himself known to us in his word and (in the New Testament) by his Son, Jesus Christ. Elijah really lived up to his name. People came to speak of the God of Elijah.
When people think of you and your name, do they know you are a follower of Jesus Christ? God calls us to live up to the name Christian. As Elijah found, that takes courage, but it also brings help.