But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1, ESV) 

The world’s population now exceeds 8 billion people, each of whom has a name. And of those billions of people, God knows every name, including mine and yours. Somehow the fact that the Creator of everything knows my name amazes me and thrills me at the same time.

My dad liked to collect unusual surnames from articles he read. Whether it made him feel better about our own long name or was just an amusing pastime, I do not know. Names are funny things. While we may not like the one our parents gave us, we still do not appreciate anyone mispronouncing or misspelling it, making a joke about it, or simply forgetting it. Our name is important to us.

Pronouncing Bible names can be challenging. I use a reading schedule that takes me through the entire Bible, but I confess I do not enjoy all passages equally. The first nine chapters of I Chronicles contain more unpronounceable names than any one person should be expected to learn. Names, generation after generation of names, fill page after page. Were it not for wanting to “read it all,” I would be tempted to skip all those names.

Do you ever wonder why God thought it was so necessary to record all those unpronounceable names? Yes, it was important for the Israelites to trace their genealogy through the various tribes. It involved inheritance and also who could serve as a priest. Names also show that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy because we can trace His lineage through the tribe of Judah, from which the promised Messiah was to come.

I have my own theory on why God included all those names in His Word. If those people were important enough for Him to know every name, then it reassures me that I must be important to Him also. He knows my name. He sees me as an individual.

Exodus 31:2-3 tells of an artisan that God used in the work on the tabernacle. “I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.” God called this man by name. He knew exactly who he was, who his father was, and even who his grandfather was. Then God equipped Bezalel for the work at hand.

When I am discouraged, when I think my life doesn’t count, when I feel insignificant—I remember! God knows my name! He has not entrusted me with the many skills that Bezalel possessed, but He has given me certain abilities that I can use to honor Him.

God knows your name also. You hold significance with God. He has a plan and purpose for your life as well.

“I have even called you by your name” (Isaiah 45:4).

Thank You, Lord, for knowing my name. It reassures me that I am Your child and You know everything about me. You hear me when I talk to You. You see me as an individual and know my potential. I feel loved and cherished because You know my name.




Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

1 Comment

  1. Barb Hilderbrand

    I love this! There will always come a time in our lives when we feel obscure, set aside, or forgotten. Maybe not today, but someday. All those years that Bezaleel and Oholiab worked on their skills—wondering if they would ever be needed. Wow. Indeed. Such a comfort that God keeps a current contact list! “God’s List!” He always knows who we are … where we are … and what we can do.