To the one who conquers … I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.'
The Book of Exodus in Hebrew is called ‘Shemot’, meaning ‘names’. It is the Book of ‘Names’. “Names’ is the first principal word that appears in the book’s narrative and Judaism names the Books of the Bible using their first main word.
The names of the different people involved in the scenarios of the book appear little by little, but what we discover the most is the Names of God. In the Book of Genesis the narrative and the patriarchs introduce us to certain ways to call God, but in the book of ‘Names’, God Himself introduces His Names first to Moses who asks, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name' (Exodus 3:13) ‘and to Pharaoh who challenges Moses’ message from God with, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go (Exodus 5:2)?” God answered Moses’ question by showing His great power to conquer in order to save and Pharaoh by showing His great power to conquer in order to destroy.
In our Western philosophically Greek culture, we look at names as a sound bite by which we call people. Sad to say, this is also the way we look at the Name of God: an identifying sound bite to which He should answer when called upon.
In the Semitic world of the Bible, Names refer to what you are, to what you where created to be. Names describe who you are, the reason and circumstance of your birth; your qualities and/or properties. By knowing your name people know something very important about you. In Exodus, the Father and Creator introduces Himself by many names, not as sound bite we are supposed to use to make sure we are addressing the right person, but as a memorial of what He did, does, and will do in the future.
Yeshua said that the Name of the Father should be hallowed, sanctified (Matthew 6:9), meaning set aside for particular uses. When Yeshua said that, He was quoting part of an ancient Jewish prayer referring to the Jewish practice of only using the Name of God in the precincts of the Temple, during times of devoted prayer, and never in a common fashion or discussion. Since that time when Yeshua followed that practice and also taught the disciples to follow His example and simply call God ‘Father’ (Matthew 6:9), Western believers have twisted the Jewish application toward protecting God’s name into the idea of a rabbinic conspiracy to hide it for themselves. This idea born from anti-Semitism still lingers.
Today each of us has a name given to us by our parents. In this world where truth is hidden under the fiction of a physical veil, this name may or may not have anything to do with us. In the World to Come, Yeshua has promised us a new name revealing to the world our properties, our qualities, in a sense who we really are (Revelations 2:17). Come to think of it, it may a scary thought for some of us! At that time, we will be fully known even as we have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12). May it be soon Abba, even in our days!