The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




A Little Entomology

"A Good Name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold" (Prov. 22:1)

Do you have a name with a "pedigree?" By this, I mean does your name, either first or last mean something? In the Dumas classic, The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond has an encounter on the beach with some smugglers after his escape from the Chateau d'If. As he joins the gang, the leader gives him a name. "You will be called Zatara," the leader says. Thinking it must be a compliment, he is told that it means driftwood. In the Old Testament book of Genesis we are told about the the dysfunctional family of Isaac. Isaac favored his son Esau over Jacob, while his wife Rebekah liked Jacob more This meant trouble from the get go. Names were often given because of some meaning attached to them. Jacob's name referred to one who supplants. The word supplant means to take the place of another as through force, scheming, or strategy. He actually got the name because he grabbed on to his brother's heel as they were being born as twins. You talk about someone living up to their name....He schemed his brother out of both his birthright and blessing from their dad, and Esau hated him to the point that he wanted to kill him. He continued his scheming ways right up to his wrestling match with God in Genesis 32.

In this passage, God changes his name from Jacob,(schemer) to Israel (prince of God). At this point in his life, Jacob changes his ways. His weakness of character, that epitomized his action until now began to fade away as he developed a deeper devotion to God. When we decide to take God into our lives and become Christians, this same type of change ought to take place. God takes us just where we are and invites us to change our ways. Our given names have not changed, but we have added the name Christian. It's not too hard to figure out the entomology of this term...As Mark, the Christian, I now possess a good name that is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed more than silver or gold. It is up to us to live up to that great name. It ought to become so ingrained in us that when our name is mentioned, our Christian character is what ought to be recognizable. I guess in that Edmond washed up on the shore and was called driftwood, that it fit. Does our name fit?

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