December 7 – His Incomprehensible Name

“Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that when your words come to pass, we may honor you?” But the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask my name, seeing it is “wonderful?”” – Judges 13:18 (NASB)

Our verse comes from the story of Samson in the Book of Judges. The Lord God visits in person the mother of Samson ad announces Samson’s birth and calling. His father Manoah asks for an in person announcement rather than believing the hearsay his wife tells him regarding the news of Samson’s birth. In this account, the Lord then appears to Manoah with a miraculous demonstration. But that is not enough because Manoah asks, What is Your name? This secret name is again indicative that the Angel is the Lord. “Why do you ask My name?” The Angel would not divulge His name just as He didn’t reveal His name to Jacob in Genesis 32:24–30. Considering how often we hear the name of God bandied about with no respect and often with a great disrespect, we can be amazed at Manoah’s response – He wished to honor the name of this messenger who was the Lord God Himself. But he is told by the angel of the Lord that is not possible because “my name…is ‘wonderful.'” The word ‘wonderful’ means ‘incomprehensible,’ see Isaiah 9:6. The true meaning of God’s name is wonderful beyond our ability to understand it.

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August 16 – Eyes Opened By God

“Open my eyes, that I may behold
            Wonderful things from Your law.” – Psalm 119:18 (NASB)

It was in 1895 that Clara H. Scott wrote the now traditional hymn “Open my Eyes.” It was inspired by more than one Psalm but the verse we have today likely inspired the first stanza of the hymn. If you are familiar with the hymn you know how it can stick in your mind*. Our verse brings to us the promise of wonderful things from God’s Word. But we need to have our eyes opened. Notice we say opened, not open. Even if we have our eye open, it is only when they are opened by God’s Word that we can understand what God has in store for us. God’s Word is full of things for us to have to build our relationship with Him. If we looked at the next verse, we hear the psalmist plea that God’s commandments not be withheld from him. Our time on this earth is a sojourn. Our birth into God’s family by His grace and mercy makes us strangers to this world. We need God’s Word to navigate through. We ask God to “Open our eyes,” because without His help, we are blind to His way and His blessings.

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Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

            Silently now I wait for Thee,
            Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
            Open my eyes, illumine me,
            Spirit Divine!

Listen: