There are several name changes that take place in the Bible. Then, names meant something. The name could be applicable to a time/place in a persons life. Here Jacob (Supplanter) became Israel (He will rule as God) by God’s choosing, not his own.
For Naomi (Pleasant), the decision was hers:
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. (Ruth 1:20 KJV)
Mara (Bitter) is how Naomi felt – yet she overcame her bitterness and helped her daughter-in-law marry Boaz, descendant of Salmon and Rahab, ancestors of David – and Jesus. Her story leaves me with pleasantness, not bitterness.
There’s a name I won’t know until I enter my Lord’s presence. Once there, I think there may be a stone waiting for me:
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17 KJV)
This is follows the message to the church at Pergamos and precedes the message to the church at Thyatira and includes “what the Spirit saith unto the churches”, as though to all the churches, not just to Pergamos. A theologian would have to set me straight if I’m off course on this, but I like thinking I could have a name assigned by God.
Would the name apply to what I’ve done for Him here? For what I’ve witnessed to others about His love, grace and mercy? Or would it be a reminder of some of my failures, as Naomi decided was right for her?
While thinking of the joy promised to us in Revelation, it’s not a good idea to dwell on that, nor to longer over the past, either. We all have a calling for here and now, which should be a focus. If we look ahead, we’ll lose sight of where we should be at work for our Lord. If we look behind, we’ll be reminded of our failures as well as our accomplishments.
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19 KJV)
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV)