I remember as a kid, kneeling down beside the bed, saying this prayer, "Our Father, who art in heaven, Harold be thy name..."
For a long time, I was always under the impression that God's name was Harold.
I rehashed it over in my mind. If he were named something else like Sam, Steve or George, why wouldn't he say so? He doesn't say he is Sam, Steve or George. He said, his name was Harold. Why Harold? I had to investigate.
I flipped through my New International Version of the bible searching for a clue as to what was God's name, when eureka! I found it in, Exodus 34:14.
God is talking to Moses on Mount Sinai, as he's etching out the Ten Commandments on a slab of stone for Moses to take back down the Mount and deliver to the multitudes. They're deeply engaged in deep philosophical conversation about what and who to worship. God puts his chisel down for a moment and turns to Moses and in an authorative way says,
"Do not worship any other God, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
There it was, God revealed his real name. It wasn't Harold as I had thought, it is Jealous. Right from the horses mouth so to speak.
I wondered why he'd call himself Jealous. I looked it up in Funk & Wagnalls, here's the definition of Jealous as an adjective; jealous means:
- 1. to be fearful or suspicious of being displaced by a rival in affection or favours.
- 2. vindictive toward another because of supposed or actual rivalry.
- 3. vigilant in guarding: to be jealous of a privilege.
- 4. resulting or arising from jealousy: jealous fears.
- 5. demanding exclusive worship and love: a jealous God.
It doesn't sound very positive.
In Hebrew of old, according to the Concise Dictionary of the Words in Hebrew Bible by James Strongs—the key words in the verse are shem, meaning god's name and qanna meaning jealous and applies only to God.
Why wasn't I taught this is Sunday school? Was the clergy afraid that I'd pledge allegiance to "One Nation, Under Jealous? Would people be cursing, "Jealous damn it!"and would the dollar bill be stamped, "In Jealous We Trust?" It just doesn't sound right does it?
So, if you believe in the Bible, his name is Jealous. In fact, if you believe in the bible, you have no choice but accept any name God reveals to you as his own, no matter what you think of it, silly or not.
A warning. More people die of jealousy than cancer.
What's in a name anyway? May, Jealous have mercy on your soul.