What's In a Name?

Series: The Story

Speaker: Paul Strozier

May 23, 2021

Paul Strozier

Senior Pastor

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What's In a Name?

Pastor Paul Strozier


God Is, God Creates, God Loves, Humans Sin, God Saves

Covenant - The Promise of God’s Nature in Action for Salvation

The Time of Patriarchs - “Father-Rule”

Genesis 11:27-30 - This is the account of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. But Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, while his father, Terah, was still living. Meanwhile, Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. (Milcah and her sister Iscah were daughters of Nahor’s brother Haran.) But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children.

What’s in a Name?

Genesis 1:28 - Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Sarai - “My Princess”

Sarai - “Barren”

Genesis 12:1-5 - The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. 

Sarai - Beautiful

Genesis 12:11-13 - As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, “Look, you are a very beautiful woman.  When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife. Let’s kill him; then we can have her!’  So please tell them you are my sister. Then they will spare my life and treat me well because of their interest in you.”

Genesis 16:1-2 - Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. 

Abram - “Exalted Father”

Abraham - “Father of Many”

Genesis 17:15-16 - God said to Abraham, “Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah. And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.”

Sarai - “My Princess”

Sarah - “Princess”

What’s in a Name?

Hebrews 11:11 - It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. 

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