Known By Name

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

Isaiah 43:1 NKJV
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; You are Mine.”

This chapter opens with the Lord telling Jacob that he owes his very existence to Him, that He not only created him but was the one who fashioned him. The redemption the Lord promised Jacob was promised first to his grandfather Abraham, then his father Isaac, and now it was promised to him. Each of his ancestors were known to God by name, and so was Jacob.

Israel is the second name the Lord gave to Jacob after he wrestled with the angel at Peniel. It was the name given to him and to the nation that was created. It was the name that the descendants of Jacob would be forever known, the nation of Israel.

The first verse of chapter 43 contains fitting words that follow chapter 42 where the Lord made great promises to Israel in return for their obedience. Unfortunately, Israel was not obedient, and the fury of God’s anger was threatened against them. “Fear not” are words of comfort extended to disobedient Israel. They were being reassured that they would not have to face the penalty for their disobedience. The Lord declared that they were redeemed. The New Living Translation uses the word ransomed, which means exchanged. Because the Lord knew them by name, He considered them to be His personal possession.

In many communities, children are identified by their family name. Their first name may not be known, but everyone knows their last name and the reputation attached to their name.
One example is George Foreman, the former two-time heavy weight boxing champion of the world who named all his five sons George. He reasoned that he wanted them to always have something in common; “If one goes up, then we all go up together, and if one goes down, we all go down together.” His son’s may not have been distinguishable by their first names, but they were, and are most certainly will forever be, known by their last name.

You may have a name in common, or even a common name, but when God knows your name, you become uniquely known. He knows you to be one-of-a-kind, an original. Your name is how the Lord distinguishes you from everyone else. Just because you share the same name as someone else, you are not the same.

Like Israel, your destiny is in your name. There never has been, nor will there ever be another exactly like you. Make sure that your name is known by God, whether He calls you Jacob or Israel.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on YouTube and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at

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