Today’s Reading :  I Chronicles 4:9-10

What is in a name? When Jillian and I were expecting our children, we wanted them to have names that would reflect some part of their history and heritage.  We felt that the name that they had would create a personality or presence that would continue with them.  After long hours of discussions and deep thought we decided that the children would have specific names that would be part of our families’ histories and a reflection of them.

Oliver, was named from our grandfathers.  Upon research we found that Oliver has many possible linkages:  Latin term/name olivarius “olive tree planter”, or the Old Norse Óleifr (Ólaf); or a genuinely West Germanic name, perhaps from ala- “all” and wēra “true” “ All true” , or from alf “elf” and hari “army, warrior” “ Elf Army” .  As Oliver has grown up into a young man, I can identify that the name and the person that he is becoming are true and I am excited to see where this “army of elves” will go.

Ruby, was named in memory of grandmothers.   Her name meaning is associated with the precious stone that ultimately derived from Latin ruber “red”.  Ruby is also considered the short feminine form of the biblical name, Reuben, meaning, “behold, a son” in Hebrew; behold a daughter.  This is name seems to fit her from birth, as she was the first daughter that we had, but also due to her personality.  She is my spicy and passionate child.  She is also one of the most precious and tenderhearted individuals I know.

Nadya is the French form of the Russian Nadya, a nickname form of Nadezha, which is directly derived from the word meaning, “hope”.  Nadya was named for the true namesake of hope.  Hope for the peace and joy of God in our lives.   Jillian and I had experienced many highs and lows as parents with Oliver and Ruby through countless hospitalizations and health issues that we purposefully and intentionally gave her name with a specific blessing.  Nadya has been a true inspiration and joy to our family and continues to give us hope daily.


In the reading we are presented with a different naming process:  I Chronicles 4:9-10

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez,[a] saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.


After much research, I was unable to find the direct mother and father of Jabez, but he is known as a direct descendant of Judah and his son Perez.  This would have been a big deal in the ancient times.  The lineage of the person would direct your path in life as well as your name.  Jabez was of the same line of David and Christ.  He knew that he was blessed through God’s anointing his forefathers Israel, Judah, and Perez.

He knew that the name that is given to you does not determine your outlook.  He would have been familiar with the story of his forefather Jacob being converted to Israel.  He would have been familiar with the story of his forefather Perez and how was conceived and how he preserved through these obstacles.  Jabez was aware of his name, it was rooted in sorrow and pain, but he was determine that God would create a blessing in the midst of the anguish and turmoil that he produced in coming into the world.

With the knowledge of whose he was (God’s, YHWH, Jehovah) and the circumstances that placed on him from his name, Jabez knew he had to speak it into existence and create a new direction for his life.  Jabez spoke such power that he is known today for his courage and faith.  He was known to an extent that there was a place: either a city or region that bore his name I Chronicles 2:55.

The example that Jabez has made for us is that no matter the situations that we are born into or have created ourselves, we are still God’s children and we are able to change the situation when we acknowledge God’s presence in us and that we are worthy of his blessings.