Names have always been special to God. In Scripture we often find God using names to convey ideas. For example, the prophet Hosea assigned names to his children that stood as indictments of Israel’s sins (Hosea 1:3-9). The Almighty would even change a person’s name to teach a lesson. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Cephas became Peter. Saul became Paul. Sometimes fathers would call their children by names that were calculated to reveal something about the child or what they hoped the child would become (e.g., Gen. 21:1-7; 25:24-26). This, I suppose, began the connection between one’s name and one’s reputation. “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,” reads Proverbs 22:1. “A good name is better than a good ointment,” says Solomon in Ecclesiastes 7:1.
With the above in mind, consider for a moment Psalm 9:10, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” To know the “name” of God is more than being able to verbalize “I AM” (Exo. 3:14), or “Almighty,” or “LORD” (Exo. 6:2-3). It is to know God’s character. It is to know what God is like.
What David is saying in Psalm 9:10 is this: those who truly know the nature and character of God will trust Him. How strong, or weak, is your faith? Do you find it hard sometimes to take God at his word and put him in complete control of your life? One of the greatest faith-building exercises for the struggling Christian is to study the nature and characteristics of God. The more deeply we know the one whose image we bear, the stronger our faith will be. Theology – the study of God – is so much more than academic. It is intrinsically practical.