What’s in a Name?

David Bast

Read: Isaiah 62

For Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness. (v. 1)

“What’s in a name?” asked Juliet. Why should it matter that she and her boyfriend Romeo came from feuding families with different names? If you recall what happened to them, you know it actually did matter. Names matter a lot.

Isaiah 62 has a bunch of names. They are in the footnotes of your Bible: Azubah, Shemamah, Hephzibah, Beulah. In the exile, Israel thought of herself as “Forsaken” and “Desolate.” But then came the salvation described in the new names the Lord gave to his people: “My Delight Is in Her,” and “Married.”

It hasn’t fully happened yet. All too often we still feel desolate and forsaken. Isaiah offers some remarkable advice: “You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth” (vv. 6-7). Wait, did he just say we should remind God of his promises, and hound him until he fulfills them all? Is prayer like that permitted? The psalmist thought so. “Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the fold of your garment” (Ps. 74:11). Have you ever urgently prayed that God would take his hands out of his pockets and finish the job?

A wise teacher once remarked passionately to me, “I no longer ask God why; I ask him when. When are you gonna come and fix things?” —David Bast

As you pray, remember that it’s OK to pray “Come, Lord Jesus” with impatience.