A Word From Ron – He Knows My Name

I never anticipated when I agreed to this job the amount of writing I’d be doing. I don’t regret it, I just never anticipated it. So, it always comes as a great encouragement to me when I hear from someone, that actually read something I wrote, to let me know that in some way it had an impact on them.

Recently, as I was finishing off a meeting, we arranged a time for those I was meeting with to come visit our office in Madison. They went on to ask if I could do them one more favor and proceeded to ask me if I would go with them to visit their mother in an assisted living facility nearby. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would consider this a high priority until they explained their reasoning.

Their mother attended a nearby church for many years and received the periodical correspondence that SLM sends out with updates of the ministry. Of course, I was a frequent author in nearly all the periodicals and apparently had encouraged her time and time again. She was extremely proud of the fact that her son-in-law and daughter were friends with “such a celebrity.” I had to laugh, I hardly imagine myself in that light, but for whatever reason, to her I was a Christian hero.

My perspective changed as the conversation went on and the priority of such a visit moved up in order of importance. She knew everything there was to know about me, that she could learn from everything I had ever written. It was such an honor to go and meet someone who has gone through great lengths to know me, to recognize my name.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. Psalm 91:13–14 KJV

I’ve traveled all around the world and become acquainted with nearly every cult with every false God out there. A remarkable commonality, in fact even a complaint, among those who follow them, are that their gods are impersonal. The relationship is one sided. There is no reciprocation of relationship. Their god doesn’t even know their name.

Even in earthly contacts with one another a relationship cannot be had until you get to know each other, and you learn each other’s name!

Throughout the first 12 verses of Psalm 91, the Psalmist continues point by point, verse by verse trying to convince his readers that those who follow God Almighty can expect he loves them, cares for them, protects them, shelters them and gives them dominion over their enemies.

In verse 13, he continues this thought showing God’s protection and sovereignty over the lions, the beasts, and the snakes, of course figuratively. But with the view of helping those with faith to not fear the challenges or obstacles that they will face. I love how the Psalmist constantly pairs the two, constantly being realistic that no matter how much faith and no matter how Almighty a God He is; trials and challenges will come our way.

But each challenge is met with a reminder, a promise from God for those who place their faith in Him. Here in verse 14 the reminder is that our God, knows us! He has, He seeks, He wants a relationship. He WANTS to KNOW us. He KNOWS OUR NAME. Unlike any other God, He knows us and wants us to know Him.

But an incredibly powerful comment the Psalmist shares is that God has “set his love upon me.” Rarely is that word or phrase (set his love) used in the Hebrew Old Testament, only once translated as “love.” The other times, it translated the word to long, to delight and Aramaic translations define it as to be bound to, to saddle or to bind.

Somewhere in the middle of all this is a very personal, endearing picture of a God who binds Himself to us with His love. He has initiated it. The Psalmist’s seemingly natural reaction to this is how he hopes his readers will react… Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because ….he hath known my name.  Psalms 91:14 KJV

Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.

President / CEO

March 28, 2023

Leave a Comment