Known by Name

Known by Name

Carl Linnaeus may or may not be a name you recognize. He was the inventor of the modern system of classification for plants and animals. Maybe you have heard of Kingdom, Phyla, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. This nomenclature has been used since the mid-1700s as a scientific means of identifying various forms of life. It reminds me of Genesis 2:19-20 where God tells Adam to name all the animals. God created humanity to name things, and our desire to do such has not been impeded by the years since Adam’s first efforts.

carl name

You may not know me, but God does.

Naming things, however, does not mean that we give them purpose. Some have confused our ability to give things a name with giving things a purpose. God has given purpose to all things that exist, our naming them simply reflects the purpose that is already found within them. Science may be able to name and classify many things according to purpose, but ultimately science cannot name every particular living thing. God, however, is not bound by such limits.

God knows the number of the hairs on our heads and every sparrow that falls, and He knows us too by name! Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.” This intimacy is comforting to the saint and troubling to the sinner. The saint will appreciate the fact that God knows him personally and is helping him to grow and develop. The sinner will be troubled that God knows all his sin and will hold him accountable. God knows you by name; will you get to know Him?

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