Sister Tarpley: Calling by Name

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Dallas Baptist University 2018 graduate Kiersten Darlene Goff with uncle and aunt, James and Betsy Goff Power from North Carolina on May 11th

By Sister Tarpley, NDG Religion Editor

“These were the chiefs among Esau’s descendants:  The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau:  Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho and Kenaz.”  Genesis 36:15

God was big on giving meaning to names.  Names often were specific indicators of God’s plans and purposes for that individual.  A young boy grew up as Moses’ servant.   His Hebrew name, Hoshea, means “salvation.”  As the lad grew, Moses could see that he had a “different spirit” from the rest of the Hebrew men.  He was selected to be one of the 12 men whom Moses chose to spy out the land of Canaan.

Before the expedition, Hoshea was given a new name by Moses – Joshua, which means “the Lord saves.”  Joshua became the new leader of Israel who would lead them into the Promised Land.  He would, in fact, save an entire nation.

A story is told of a man whose journey in life, he learned that God gave him a name that had something to do with his future call from Him.  He was 44 years old and had just gone through two of the most difficult years of his life.  During that time, God brought a man into his life who disciple him in areas where he had never been trained.  He discovered many new spiritual truths about himself and other Christians in his workplace.

He came to identify with the struggles of Esau and Joseph in their desire to understand their own birthrights.  He began to write about these discoveries to help other workplace believers understand their own callings through business.  One morning on a weekend getaway in the mountains, his friend looked at him and said, “Do you know the meaning of ‘Omar’?”

Omar was his first name.  His real name was Omar Smallwood Hillman III.  Dr. Smallwood had delivered his grandfather.  No one, not even his mother, knew the origin of “Omar.” They had put the “O” and the “S” together to call him “Os.”  “You need to know the meaning of ‘Omar, he said’.  It has something to do with your future,” his friend told him.

Startled by his assertion, that night he looked up the name of “Omar” on a computer program.  Here is what he found:

In fact, he was shocked that he had just completed 300 pages of material on the relationship of Christian businessmen to the life of Esau. His friend quickly concluded that God had called him to free Christian businessmen and women from the “Esau life.”   And He had allowed him to receive a name that related to the person of Esau.  He said that it was the closest thing to a burning bush experience he had ever had received.  He wondered if God could be that personal with us.   Matthew 10:30 tells us God knows the very hairs of our head.  What is the meaning of your name?