What's In a Name?

"... the maid that is of the land of Israel." 2 Kings 5:4

    A person doesn't have to be known by name in order to accomplish great exploits for God. In fact, some of the people in the Bible who won immortal fame are not identified by their names.

    There were the three men who brought water to David from the well of Bethlehem (2 Sam. 23:13-17). David considered this act of devotion so remarkable that he would not drink the water but poured it out as a holy offering. But the men are unnamed.

    We do not know the name of the great woman of Shunem (2 Ki. 4:8-17) but she will always be remembered for building a prophet's chamber for Elisha.

    It was an anonymous Jewish maid whose advice sent Naaman to Elisha to be healed of leprosy (2 Ki. 5:3-14). God knows her name, and that is all that matters.

    Who was the woman who anointed the head of Jesus (Mt.26:6-13)? Matthew does not give her name, but her fame is announced in the words of our Lord, "Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her" (v. 13).

    The poor widow who cast her two mites into the treasury is another of "God's unknowns" (Luke 21:2). She illustrates the truth that it's wonderful how much you can do for God if you don't care who gets the credit.

    Then, of course, there was the lad who gave his five loaves and two fishes to the Lord and saw them multiplied so that they fed 5000 men plus women and children (John 6:9). We don't know his name but what he did will never be forgotten.

    A final illustration! Paul sent two brothers to Corinth with Titus in connection with a collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem. He does not give their names but he eulogizes them as messengers of the churches and the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 8:23).

    As Gray looked at the tombstones of obscure people in a country churchyard, he wrote:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness in the desert air.

    With God, however, nothing is wasted. He knows the names of all those who serve Him anonymously, and He will reward in a manner that is worthy of Himself.