Posted by: rcottrill | December 24, 2018

Tell Me His Name Again

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Words: George Bennard (b. Feb. 4, 1873; d. Oct. 10, 1958)
Music: George Bennard

Wordwise Hymns (George Bennard)
The Cyber Hymnal (George Bennard)

Note: George Bennard was an American evangelist and gospel song writer. For some years, he and his wife worked with the Salvation Army. But later he ministered on his own, in both the United States and Canada. The story behind the present song reminded both my wife and me of another, the one behind the song Tell It Again.

When a couple is expecting the birth of a baby, there’s often much discussion about what that new son or daughter will be called. Perhaps the child will be named after a relative, or some famous person. Or a name will be chosen for its meaning, to encourage good character and worthy aspirations.

Many sons are named after their fathers. But few would go to the extreme of former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman. He has five sons, all named George! Not only does this seem to show a lack of creativity, it’s also a recipe for confusion. To avoid this, each of the five is often called by a nickname: George Junior, Monk, Big Wheel, Red, and Little Joey.

Someone has counted 3,237 personal names in the Bible. The longest is Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isa. 8:1, 3), and several, with only two letters, such as Er (Gen. 38:3) and Og (Num. 21:33), tie for the shortest. A number of names are used by more than one person. For example, there are three Sauls, and several Marys. But there are also quite a few characters entering Bible history who are not named at all.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are 956 names or descriptive titles for God in the Scriptures. Like the facets of a diamond, each shines with its own beauty, and reveals something special about the person of the Lord. He is Almighty God (Gen. 17:1), the I AM (Exod. 3:14), the Most High God (Ps. 78:35), and much more.

When we get to the New Testament, and beginning with the very first verse, the incarnation of God the Son brings the introduction of the personal name Jesus, used more than nine hundred times. Jesus translates the Greek form of the Old Testament Hebrew name Joshua. It means the Lord [Jehovah] Is Salvation, marking Him out as the Saviour.

“She [Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

Many times in the Word of God the name Jesus is tied to a declaration of His saving purpose and power. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Tim. 1:15). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). He is “our Lord and Saviour” (II Pet. 1:11; 3:18). And, as Christians, we are expecting His second coming. We’re “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:13).

Years ago, when China was open to the proclamation of the gospel, a missionary doctor told of a very old woman who attended one of his church services, and listened intently to the simple message of Jesus’ love for lost sinners. He reported that, after the message was given, she opened her heart to the gospel. Leaving the meeting, she trudged miles back along the dusty road to her humble home. But many days later she returned to the mission station, and said to the doctor, “He has saved me, but I cannot remember His name. Will you tell me His name again?”

That story touched the heart of George Bennard. In 1913 he’d written what has become one of our best known hymns, The Old Rugged Cross. But two decades afterward he gave us a lesser known song, Tell Me His Name Again, inspired by the question of the elderly Chinese woman.

1) They told me love’s sweetest story,
They told me a wonderful name.
It thrilled all my soul with its glory,
It burned in my heart like a flame.
They told me of One who so loved me
That in heaven He could not remain;
He came down to seek and to save me,
Oh, tell me His name again.

Oh, tell me His name again,
And sing me that sweet refrain,
Of Him who in love came down from above,
To die on the cross of shame.
The story my heart has stirred,
The sweetest I’ve ever heard;
It banishes fear, it brings hope and cheer,
Oh, tell me His name again.

2) They say He was born in a manger,
That there was “no room in the inn;”
That in His own world was a stranger,
Yet loved it in spite of its sin.
They say that His path led to Calv’ry,
And that one day He died there in shame;
He gave His great life as a ransom,
Oh, tell me His name again.

It’s JESUS–a truly wonderful name!

1) When did you first hear about the Lord Jesus?

2) What is your favourite hymn about Him?

Wordwise Hymns (George Bennard)
The Cyber Hymnal (George Bennard)


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