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Name #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter N

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

Names are very important in the Bible. Many names have meanings or are plays on words. Some characters have their names changed as their life progresses to reflect changes in their character or outlook.

In a previous A to Z Challenge I looked at the Names of God. This post is about God’s name or reputation.

One of the Ten Commandments warns about the improper use of God’s name. Exodus 20:7

Prophets appointed by God would speak in his name. Deuteronomy 18:18-19 

The prophet Nathan told King David that one of his offspring would build a house for the Name of the Lord. (This was King Solomon.) 2 Samuel 7:11-17

Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 2:28-32

The opening words of the Lord’s prayer (the prayer Jesus taught his disciples) are our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (May your name be Holy.) Matthew 6:9

Believing in the name gives the right to be children of God. John 1:12

Jesus Christ claimed to have come in the Father’s name. John 5:43

The promise of the Holy Spirit to be sent in Jesus’ Name John 14:26

Baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19

The excitement of worshipping God’s holy name

Once King David had made Jerusalem his home he wanted the Ark of the Covenant to be brought to the city. The Ark was in a private house where Obed-Edom the Gittite lived. David ordered the Levites to fetch the Ark because God had appointed them to look after it. He called all the descendants of Aaron (the brother of Moses) together.

They prepared themselves for this special task. (The word used in the Bible is consecrated – made holy.) They also chose musicians to accompany them. There was a throng of people, priests, Levites, singers and musicians with lyres, harps and cymbals. Their musical director was the head Levite, Kenaniah. The singing was his responsibility not because of his position, but because of his skill. Two priests were to blow trumpets in front of the ark. All the details were sorted out including a military escort.

What a noise! What excitement!

Sacrifices were made to God and the whole crowd including the king danced and celebrated.

A tent (tabernacle) was ready for The Ark of the Covenant to be set up. Once that was done there were more offerings to God and food was given to all the people including women and children. The list of people to serve in the tent and their responsibility for the music was made clear.

Then David prayed a wonderful psalm of thanks, beginning with:

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

and going on to tell the people how to worship God and proclaiming God’s nature and all that he had done for the people of Israel. 1 Chronicles 16:6-10

They all gave thanks to the Lord. ‘His love endures for ever.’ (See my posts for letter E and letter L)


The background to this story begins in 1 Chronicles 13. The part retold above is from 1 Chronicles 13:13-14 and 1 Chronicles 15-16. The psalm of thanksgiving is 1 Chronicles 16:8-36.


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Tweeting about the Psalms – The first week

I have been following PsalterMark on Twitter for some time. He regularly uses the #Psalmtweets hashtag.  A few weeks ago he invited other people to join him in reading a Psalm a day and using the hashtag. We began tweeting on Sunday 27th August. (I have to admit I am reading a few days ahead and scheduling my Tweets in advance!)

For this project so far, I have been reading each Psalm and looking at its form, what we learn about the psalmist, what he teaches about God and what his concerns are. The psalms include some very honest writing, complaints, misery – no putting on a brave face, facing up to reality instead.

I thought it might be helpful (if only to me) to collect my Tweets together and provide links to the appropriate Psalms.

Psalm 1: There are blessings from seeking to know God’s ways of doing things – fruitfulness and protection. #Psalmtweets

I also posted a photo, but forgot the hashtag.

A tree planted by water

A tree planted by water

Ps. 2: Kings & rulers should be wise & serve God with fear, rejoice with trembling. Blessing for those whose refuge is God.

Ps. 3: King David tells himself his enemies tell lies – God answers prayer and sustains. David prays a blessing on the people.

Ps. 4: David speaks to God, then the people then God. His distress changes to joy, trust and peace.

Ps. 5: God listens, is merciful & righteous. David compares the wicked and the righteous. He prays honestly in the morning

Ps. 6: A prayer for mercy and deliverance. David has assurance that God has heard and will act.

Ps. 7: David would have understood “if you’re in a hole, stop digging”. Praise God instead.

While the book of Psalms is sometimes called the Psalms of David, he is not believed to be the author of all the psalms. So far in my reading all the Psalms have been attributed to David by the translators of the New International Version. Although he was not perfect and made many mistakes he is described as being a man after God’s heart. I know there is much I can learn from David in his attitude to God, to life and to prayer.

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Kings

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There are lots of stories about kings in the Bible. A king to be mentioned in the first book of the Old Testament is Melchizedek, King of Salem. At first the people of Israel did not have a king like the nations around them. God was their king. Judges were appointed to rule under God and to settle disputes between the people. It is interesting to note that one of these judges was a woman, Deborah. According to the book of Judges, she was chosen by God in a list of other well-known characters, including Gideon and Samson. A female ruler!

The people of Israel rebelled against God and asked for a king. Through the prophet Samuel, God spoke to them about his displeasure, but allowed them to have kings, the first being Saul and the second the famous King David. There are two books of Kings in the Old Testament. They tell the history of the good and bad kings of Israel and of Judah.

King David was an ancestor of Jesus Christ, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My K post from 2013