How many people know you? I mean, really know you? Your spouse or close family members, your best friend, someone you’ve worked closely with for years? Most of us can list off a few people who know us pretty well, but when you walk into a crowd (unless you’re famous), it’s not likely that a whole lot of people will recognize you and know you by name.
Knowing someone’s name is a significant step toward building a relationship. Remembering someone’s name can have a profound impact in demonstrating that you care about that person—care enough to keep that name in your mind and use it the next time you see him or her.
I want to float someone’s name by you and see if you recognize it. The guy’s name is Lud. He’s in the Bible. His name is found in Genesis 10:22 amid a listing of genealogies. It says, “The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram.”
What do we know about Lud? That verse is pretty much it. It’s all we have. He was Shem’s son. If he did get married and had kids, we don’t know their names. We don’t know what his life was like, how long he lived, what his interests were, or whether he was good at sports or not. All we know is his name: Lud.
I don’t know about you, but I find that fascinating. God had the Bible written down so that people could read it for generations till the end of time. And one thing he made sure to include in the Bible was Lud’s name.
God knew Lud. He knew him by name.
God knows you. He knows you by name.
At times you might feel like you’re lost in the crowd and no one would take notice if you were there or not. God does. King David put it this way: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7-10).
At times you might feel like no one understands you, your life, or what you’re going through because no one actually cares enough to take the time to see what it’s like. God does. Jesus once said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14,15).
You might feel like you’re insignificant—someone who’ll come and go without any mention on the pages of history. I don’t know if Lud felt that way. But Genesis 10:22 is proof that God knows people by name, which is a significant step toward building a relationship. And God wants a relationship with you. That’s why your name is spoken at your baptism. That’s why Jesus came—not for a blob of humanity but for individuals with names. That’s why, by trusting in Jesus, you have something better than name recognition on the pages of history. You have your name written in heaven’s book of life. And Jesus says, “I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels” (Revelation 3:5).
He knows you by name. What could be better than that?
Kurt Wetzel is a husband, father, and pastor who is thrilled that God knows him by name.