Name Game

Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.”—Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

I don’t know if there’s a video vault in heaven . . . but if there is, I want to see the footage on this one! 

Just imagine the scene: There’s Adam in Paradise, and God brings every created animal to him to be named. How long did this take? Did every animal just patiently wait in line? Did it look like the DMV or like a line at Disney World or the Apple Store? How did the animals feel about their new names? Why did God even go through this elaborate process in the first place? Couldn’t God have just named each creature and then told Adam later?

The fact is, while God could have done this Himself, He had a deliberate purpose in delegating this responsibility to Adam. For one thing, it established man as the head of God’s creation. Man did not go to an ape, an elephant, or an aardvark to be named. Instead, God empowered man to identify the animal species denoting his place of prominence and privilege before the Creator.

But God had another purpose in giving Adam this assignment, and we get a sense of it in the very next verse: “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:20 NKJV).

After a while, Adam must have noticed something about these animals . . . they each had a companion. None of them were alone but each had a mate. At some point, there must have been an acute awareness of the absence of a “helper comparable to him.” And this was part of God’s purpose in having Adam do this; God wanted Adam to see what he was missing, to reveal his need, and to ultimately prepare him for His provision.

I’ve found that the Lord works in similar ways in our lives. He will call us into a situation that doesn’t seem to make much sense. Why am I here? What am I doing this for? Not only that, the situation seems to reveal our inadequacy, deficiency, and lack. But that’s often the point! God uses these things to show us our need and to ultimately meet that very need as only He can. He reveals and provides. 

God didn’t leave Adam all alone, and He won’t forsake us, either.

DIG: What did God have Adam do? What was God’s purpose for doing this?

DISCOVER: What does this principle mean for your life?

DO: Think about times where God has used a situation to reveal a need in your life and then meet it in an amazing way. Consider the lessons you learned from it. Spend time reflecting on how that season changed you and how you can use it to help others.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.