All children fear the dreaded call of both the first and middle names. I still think I’m in peril of getting a swatting if I hear “Emily Elizabeth!”
I knew I was in serious trouble if Mama yelled both names. God help me, if it was my Dad yelling both.
That role switches slightly when you become a parent. The constant “Mom-Mom,” “Mama-Mama,” “Mommy-Mommy” is a double name call that takes on a whole new meaning. You become skilled at interpreting if the double name call is an emergency, boredom, or revelation.
God calls our names twice too. When he calls our name twice, there is typically a reason. Perhaps it’s a test and trial of faith. Sometimes it’s to grab our attention. Sometimes it’s an emergency. On multiple occasions throughout the Bible, God calls someone’s name twice. In each instance, a significant teaching ensues.
In Genesis 22: 11-13, we see God call “Abraham! Abraham!” as Abraham is ready to obey God in sacrificing his child, Isaac. In this scenario, Abraham is faithful and has passed a trial of faith. God is calling his name twice to stop Abraham’s actions before he actually sacrifices his son.
When Jacob finds out that his son Joseph hasn’t died, but rather he’s in Egypt, Jacob has a vision. In Genesis 46:1-4, the vision includes God calling, “Jacob! Jacob!” when he tells him not to be afraid.
In Luke 10:41, we read “Martha! Martha!” In Exodus 3:1-10, we see “Moses! Moses!” Within the text of 1 Samuel 3:1-10, we read of God saying “Samuel! Samuel!” Jesus calls Simon Peter “Simon, Simon” in Luke 22:31-32. “Saul, Saul” is called when Paul is blinded by the vision of a risen Jesus in Acts 9. Even Jesus calls on the Lord from the cross, “My God! My God!”
No matter who is being called twice, it gets our attention. Something significant is occurring if a name is called twice. Immediately, the occasion is elevated when names are called twice. The double call requires that we understand the significance and respond.
- Has God called your name twice? When? And for what reason?
- Are you paying attention to when God calls your name twice?
- Have you heard God call someone else’s name twice?
Much like being a young child with your first and middle name called by a parent, the calling of your name by God should get your attention…for any reason. As a sibling, I would also pay attention if I heard both my brother’s names called. Perhaps we should also be paying attention to when God calls twice to those around us.