Hymn Story

Take the Name of Jesus with You (Precious Name)

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Take the Name of Jesus with You (Precious Name)

Names were important in the Bible.  When God called Abram, he changed Abram’s name to Abraham, because “You will be the father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:4).  He changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 35:10), which would become the name of God’s people.  The scriptures, especially the Old Testament, often explain the significance of a person’s name, and sometimes tell the story of God changing a person’s name to fit a new calling.

Jesus’ name is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Joshua, which means “Yahweh (God) saves.”  The New Testament gives Jesus many titles (Christ, Messiah, Lord, Master, etc.), but Jesus (“God saves”) is his name.

Lydia Baxter (1800-1874) enjoyed teaching people the significance of Biblical names—especially Jesus’ name.  She had authored a number of hymns, and in 1870 wrote this one.

Of the many hymns that she authored, only this one survives in today’s hymnals.  It calls people to take the name of Jesus with them, because it “will joy and comfort give you” (v. 1)—and because Jesus’ name serves as “a shield from every snare (v. 2).

The phrase, “Hope of earth and joy of heaven,” is worth consideration.  Hope (which we have on earth) is future oriented.  Jesus gives us the hope of salvation—a vision of a heavenly kingdom which we have attained in part but will attain fully only in the future.  Joy, however, is something enjoyed in the present, and heaven has already begun to experience the joy of Jesus’ salvation work.  It knows already what we on earth are in the midst of learning.

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible.
Copyright, 2015, Richard Niell Donovan