To Call on/upon the Name of the Lord

7121 qara to call 8034 upon shem the name 3068 Yehovah Ė12 uses

 

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I. When We Are to Call on the Name of the LORD

II. How We Are to Call Upon the Name of the LORD

III. Those in the Christ Line Who First Called On His Name

IV. The Uses of to Call the Name of the LORD

 

In to call upon the name of the Lord, the word upon is the particle preposition b or beth. There is no Strong's number that corresponds. Only the use of this Hebrew preposition separates to call the LORD or to call to the LORD from to call upon the LORD or to call upon the name of the LORD.

Almost every use of to call on the name of the LORD involves the construction of an altar and the offering of a sacrifice (Genesis 12:8, 13:4, 21:33--implied, 26:25; 1 Kings 18:24). All of the Old Testament sacrifices were only as effective as the believing of the one offering them. All of these sacrifices entailed acknowledging God's lamb who would be revealed in the future. To call ďupon the name of the LORDĒ was to formally enter into a covenant by coming into His presence.

I. When We Are to Call on the Name of the LORD

In Isaiah 64:7, an appositive, rather than a repeated grammatical structure, sets two thoughts as parallel:

And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Here Godís words show that to call upon the name of the LORD means to stir oneself up to take hold of Him. The beautiful Old Testament idiom of permission is also here made plain. God has hidden His face from Israel because no one had stirred themselves up to take hold of Him! Isnít Godís word wonderful? He never really hid Himself, but in His foreknowledge He knew none would seek Him.

There are three references in Psalm 116 that refer to this calling on the name of the LORD. Psalm 116 shows three great occasions, or three great reasons, for calling on the name of the LORD. The first reason, as given in Psalm 116:4 in is to seek His salvation:

Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

For mankind today, Godís deliverance has come. Even as Romans 10:13 declares:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:13 is, itself, a reference to Joel 2:32:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance (Christ shall be. Godís salvation will come to Zion), as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant (those of Israel who remained faithful to God and became born-again saints) whom the LORD shall call.

Christ has come even as Joel foretold by the spirit of the Living God, and he is in the remnant, and in even as many as the LORD our God has called. So states Acts 2:38-39:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Thanks to Godís wonderful Son, all who call upon Jehovah God for deliverance shall be saved. The word of this deliverance is available today to everyone. It has been committed to the saints along with the ability to carry His message over the world (II Corinthians 5:17-20)

The second great reason to call upon the name of the LORD, given in Psalm 116:13, is to accept His salvation:

I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

All of Godís salvation, His deliverance, is currently available. We stir ourselves up to take hold of God and receive, dechomai (receive before God: be born-again) and lombano (receive into evidence), the cup of Godís wholeness. How is this done? Romans 10:9-10,13 tells us:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

When we say with our mouth what we believe in our heart concerning the Son of God, our risen Lord and savior Jesus Christ, we will absolutely be saved. This great cup of His salvation runs over into our lives according to these same principles. Colossians 2:6 commands

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk (live our lives) ye in him:

The Colossians boldly received into evidence the Lord Christ Jesus. If we walk in believing boldness in this way, we will reign in life as Romans 5:17 says:

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive (lombano) abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ...

The third great reason in our lives to stir ourselves up to take hold of Him is revealed in Psalm 116:17:

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

We come to Him to rejoice in His salvation. Romans 5:1-2:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God

It is written in Genesis, that Abraham, the father of all who believe, specifically called upon the name of the LORD three times. Each of the three times Abraham called on the name of the LORD corresponds to one of the three occasions declared in Psalm 116. On the first occasion, in Genesis 12:7-8:

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

On the second occasion, in Genesis 13:14-15, the word of Abrahamís deliverance comes from the LORD:

And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

Genesis 13:5-13 is parenthetical. It is an explanation of Abrahamís choice of the land by faith and Lotís choice of the land by sight. Hence, the second occasion in which Abraham stirs himself up to seek the LORD given in Genesis 13:3-4 below is in accepting the word of Godís deliverance:

And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;

Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

On this second occasion Abraham calls on the name of the LORD and drinks the cup of His wholeness. He accepts the Godís deliverance. He obeys Godís voice in Genesis 13:17:

Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

Today our deliverance has been given to us, guaranteed to us, in Christ by the word of the LORD. However, before Christ came, Godís deliverance was not guaranteed. It is not until the word of God comes, that Abraham, like the centurionís servant in the gospels, was made whole. From this occasion, until the third and final occasion Abraham calls on the name of the LORD, Abraham sets about receiving the land of promise. Abraham defeats armies, makes treaties, is blessed by the high priest of God in Salem, gives tithes and has faith to receive Isaac his son. This is the meaning of taking His cup of salvation and calling on the name of the LORD. Yes, this means that we accept salvation and eternal life through Christ, even as Abrahamís believing was counted unto him for righteousness. However, we are also to stir ourselves up to take hold of the will of God, His promises and commands for this life. To drink the cup of Godís wholeness includes walking in the promises, to walk through the lands of His promises to us, to walk in the length of them and in the breadth of them. It is to evidence all He has given us in Christ. To do this we must, like Abraham, and like the Psalmist, stir ourselves up take hold on God our Father.

The third and last occasion the word of God records that Abraham called on the name of the LORD is in Genesis 21:33:

And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

Once Abraham had received all of Godís salvation, the word of God says that once more he called on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. This last phrase, and the grove of tamarisks or evergreen trees that Abraham plants, shows the testimony of Abrahamís heart for the Jehovah God. Jehovah had been faithful to His promises and had made Abraham whole. Abraham demonstrates the rightful offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD who had made him whole in every category of his life. Even more, we should draw near to our Father, the Almighty God who has rescued us from the darkness of this world through His wonderful Son Jesus Christ. We should cry, ďAbba FatherĒ by way of the spirit within us, giving, as 2 Corinthians 9:15 states, thanks to Him, ďfor his unspeakable giftĒ of Christ within. Today, then, whosever will may come, as it is written in Romans 10:13:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Seek and you will find Him. Ask, and He will give to you.

II. How We Are to Call Upon the Name of the LORD

The precision of the Isaiah 64:7 parallelism that defines calling on the name of the LORD as stirring oneself up to take hold on God Himself is emphasized exactly by the figures of speech employed in the phrase itself. When the name of Jehovah is put for Jehovah, it emphasizes God Himself, His true innermost being and self. This it does through the metonymy of the adjunct. However, the use of the name of the LORD for the LORD Himself is also pleonasm (Bullinger 409). More words are used than are necessary. This pleonasm emphasizes the action of the verb on its longer object. The intensity of the verb called is amplified by the pleonasm.

Today, when we seek Him, we are not supposed to build Him an altar or offer Him a sacrifice, for as Hebrews 9:11,12,14 and 26 show:

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Instead, if we will stir ourselves up to take hold on our Almighty God, we must come to Him through the completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not according to the works of our own hands.

To call on the name of the LORD means to seek Him according to His Word. To seek Him is to find Him. According to Psalm 79:6:

Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.

a nation must first know His name (see also Jeremiah 10:25). This means that they must know who He is; then they must seek Him. However, Psalm 33:12:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

To call upon the name of the LORD will always result in finding Him. To call on the name of the LORD means, especially, to invoke the full power and authority that is in His name. In I Kings 18:24-26 below, Elijah duels with the prophets of Baal:

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

The authority and power of Jehovah to be the God in Israel was being put to the test against the authority of Baal. The Heavenly Father answered the offering and prayer of the righteous with a consuming fire. Today, the heavenly Father will accept our dedication of our lives to Him through Christ by enabling us to evidence the power of His fiery holy spirit in nine tremendous ways.

To call on the name of the LORD is to recognize who He is and to claim His power and authority to aid us as His people. Today, He is our Father through His wonderful Son Jesus Christ, but the same principles apply. As we understand and believe His promises and claim them in accordance with all He has given us in His Son Jesus Christ, we are following the Old Testament pattern of calling on the name of Jehovah, the covenant God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. For today we, as many of us as walk by the measure of the faith of Jesus Christ, are the beloved of God, the Israel of God.

To call upon the name of the LORD means to know Him according to His Word and to believe His word as we diligently seek Him. If we understand who He is from His word, if we understand His grace and goodness towards all who call upon Him, we will also understand that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

III. Those in the Christ Line Who First Called On His Name

The translation of Genesis 4:26 is challenged by E.W. Bullinger. He believes that there is an ellipsis of their gods in the verse. Bullinger reads the verse as, "then began men to call upon their gods as Jehovah." He believes this because, since Able sacrificed, Able must have been calling upon the name of the LORD. Furthermore, he notes that others of the believers line after Able must also have been sacrificing and calling on the name of the LORD.

Bullinger may be wrong. Enos is only two hundred and thirty-five years older than Adam and 4:26 says, "men," not "man," as in Able alone. The line of Seth immediately follows a long description of the line of Cain and the effect that line had on the life of mankind. It appears as though the works of God and the works of the adversary are being set in opposition in Genesis. Although the name of Enos can mean weak one, its root (582) means mankind (BDB), or humanity. Considering the things the adversary's people were developing in Genesis 4:17-24, the idea that weakness might be associated with the third member of the believer's line is not surprising. The line of Cain ended with the flood. The believer's line continued. Though men since the flood have followed the way of Cain, genetically, all of mankind today is related to Seth and Enos. Mankind was faced with a crisis. The line of Cain had developed the ability to wipe out the believerís line. Then men began calling on the name of the LORD. Not by works, but through the grace of the Almighty, God saved Noah and the believerís line lived and prevailed.

IV. The Uses of to Call the Name of the LORD

Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

 

Genesis 12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

 

Genesis 13:4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

 

Genesis 21:33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

 

Genesis 26:25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

 

1 Kings 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

 

2 Kings 5:11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

 

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

 

Psalm 116:4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

 

Psalm 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

 

Psalm 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

 

Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.