Kids Talk About God

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Spiritual Reading

What Can We Learn From Adam Naming the Animals?

“If Adam hadn’t named the animals, we wouldn’t know one animal from the other. We might have cow brains for breakfast, lizard guts for lunch and dog toes for dinner,” says James, 9.

With such an active imagination, James has more going for him than cow brains.

“If Adam didn’t name the animals, he would call for an animal, and all the animals would come to him,” says Cody, 8.

“Adam and Eve didn’t want to call the animals ‘Thing,’ because they all would be named ‘Thing,'” says Elizabeth, 9.

Good point, but remember, Eve came later. Morgan, 7, has some insight on Adam’s search for Eve: “Adam named the animals because he and God were looking for a helper for Adam.”

Yes, after all the naming, the Bible says, “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:20). Adam didn’t find a match among the animals. He knew he needed a partner, and God knew it, too.

“God delegated authority to men, since the act of naming the animals shows lordship or dominion. It was also a spiritual exercise to prepare Adam and to make him aware of his aloneness. None of the animals corresponded to him,” says Kelsey, 12.

After creating Adam, God paraded animals before him “to see what he would call them” (Genesis 2:19). The Scripture records that Adam’s animal names stuck, which may indicate the names were more than titles in that they accurately described the animals.

“Names are important to everybody and everything. Adam obeyed God to name every animal,” says Jessica, 8.

Names are important to God. Abram the fatherless at age 99 becomes Abraham (father of many nations); Jacob the manipulator becomes Israel (prince of God), and Simon, not known for his stability, becomes Peter (rock). Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” becomes the rock or foundation upon which the universal church of living stones (Christians) is built.

Adam’s exercise of naming the animals was more than an exercise in linguistic freedom, says author Quentin Schultze in his book “Winning Your Kids Back from the Media.”

“Biblically speaking, the ‘name’ of something is a symbol for its true meaning,” says Schultze. “Parenting is mostly communication. Adults use verbal and nonverbal communication to create identity for themselves and their offspring.

“One of the greatest myths of modern society is that the media are essentially in the entertainment or information business. Mass media, as vehicles of communication, are more fundamentally in the identity business. They create and/or reflect the basic values and beliefs of the people who use them.”

In the book of Revelation, we learn that God gives a white stone to those who overcome. A new name is written which no one knows except the person who receives it (Revelation 2:17). Here’s your personal ID from the Lord Jesus himself! It’s a reward for overcoming.

All who trust in the Lord Jesus as their savior share in his victory over death, but there’s something more. Jesus will award special names to those who allow him to live his overcoming life through them.

Think about this: Let God give you a name, and you’ll be free from false identities created for you by advertisers, Hollywood, peers, bosses and even misguided relatives.

Memorize this truth: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Ask this question: Who is doing the naming in your life?


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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.


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