Sermons

Summary: The name of this baby was so important to God that God himself selected it. He chose the name that He would honor above all names. God left most naming of people, creatures and things to man but He wanted to name this special child Himself.

Some people are born risk-takers. Such was the case with Dr. John Haldane who was born

in Scotland in 1860. His professional life was spent in seeing how close he could come to

dying without actually ending up dead. He wanted to learn why it is that carbon monoxide

kills people. So he got himself a partner and they both sat in a lab breathing carbon monoxide.

In about half and hour his partner suddenly flipped over on his back and Haldane

realized it was time to flee. He ran up the stairs and out into fresh air. He was dizzy and

could not see right, but after awhile he returned to normal. His partner was dead, of course,

but that was the plan. His partner was a mouse and mice breath faster than men and so he

died faster. This was how Haldane knew when he still had a chance to escape. He later

learned that small birds breathe even faster than mice and so he did not have to cut it so close

in his experiments with poisonous gas.

Haldane did this experiment with every gas that was discovered in the mines. He risked

his life over and over again, but in so doing he learned the effects of gas on miner's and thus

developed ways whereby the lives of many miner's were spared. His studies also led to

improved ventilation in mines and he developed the salt tablet to replace lost salt due to

severe sweating in the mines. He led the way to the therapeutic use of oxygen which has been

a life saver to so many. By the grace of God, Haldane lived to be 76 years old and died in

1936. He made a name for himself by almost dying time and time again.

The prophets of the Old Testament told of the coming Prince of Peace who would make a

name for himself by not, almost dying, but by literally dying for his people. His dying would

not just save them from earthly dangers but from the everlasting dangers of eternal death.

There has never been a person like this in history, and so the prophet Isaiah makes a

special emphasis on the unique names to be given to this promised Messiah. In Isaiah 7:14 we

read. "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will

give birth to a Son and will call Him Immanuel." Then in Isaiah 9:6 we read, "For to us a

child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be

called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

When we come to the New Testament we see the angel Gabriel telling Mary in Luke 1:31,

"You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus."

Later in Matt. 1:21 he gave this same message to Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and

you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Mary and Joseph did not need to struggle with a name and try out a few to hear how they

sound. Their baby came with a name already attached. The name of this baby was so

important to God that God himself selected it. He chose the name that He would honor above

all names. God left most naming of people, creatures and things to man but He wanted to

name this special child Himself.

You would not believe the complexity of life that astronomers have to struggle with. They

have to name everything they discover and as they discover more and more they have to

come up with names galore. It use to be a one man job. In 1647 Hevelius made a map of the

moon and considered naming the mountains and valleys after Bible characters. But he chose

instead to name them after earthly mountains and valleys and these have stuck. Galileo

named the flat areas after seas and bays and even though there's no water there, these too

have stuck.

But life became more complex. When William Herschel discovered the seventh planet, he

wanted to name it George after George III. But others said it should be called Uranus to be

consistent with the other planets which are named after Roman gods. George almost became

a name exalted to the heavens, but some committee shut it down.

Today we have international planetary nomenclature committees. Space exploration is

making this a massive job. They now need too many names to be limited to astronomers and

other scientists. They are now naming things after poets, composers, painters, historians,

playwrights, mathematicians, sculptors, doctors, psychologists, biologists, novelists,

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