In ancient times names held great meaning. A child would be named to commemorate an event, to encourage a direction for his life or possibly to acknowledge a patriarch. The old Hebrew families often incorporated God into their names.
Thus, Judah was blessed by his mother, Leah. She chose his name to praise God. Later his name became the name of the southern portion of what we now think of as Israel. Jerusalem lies within the territory of Judah.
So why does that name stuff matter today? It matters because God chose the Hebrew people to be His people. It matters because He chose Judah as the family line that Jesus would descend from. It matters because one woman chose to praise God through the name of her child. And God chose to honor that by placing His Kingdom throne in Judah, thus becoming enthroned by His people’s praise.
Why does it matter to us? It matters because it guides us in how to think about our approach to God. If we are truly seeking a relationship with Him, praise encompasses a big portion of that time we spend with Him. We all know that in human relationships praise creates harmony and open communication. So it is with God.
Next time you reach for God, praise Him for all that he has done for you; praise Him for all that He is doing for you; praise Him for all that He will do for you. He designed us for relationship with Him. He designed and created us in the love and joy that is Him. Let us celebrate and rejoice in that design every time we think of Him.