I am reminded of my readings, in Genesis especially, how various places were named. Almost always it had to do with something that happened there, and in the case of God’s people, usually included a reference to God in their lives.
After Abraham offered Isaac (Gen 22) in all but actual deed, he called the mountain “Jehovah-jirah,” meaning “Jehovah will provide,” for indeed God did provide an offering. When Jacob fled Esau, he dreamed of angels ascending and descending a ladder, and the next morning set up a pillar, poured oil upon it and called it “Beth-El,” meaning “house of God” (Gen 28). When he returned to the land 20 years later, he called for all the foreign gods to be disposed of, for his family to purify themselves, and built an altar, calling it “El-beth-El,” “the God of Bethel” (Gen 35) In 33:20 he bought a parcel of land and spread his tent there, calling it “El-Elohe-Israel,” “God, the God of Israel.”
So if we were going to name our homes, whether they be small apartments in the city, homes in the suburbs, or acreage in the country, what would we call them? Is God a big enough part of our lives to figure in their names as He was to the old patriarchs? Would “Beth-El” be suitable because God is regularly spoken to and the Lord is spoken of in our homes? Could we call it Jehovah-jirah because we understand that all we have is provided by God? Could we call it “El-Elohe-Ward,” “God the God of the Wards” (or your own particular last name)? Or would we, as Isaac did when the Philistines feuded with him over the watering holes, have to name our wells “Esek,” (“Contention”) and “Sitnah,” (“Enmity”) (Gen 26)? What emotions are our homes filled with?
It is an interesting exercise to think about giving our homes a name. Try it, and see if it doesn’t help you make yours a better home for your family, and a wonderful place for anyone to visit
But will God in very deed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! Yet have respect unto the prayer of your servant and to his supplication, O Jehovah my God, to listen unto the cry and to the prayer which your servant prays before you this day: that your eyes may be open toward this house night and day …and hear in heaven your dwelling-place, and when you shall hear, forgive. 1 Kgs 8:27-30