[CF Devotionals] 2014-03-24 - What Would Naphtali Say?

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Genesis 30:7-8, 46:24, and 49:21

I dislike my name. It’s hard to spell, for one thing, and I’m always telling people how to pronounce it. If those two things were not enough, the word does not have a nice meaning - my struggle. Regarding my birth, Rachel, my mother "said, 'I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.' So she named him Naphtali.” (Genesis 30:8)

Why not pick a name which means success or triumph, then? I didn’t appreciate that Rachel looked at my new life as a token in a game, but that was her focus at the time, I suppose.

Despite my given name, I was not a troublemaker. Before my father Jacob died, he spoke to all his sons. To me, Jacob said I would be set free and would talk with good, beautiful words.

My father was right. Words are important to me, as you can see in the meanings of my four children’s first names.

Jahzeel: God will allot
Guni: Painted, colored
Jezer: Mind, imagination
Shillem: A return or reward for service or kindness, requital

I wanted my sons’ names to encourage them throughout their lives.


Lord, The sunny side of life doesn’t come automatically to me. Help me to change that. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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All scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.


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