No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5 NIV).
What was God trying to do in Abram’s life by changing his name? The shift in meaning can explain it to a great extent. Abram means exalted father while Abraham means father of many. Now the question is, why this change?
Abram was already promised a heir by God and also was asked to look at the stars of the sky to have an idea of how countless his offspring would be. But Abram through the maidservant of his wife brought Ishmael to this world thinking that it was through him that God would keep His promise. But God had better plans through the son yet to be born, Isaac. That was the child of promise.
So the change of name inaugurated a new stage in the life of Abram. He was made to think about God’s plan for His life through that change of name. For Abraham meant father of many. Ishmael might have given him the status of an exalted father, but Isaac would make him the father of a blessed many. And this was God’s plan.
Without this change of name, Abraham might never have come to accept God’s plan for His life. Instead his life might have always been limited by his own plan. This inability to accept God’s plan could be real in your life today too. This is because you are limited by your own plan. Remember, God has a far better plan. He, by changing Abram’s name was giving him a new vision and a new direction in life.
Are you listening to what God is trying to say to you today? He is telling you of His plan. Are you going to accept His plan or are you still going to cling on to your unchanged name; which means that you’re operating on a much lower plane than the plans that God has about your life? Remember, God can give you a new name; meaning a new vision and a new direction in life, today!