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.” Matthew 1:21
Satan. I’m sure it sounded logical at the time. Everybody needs a dog. Now I know that is a generalization, but the fact is dogs can add a lot to life. Sometimes that “lot” is good and sometimes not so much. The bottom line is that dogs are kinda like people. They are all different, they all have different personalities, and they all have different names.
When I was growing up, I can remember three outdoor dogs that we had. Momma and Daddy had an indoor dog named Penny. She was a, uh, well, overweight chihuahua mix and was pretty much the queen bee of the house. But through the years that I remember we had three other dogs and all three were as different as night and day. The first one had a very unusual name.
Now, first remember these were real outdoor dogs. We are talking their dog food was whatever scraps were left over from dinner and they rarely, very rarely had a bath. So regardless of what adjectives I use to describe them, you would never find them at a dog show. The first one was a beautiful, red, long hair, Irish setter. I’m not sure where we got him, but I can assure you he was free. We definitely did not pay for dogs. Besides the fact that this dog was really pretty, his name set him apart. His name was, wait for it, Satan. Yes, folks, we actually had a dog named Satan. Even as I type this, I am saying, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” But…I am not.
Satan, the dog—not the king of evil—didn’t get his name from his behavior but rather from his red coat. You know how we like to dress Satan (the king of evil not the dog) in red? Well, I guess Momma and Daddy decided it seemed appropriate. I know when I am introduced to someone, sometimes I hear their name and say, “Well, he or she looks like a Judy or a Sam. Well, Satan, the dog, with his red coat fit the bill. What a crazy name for a dog.
The second dog that holds a spot in my dog hall of fame was a beagle named Sally. Now Sally, I think, is a kinda happy name. I have a hard time imagining a stern-faced Sally though I am sure there are plenty out there. Well, Sally, the dog, had a bubbly personality and had the unique ability, wait for it, to smile. Now, as Jerry Clower the comedian, used to say, “if I am lying, I am dying.” You could walk up to ole Sally and give her a greeting and she would turn her upper lip right up and smile at you. Bring her supper and up the lip would go. She was a nice contrast, as you can imagine, to, uh, Satan (not the king of evil but the dog.)
The third and final dog that fills my memory of dogs in my growing up years was a rough and tumble, short legged, who knows what breed or breeds, dog we named, Ruff. Our dog Ruff didn’t stand out with a shiny red coat, nor could he smile. He was just Ruff. If he was a human, he probably would have driven a big Harley hog, wore a leather jacket, and smoked cigarettes. He was rough. He may have had small dog syndrome because truthfully, he was short and stocky. But, regardless, he was a good dog, and he was loyal. He ruled the backyard and protected us from all the bad guys.
Three dogs, three distinct personalities and characteristics and three names that kinda, sorta, fit them. Back in the old days of the Bible, names were a really big deal. You would name your son or daughter based on your hopes and dreams for them. Sometimes it worked out…and sometimes, well, it didn’t. I know when Joseph learned that Mary was going to have Jesus, he had some inside help on the name. I mean an angel shows up and says, “Hey, Mary is going to have a baby and you are to name Him Jesus because He is going to save the world.” Now that is one important name.
And guess what? That is exactly what He did. His destiny was to die on a Roman cross to pay for the sins of the whole world—mine and yours and well, everybody’s. When you hear the name of Jesus—think Savior because that is what He is. His name is special, very special, and is one that should not, ever, be thrown around lightly.
Guess what? God likes to give names to His kids too. In the last book of the Bible, it says that God will give us a new name written on a white stone and no one will understand the name but the one who gets it. Until then, well, He just calls us son or daughter. I like that. And as His son or daughter, we have the assurance that no matter what comes our way, we can count on Him. We can know for sure, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne