The name “Zanoah” means “rejected” (He’s mentioned in passing a couple of times in the Old Testament). Why would one name their son “rejected”? While some of the biblical practices of naming one’s progeny (because I believe it meant so much more then than today) are above my understanding and certainly of another culture than my own, I must confess that I couldn’t bear to walk around with this meaning.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
It takes a lot of strength to be able to endure this kind of treatment. Just because Zanoah’s name signifies the same, does that mean he felt it? Or was he in and among situations that caused those that stood by, however otherwise they’d be inclined, to treat him as such? I see names as super dense words. I mean when you think about it.
The verse from Isaiah is referring to Jesus. For a time, when you look at Him, all you see is the scars and the toll that sin had upon Him. If you endeavor to look through that–which necessarily includes acknowledging the rejection and the hate and the sin–you’ll see Him as He is. And your vision will only grow as you build upon that foundation.
“The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain.” (2 Timothy 1:16, emphasis mine)
Paul writing to Timothy. I think about the last part of this verse. If you know someone who has written about them, an air of being rejected, take some time to comfort them and rewrite it. You have that ability, whatever your name. I firmly believe that God allows people to go through a phase of rejection and misunderstanding so that they would see what the Lord (whose name means “God is salvation”) was willing to go through on their behalf. And then help others to do the same. Onesiphorus, the man who “sought [Paul] out very diligently and found [him]” (2 Timothy 1:17), his name means “bearing dignity”. It would seem he knew how to live out his definition.
Think about the name God uses to call you. This is something my dad told me a long time ago. That God has a name for you no one else knows. How else is He able to get your attention? With a word. Something spoken that you respond to because it corresponds with you. And so, the upside of being named “rejected” would be that one was able, throughout their life, to share in the sufferings of Christ.
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.” (Philippians 1:29-30)