“And it was so, as her soul was departing (for she died) that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin.” (Genesis 35:18)
Many children are being saddled with strange names nowadays, such as the boy whose sport-minded parents named him ‘Espn’. In colonial time, parents sometimes opened the Bible at random and selected the first word they saw, which led one child to be named, “Notwithstanding Griswold.
There were some strange names in the Old Testament too. In Genesis 35, as Rachel struggled with childbirth, she named her son Ben-Oni, which means “Son of my sorrow.” Imagine having a name that would constantly remind you of that your birth had caused your mother’s death! Graciously the boy’s father, Jacob, discarded that name and called him Benjamin, which means “Son of My Right Hand”…a designation of honour in the home.
Often we suffer travail in life, times of trouble can leave us bitter, and we can go through life with negative emotions. But those are the times when we dare trust the Lord to bring honour out of suffering and triumph out of tears. By faith we see things in a different light. Faith in God’s promises is a winning strategy…it was the tribe of Benjamin that later produced Israel’s first king and the great apostle Paul.
“Heavenly Father I pray that You will help me see the bigger picture and strengthen my faith in Your promises for my life, in Jesus’ Name…amen