As a semi-serious student of the Bible I have learned that names play an important part in the understanding of the story. Not just the name, per se, but the interpretation or meaning of the name. I can’t speak for everyone, but I find reading aloud can, on occasion, spur the mind’s eye into seeing a mystical piece of information. Yes, I will even say information that would have been glossed over by a silent tongue.
Case in point. In the book of Numbers, chapter 22. The whole world is familiar with the story of the talking donkey. Sure they don’t remember the owner’s name or the angel with the sword or where they were going in such a rush. They just remember a donkey talked. Many a pastor has introduced the sermon by saying, “I guess if God can talk through a donkey, he should be able to use me.” And the whole congregation is trying to decide it it should say “amen”. So, let me get on with it.
So the donkey is giving his master Balaam the ride of his life. Mostly because the donkey sees the Angel of the Lord standing in the path that Balaam has chosen to go. Balaam is ready to kill the donkey, because he is hindering the
profit er prophet. Balaam hits the donkey three times with his staff, and finally the donkey says,
“What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”
Balaam replies, “Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
Donkey replies, “Am not I thine, upon which thous hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee?”
Wait for it…
That is laugh out loud funny.
And as long as I am on the subject of names and animals I find the name Philip to be an interesting name. A concordance tells us that “philippos”, the name means, “fond of horses”. We know of Philip that runs after the Ethiopian in the chariot, and that guy probably had plenty of horses. I can tell you right now, that is neither here nor there.
What I want you to do is say “Philip” and as you say it out loud – listen to the sound. Got it?
Now as you marinate that around in your brain remember – Baptist are known for their “Big Days” which means consuming mass quantities of sweet tea, casseroles, and desserts. So, I submit to you “fill up” means “Fond of food”.