who is God>Gods names and meanings
Like the many petals that makes up one flower, there are many different names of God but there still remains one God. Let me jump-start this lesson with an illustration:
My husband is a great welder by profession ( yes I am bragging :) ). When necessary he also does electrical work as well. He is a great chef, and does a little carpentry. He is a wonderful comforter and motivator and is very strong. Yet he is still one man: my husband.
What is the point?
People often take for granted the awesome capabilities of God and instead choose to believe that there are many gods, one for each of Gods names and meanings. But not so. There are many names of God, but there is still one God. As you have read from my illustration above, my husband, being one person, in his capacity he is capable of performing so many functions.
If a mere man is capable of doing all this without dropping a sweat what more can we say about our God, who created us in his own image and likeness?
In the Old Testament a name represented not only the identification but also the identity or personality of that person. Then it should not be surprising when God changed the name of Jacob ( which meant ‘holder of the heel’, ‘follower’, or ‘sup-planter’ ) to Israel ( which means ‘to rule’, ‘to reign’ and ‘to prevail’) because he would become the Father of many nations. He did the same thing for Sarah and Paul.
The same applies for the names of God. When he is revealed to us by a specific name, this does not only represent his identification but his nature.So then, this means that each name and meaning shows our God revealing himself to us, his creation, as a need arises. Expressing his nature, his character, his abilities and his intentions and personality.
Why should Gods names and meanings be significant to us as believers?
Understanding the significance of the names and meanings of God means two things:
1. That we no-longer have to wonder whether God is capable of performing in our lives, because his names and deep meanings reveal that he has not only the ability but that he can meet and over perform in every challenge. Well this should come as no surprise to you for Ephesians 3: 20 says ' Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think..'.
Woosh!!! This means that our thoughts cannot even comprehend the magnitude of God!
2. That when we approach God in prayer, with a need, we can now approach him using the name that is significant to that need. This is what I call praying with understanding. Stay tuned for we will be going in-depth into prayer, the names of God, and praying with understanding in bible study topics and lessons to come.
You've heard me mention God's names Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Shammah, Jehovah Raah and Jehovah Jireh in previous bible study topics. So, as I have outlined in the attributes of God bible study, if I were to attempt to discuss each of Gods names and meanings, this lesson will take months! So I will follow my same pattern and instead would only discuss six (6) of the compound names of God.
And even that can take all day!
We’ll find the first of these compound names of God in Psalms 83:18
That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.
Jehovah means the self existing or self sufficient one. The main meaning of this word Jehovah is taken from the root Hebrew word Havah which means ‘to be’ or ‘to exist’ or ‘to become known’. Throughout the word of God, our creator constantly revealed his nature or ‘became known’ unto us at every point of our need.
Do you remember the story of Abraham in Genesis 22 when he was asked by God to offer up his son Isaac? ( This story introduced one of Gods names and meanings as well ) I would have been sweating bullets but Abraham trusting in God down to the very end. It was during that test, right in the midst of that trial, that God revealed himself or ‘became known’ unto Abraham by his name Jehovah Jireh ( The Lord who provides).
The second of the primary names of God is found in Genesis 1:1
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"
Do you see it? Do you see the word Elohim? Well actually I don’t either :) but remember that the bible that we read was first written in Hebrew and Greek. Let’s look at the picture below, a little bit more clarity. It was taken from biblesuite.com one of my favorite bible study tool:
The first column shows the very same scripture written in English. The second column shows it written in Hebrew. Beside these two columns is the transliteration.
Wondering what transliterated means? Let’s stop to briefly explain the difference between a word translated or transliterated.
So this same word ‘God’ represents ‘Elohim’ in Hebrew which is defined as ‘God or ‘the strong one’. This name of God shows God as victorious. Capable of carrying, and enduring any circumstance that may arise.
EL ELYON : ‘The Most High God’ ‘the most exalted God’ or ‘the Strongest One’
2 Samuel 22:14 ‘The Lord thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.’
This represents the supreme ruler ship and expresses the majesty of our God.
Another of Gods names and meanings is:
EL ROI: ‘The strong one who sees’
Genesis 16:13 ‘And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?’
This represents a God that sees all, whether past, present or future.
EL SHADDAI: ‘Almighty God’, ‘the Sustainer’ or ‘the Double Breasted One’ ‘The All Sufficient One’
Numbers 24:16 ‘He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open’
This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Imagine a righteous and holy God became acquainted with hunger and grief and carried our sicknesses and felt our pain. This means then that he knows how it feels to be lonely, comfortless, abandoned, hungry, and thirsty. So when we cry unto him for healing, for comfort, for provision, or any other need he is touched and responds to our aid.
EL OLAM: ‘Everlasting God’
Isaiah 40:28 ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.’
There’s no end, there’s no beginning. There’s no time span or tenure ship. God does not get tired. His strength remains forever the same.
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