In Old Testament times, names were even more significant than they are today. They actually described the person or revealed his character. Names like Esau, meaning hairy, described a physical characteristic. While Nabal, meaning fool, was a description of character.
Like us, God has a name. In fact, He has many names. He is not an abstract, indecipherable being or a nameless influence. He has a personality. He has character. Throughout scripture, God tells us His titles, descriptions, and names. Each name not only has a meaning, but also a purpose – to reveal God. Therefore, a good understanding of the names of God will help us to know Him better. Many of us often have a distorted or wrong view of God. This affects the way we live and the way we pray!
Over the summer, we will look at the various names of God and their meanings. I encourage you to learn God’s names and then use them in your prayer life and worship time. You will experience God like you never have before!
El – The Strong One. The Mighty One. The Powerful One. The Sovereign One.
“Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.” Isaiah 40:26 NKJV
This Hebrew name for God occurs more than 200 times in the Old Testament. It comes from a root word that means, “might, strength, power”. In Hebrew however, El can mean any god. Therefore, Scripture distinguishes “The One True God” from the false gods by adding further descriptive words like Roi or Shaddai. (We will look at this in greater detail later.) In fact, El is most often used with a further descriptive word.
Throughout scripture, there are many instances where God has written His own name into the names of people and places by using El.
As a prefix, El means, “God” or “God is.”
Elisha– God is salvation!
As a suffix, El means “with God” or “for God.”
Immanuel – God with us!
Israel – wrestles with God.
El is a picture of all God is. He is the beginning of everything. He is the source of creation, strength, and wisdom. He is above all and the center of all things. He is the God of all gods!
When I stop and reflect on El, I am reminded that I can depend on my God. I am comforted that He is mightier than the mayhem of sorrow, opposition, care, or illness that I may be facing. Like the Psalmist we can say, “El arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:32) NLT
“El armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet.” (Psalm 32:39) NLT
Elohim – The All-Powerful One. The Creator. The Faithful one.
It was as Elohim that God first revealed Himself in Gensis 1:1. Elohim called Moses from a burning bush. The books of Jonah and Daniel use this name almost exclusively!
When I fall on my knees before God, pouring my cares at His feet, may I be reminded that I am speaking to Elohim who created all things, and controls all things! He is the very source of life! Out of chaos, He created order (Gen1:2). He framed the ages by the word of His mouth!
Oh, my friend, are you like me today and need to be reminded whom it is you serve? Have you allowed your circumstances and struggles to diminish your God instead of trusting your great God to diminish your circumstances?
Be reminded today – Elohim sees! Elohim hears! Elohim delivers! (Exodus 3:7-10)
“Be strong, and do not fear, for your Elohim is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:4 NLT
For the Lord your ELOHIM is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zeph 3:17 NLT
What glorious truth written into the very names of God!
No matter how “dead” situations and relationships may appear, Elohim can breathe life back into them! He can take my “emptiness” and fill it to overflowing! He will feed me in my wilderness just as He commanded a raven to feed Elijah in his! (I Kings 17)
Join me today, bow down before our God, adore Him for He is worthy of our worship!
“The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” Exodus 15:2
*I encourage you to start making a list of God’s names and their meanings. Look up scriptures where those names are used and list them under each name. Tuck the list into your Bible and use it in your prayer time. If you follow Musings over the summer you will be well on your way to creating a wonderful resource that will draw you closer to God and help you experience Him in a real and powerful way!