"And those who know Your name
will put their trust in You;
For You, LORD, have not forsaken
those who seek You."
For the last several months, I have been involved in a weekly Bible study with a lovely group of ladies from my community. We have been doing an old study by Kay Arthur, called Lord, I Want to Know You, and we have been learning all the names of God. That's right .... do you know all His names? The titles that represent the multi-faceted character of the God we serve? I admit that I knew a few of them, but was astonished to learn that He has many names, and each one is a unique manifestation of his nature and personality.
And in getting to know each of these unique designations, I discovered that they revealed new truths by which I could come to know Him better, and call upon His power in my life. I've missed out on so much of what He has to offer!
So, I'd like to share some of God's names with you, and invite you to study them further; to gain a more intimate knowledge of who our God is. When he says I AM, that name encompasses all of the list below. He truly is the one true God. Come meet Him:
YAHWEH: Because it was considered blasphemous to utter the name of the Hebrew God, it was only written and never spoken. The Hebrews represented their God with 4 letters (Yod Heh Vav Heh), which became transliterated by the Romans to YHWH. This name is often interchangeable with Jehovah or Lord, in small capitals. This is the God of Israel's most revered name.
ELOHIM: The Creator. It was God, as Elohim, that created the heavens and the earth. Here is an interesting fact: The him ending of Elohim is a plural ending in the Hebrew language; meaning more than one. It is actually this name for God (Elohim) that is used in Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God(s) created the heavens and the earth. This indicates that it was the blessed Trinity --- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit --- who were involved in the creation. They are one in being and character, yet three persons united as one Creator.
ADONAI: This name means Lord or Master. This name represents God's lordship over me; his total possession of me, and my total submission to Him as Lord and Master. Thou Art my Lord (Adonai); I have no good besides Thee." Psalm 16:2. We serve Him as willing slaves.
EL SHADDAI: The All-Sufficient One. All of our needs are met in Him. God is the source of everything we receive, and it is in His power --- not ours --- that His purposes will be fulfilled. You get the meaning of this name through "God Almighty". When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty (El Shaddai); walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Genesis 17:1. Only through God, the All-Sufficient One, could Abram realize his role as Father of our Faith.
EL ELYON: The God Most High. This name designates God as the sovereign ruler of all the Universe; everything is under His control and under His dominion. Neither man nor Satan can interfere with His authority. I will cry to God Most High (El Elyon), to God who accomplishes all things for me. Psalm 57:2.
JEHOVAH-JIREH: The Lord Will Provide. In the character of this name, our God sees, knows and provides all our needs. If we worship Him in obedience, all our needs will be met. The Lord will provide (Jehovah-Jireh) as it is said to this day, 'In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.' " Genesis 22:14. As Jehovah-Jireh, God has not only provided for our salvation through the death of His Son on the cross, but He is able to see and provide for "our daily bread"; those day-to-day needs.
JEHOVAH-NISSI: The Lord My Banner. A banner, in ancient times, was a standard that was carried into battle as a rallying symbol for those fighting. And, make no mistake, we are all in a spiritual battle these days against the forces of Evil. Therefore, we must remember that the Lord goes out before us; He is our banner in this fight. We are to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6), and under His banner, our victory is certain. Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Psalm 60:4
JEHOVAH-MEKODDISHKEM: The Lord Who Sanctifies You. As Believers in Jesus Christ, we are sanctified, or "set apart" for the righteousness that comes from faith. We are set apart by following Christ, observing the Sabbath as a Holy day, and accepting the promise that comes through trusting the Word of God. And you shall keep My statues and practice them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you (Jehovah-Mekoddishkem). Leviticus 20:8.
JEHOVAH-RAPHA: The Lord Who Heals. Our need for healing, whether as an individual or a nation, is the result of our sins. Through His power as Jehovah-Rapha, God can cleanse us of our sins and renew our spirits. He can heal us physically, spiritually and emotionally. We must first examine ourselves, recognize that we deserve to be judged for our sins, and then ask God to forgive us and heal us. Heal me, O Lord (Jehovah-Rapha), and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for Thou art my praise. Jeremiah 17:14.
JEHOVAH-SABAOTH: The Lord of Hosts. This was the name of God during an extreme time in the history of Israel. They had been repeatedly disobedient and God was about to deliver them over to their enemies. It is the name that prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah used for God. It is the name for those who find their own resources inadequate in the midst of a struggle. This is the name of God to run to when there is no other help. It is the name that reminds God's people of exactly who He is --- not only the One who delivers, but also the One who judges. This name of God meets our failures and offers deliverance. The Lord of Hosts (Jehovah-Sabaoth) is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Psalm 46:7.
JEHOVAH-SHALOM: The Lord is Peace. Jesus is our Prince of Peace, Jehovah-Shalom. He is the One who reconciles us to God, and enables us to stand before Him face to face without fear. He will keep us in perfect peace, if our mind is focused on Him. This name of God is perfectly expressed in John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. This is our Jehovah-Shalom speaking to us.
JEHOVAH-RAAH: The Lord My Shepherd. This is perhaps our most well-known name for God. He designed us as we are so that we would see our need for Him; to see our absolute poverty of spirit without Him. Like sheep, we are lost without His guidance and discipline; we stray from His path of righteousness and need Him to bring us safely into rest, provision and peace. When I follow the Good Shepherd, surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23-6.
My descriptions of the names of God are by no means comprehensive or complete. In the future, I would like to take a single name and expand on its appearance in the Bible. One thing I have enjoyed, since I began this study, is to read through my Bible and discover examples of Scripture where it talks about the Lord healing, and realize that He is displaying His name, Jehovah-Rapha. Or when Scripture quotes God as Lord Almighty, and I recognize Him as El Shaddai. I now have a more intimate and personal portrait of who my God is. And I can tell you that He is Glorious!