Today, we will expand our view of God and look at more dimensions of His Nature and Character. What is interesting to me is that while each of these names is unique and distinguishable from the others, there is a coalescence among the names that forms a complete whole who is El Shaddai, Almighty God. No other "little g" god can claim His total magnificence and perfection. So, let's learn some more about our Heavenly Father...
Jehovah Mekkodishkem: The Lord Who Sanctifies You. My husband, Mark, and I have had a personal encounter with this facet of God. In about 2012, He spoke to Mark in the middle of the night, telling him that He wanted to sanctify us unto Him. He gave specific instructions as to the preparations we were to make, and the actions we were to take. It was unlike anything Mark had experienced before and he questioned God. "If this is really from You, I need You to show me that this is Your will". The next night, Mark had the exact same encounter, with the same words and instructions given to him.
It was at that point that we entered into a personal covenant with the Lord to serve Him wherever He led us and however that looked. It is the same nature of God we see in Exodus 31:13 when the Lord entered into a covenant with Moses and the Israelites: “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you." I will tell you it is very humbling to encounter Jehovah Mekkodishkem, but equally exhilarating to bow before Him in obedience.
Jehovah Ra'ah: The Lord Is My Shepherd. We are all familiar with the 23rd Psalm, which begins with The Lord is my shepherd. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul and leads me on paths of righteousness for His name sake.... It is easy to see Jesus as our Shepherd. We grew up in Sunday School classrooms where pictures of Him were displayed carrying a lamb across His shoulders; or standing serenely with staff in hand. And we are likely to think of the 23rd Psalm as a peaceful reminder that He is our Caretaker, and we are the sheep that follow His voice; meek and quiet, inoffensive.
But there is more to this image of our Good Shepherd. We are told that we can walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and fear no evil, because Jesus's rod and staff will comfort us. The rod and staff are emblematic of the Lord's comfort and His protection in fending off attacks from our Enemy. In addition, He is seen as setting a table for us in the midst of our enemies -- a table that is a realm unto itself; set with the finest china and the best foods and drink. The Enemy and his hordes are unable to penetrate that realm and we are able to feed upon the Lord and His Goodness undisturbed.
Furthermore, our Shepherd exhibits Himself as Defender, Protector, and Keeper by anointing us with oil; setting us apart as holy, and rendering our cup full to overflowing with blessings. All this leaves us declaring Jesus as Jacob did, when he blessed his son Joseph, "[This] is the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day" (Genesis 48:15).
Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness. This name of God is employed by the prophet Jeremiah as he warns those leaders who have led the nations of Israel and Judah astray. They have allowed His chosen people to be scattered and have not cared for His flock as good shepherds should. The prophet predicts, "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness' " (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
I see two different aspects of this name of God. The first is that the Lord will come bringing His justice. He will come as Judge, settling accounts, bringing both retribution and compensation. Secondly, He is also God, the Source of righteousness; man having no righteousness of his own. He is the Righteous God who has provided for our acceptance before Himself through our cleansing by the blood of the Lamb. He wraps us in His righteousness through Jesus Christ the Righteous One! We cannot be righteous on our own, so Christ becomes our righteousness [for us] before the Father. What a benevolent and generous God we serve!
Jehovah Gibbor-Milchamah: The Lord Mighty In Battle. This name is eloquently pronounced in Psalm 24:8, which says, Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Have you ever thought about what it truly means when we declare, "No weapon formed against me shall prosper"? It is because Jehovah Gibbor-Milchamah stands before you, in all of His glory and splendor, and He defends you. He DEFENDS You.
So to every obstacle that stands in our way, for every demon or cosmic power or stronghold that we haven't been able to tear down or defeat, we can shout that our God is the mighty Jehovah Gibbor-Milchamah, and He fights for us! He stands with His mighty Sword and He fights alongside us in our battles. He is our Shield and Buckler and we declare that there is no war that He has not won! He will not and cannot be defeated! He is the mighty Conqueror and Defender of those He calls His own.
Jehovah Shammah: The Name of the New Jerusalem. The Lord is There. I think this is one of my favorite names of God. When God had reached his limit in regards to the blasphemous idolatry of Israel and His chosen people, He showed the prophet Ezekiel that He removed His glory from the Temple and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 10). Then in a later vision, the Lord showed Ezekiel that He would restore Israel and what the New Temple and the New Jerusalem would look like. Ezekiel 48:35 are the last words in Ezekiel and they describe this scene: "The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits [5.11 miles]. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There."
This is such a beautiful picture of God's promises for the future! That prophecy came true when the exiles returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the walls. And again, God’s presence returned to the temple in the form of a tiny baby brought to the temple to be offered back to God by his parents, Joseph and Mary. And His presence will be established for all time when King Jesus rules and reigns from the temple in the New Jerusalem!
We can take so much hope from this powerful name of God -- His promises are never-ending. He is already in our future ... The Lord is There! We can't foresee our futures, but we can trust in the God who is already there, knowing He will be faithful in His promises to us!
Together with the names of God from the previous post, these additional names give just a hint of the fullness of God's Character and Nature. He is also El Elyon (Genesis 14:22) The Most High God; El Olam (Isaiah 24:8, Genesis 21:33) The Everlasting God; El Roi (Genesis 16:14) The God Who Sees Me; Jehovah Issuwz (Psalm 24:8) God Who Is Strong; Jehovah Chayil (Psalm 18:1) God is My Strength; Jehovah Hoseenu (Psalm 95:6) My Lord and Maker; Jehovah Nekamoth (Psalm 18:47) The God Who Avenges; Jehovah Keren-Yishi (Psalm 18:2) The Lord the Horn of my Salvation; Jehovah Sali (Psalms 18:2) – The LORD My Rock; Ha-Melech Jehovah (Psalms 98:6) – The LORD the King; Jehovah Machsi (Psalms 91:9) The LORD My Refuge.... and so many more!
Can you see that most of us have barely scratched the surface of the fullness of who God is? He cannot be contained by one Name! He cannot be contained by one Book! Yet we want to define Him and limit our ideas and beliefs about who He is to chapter and verse! It is only through seeking more of Him through the Word [that we have at our fingertips], that we can hope to receive revelation from the Holy Spirit that will transcend our limited faculties. So I hope that I have given you even a small measure of the immense and powerful God who is our everything. How can we not bow down in awe and reverence?
Thanks to Dan Duval of Bride Ministries for his extensive list of the Names of God found here.
Matthew 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name."