Do you have a nickname? Not just a shortened version of your given name, but a name of endearment or description given to you by your family, friends or maybe even a bully at school.
Names are very important and they often can tell us a lot about a person… names like Big Jack or Princess or Buddy or Stinky can give us word pictures about a person.
The names of God tell us, His family, a lot about Him too…
The bible is filled with the names of God… Elohim, Yahweh, El Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah -jireh, Jehovah-shalom, Messiah, Christ and many more… but mostly in our English bibles we see God’s name written as God and Lord. It is hard to catch the true and deep flavor of the names of God and why they are so important in showing us who God is.
To the ancients, a name was a window into the character and the abilities of a person… and even God Himself.
God told Mary and Joseph to name their firstborn baby Jesus. Jesus means “God saves”.
So when we are hearing Jesus, the Jews were hearing “God saves”! What a perfect describer for this baby who would grow up to save the whole world!
I feel bad for Jabez and Mahlon and Achan… who’s names mean “sorrow”, “sickness” and “trouble”. I wonder if we get the phrase “here comes trouble” from Achan?
If we just dig in the bible a little we can learn God’s names and from that learn about His wonderful and awesome character.
One of my favorite names for God is found in Genesis 17. God appears to Abram and says…
“I am God the Almighty”
“A ni El Shaddai” (el-shadd-i)
Everyone in the ancient world believed in god… most believed in many gods. We call them idols (literally means “block of wood”… I love that!)
How did the ancients know which god was the real or best god.
They had a very easy test… the strongest or mightiest god was the real god!
So, God appears to Abram and says… Abram I am the true God because I am the ALL Mighty God. Literally, El means god and shaddai means mighty.
Why God used that “nickname” to show who He was to Abram is so interesting!
Abram was a ninety-nine year old man at that time. He had a pretty good and successful life… but the one thing that was most important to a man of his day he did not have… and that was a child. It was a great cultural shame not to have children. And to make things worse, Abram means “exulted or great father”! Every time his name was spoken it reminded him of the biggest shame of his life!
But God, El Shaddai was about to show Abram just how mighty of a God He was! God changed Abram’s name to Abraham… “father of a multitude of nations”!
God would have to be the mightiest of all and the true God if he could take a ninety-nine year old man and his old wife and make them the patriarchs of a multitude of nations… and God Almighty… El Shaddai… did just that! Abraham’s descendants are as numerous as the stars!
God showed this ancient man that he was the mightiest God… the only true God… and the story of Abraham shows us that too!
What are you facing that needs a might God…are you carrying something heavy… do you need to see God’s mighty power in your life?
Don’t turn to other things (blocks of wood) to help you… you have El Shaddai… the Almighty God, who loves you more than you could ever imagine, to help you. Just ask… and keep on asking!
He is also know as Jehovah-jireh (Genesis 22), the God Who Provides! Our Almighty God will provide what you need… what you really need!
Here are some other names of God…
God is El Sabaoth~ the God of the Armies of Heaven
God is El Elyon~ the Most High God
God is Adonai~ Master
God is Jehovah~ The Lord, The Self-Existent God, God’s Covenant Name
God is Jehovah Raah~ The Lord My Shepherd
God is Jehovah Rapha~ The Lord Who Heals
God is Jehovah Mekoddishkem~ The Lord Who Sanctifies You
God is El Olam~ The Everlasting God
God is Jehovah Shalom~ The Lord Of Peace
God is Elohim~ The Creator, The Triune God
There are more names of God that show His wonderful character… and His ability! No wonder the Bible says that He is our
ALL IN ALL…
everything we would ever need or want!
This week’s memorization verse:
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145:3