Names of God
NAMES OF GOD
The greatest purpose any man, woman, or child can have, especially if they are believers in Christ, is to serve God and glorify Him.
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”.
1 Corinthians 10:31
What is essential to our ability to glorify God is the knowledge of God, and knowing Him personally in the light of that knowledge.
The word “glory” in NT Greek is doxa which means an opinion that is held, an estimation of a person or of their reputation.
When we give God the glory we are giving Him what is rightfully His anyway.
We give Him praise, thanksgiving, obedience, reverence and service because of who God is and what He has done, is doing and will do. He is past present and future.
Giving glory to God is tied in with our knowledge of God, and knowing God personally.
We know God is a relational being, who wants to establish a rapport with His children.
Do you remember when you first started dating your husband or wife, and you were so eager to find out more about this fascinating, beautiful person who was slowly stealing your heart?
I remember how eager I was to find out what makes Nola tick. I wanted to know her favourite foods, cheese and ham toasty, her favourite film, the Sound of Music, favourite singers, usually crooners from the ‘50’s, places to go, anything historical especially churches or cathedrals,favourite things to do, spending time with our grandchildren. There are thousands of questions we could ask in order to find out more.
If we are serious about our commitment to Jesus, then we treat God the same. We should all want to know what does God want of me, what is the desire of my heart that God has placed there, what pleases Him, how can He help me in times trouble, and many many more.
For those who don’t ask these questions, why don’t you? Do you think you know enough, or does it not matter enough until times get hard?
Anyway, for those that don’t ask, and that’s quite a lot of believers I think, God has done something really quite remarkable.
He has given Himself different names that tell of His different facets.
This is the largest uncut diamond ever found, and it sold for a massive £56 million.
When it is cut, it will be a multi-faceted gem that reflects brilliant light.
God has different names so that we can discover His facets, so He can shine in our lives.
When we first come to Christ, we may believe in Jesus, but we may have an issue with God. I know I did. My father was very aloof, stand-offish, and a disciplinarian, so my idea of God was the same. An old man sat on a mountain with a big stick to beat you with every time you get out of line. Now I know that’s not who God is, but it took me a lot of years to understand that.
Look back at this picture of a rough diamond (GO BACK TO SLIDE). That is how God looks to us at first sight.
In a way, we are all like diamond cutters, looking for where that first ray of light is going to shine.
God helps us by telling us His names, so that we with our little finite minds can understand something of the nature of God.
So where do we start?
The first name of God is Elohim, which means God-very God. Right at the beginning, because we find Elohim in Genesis 1, God wanted us to know that first off, He is the God of Gods. That’s the first thing we have to take to heart, that Elohim is the God almighty, God the powerful, God the invincible one. That’s the first of many facets that will eventually lead to us knowing as much as we can comprehend about our God.
Another name we should learn early on in our walk is El Shaddei, all-sufficient one. First used in Genesis 17:1 and only found 7 times in the Bible this name tells us above anything else that God is all- sufficient, completely in charge in any and every situation.
That’s important at any stage of life, but early on in our walk we need to know that God is there for us. Once we learn that name and use it properly, then that’s another ray of light coming from this diamond.
So we can understand our relationship with Him, he tells us one of his names is Adonai. Adonai means Lord and Master, first in Genesis 15:2, but altogether found 434 times in total.
The most-used name of God is Yahweh, or Jehovah. Yahweh is considered so Holy a name that Jews will only write down the consonants of His name, and will never speak it. Yahweh, Jehovah, means Lord.
Jehovah is often used in conjunction with other names, such as Jehovah-Jireh, my God will provide. I went into a store in Uganda that had absolutely nothing for sale, just a little old lady sat there. I asked her did she have anything I could buy? She said not right now, but my God will provide something. On the way out I noticed the name above the door, Jehovah Jireh.
She was waiting for God to send someone with something she could sell, so she could eat that day, and she refuses money for nothing. She could see the light and was prepared to wait.
God knows what we need, and as Jehovah-Jireh He will supply our needs.
Jehovah-Nissi is only found once in the Bible, but it’s a very important name. It’s in Exodus 17:15 and it means The Lord my Banner. You might think that’s not much of a name, but it is. We are all under the banner of God,because we, as believers, have been inducted into the army of Jehovah. Having been in the Army I know the importance of flags, or banners, and colours. The flags and the colours are designed so that we know where we should be. We are taught to recognise the flags by their colours and design, and we assemble under those colours. Now the enemy also recognises those colours, and knows who we are and where we are. If we stay under the banner of God, in contact with our General, Elohim, the Lord strong and mighty, then the devil cannot get near us. If we see that ray of light, we will be stronger and we will strengthen others.
There’s Jehovah Raah, the Lord my Shepherd. We need to know that God is not only strong and mighty, but also caring and loving. This name the Shepherd, is echoed by Jesus when he says I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd looks after his sheep, John 10:11.
Another facet of God is uncovered, to go along with what we already know, that God is powerful, the only God, one who provides, the one whose banner over us is love.
Other names of God that you might know are Jehovah Rappah, the God who heals, Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness, Jehovah Shalom, the Lord my peace, Jehovah M’Kaddesh, the Lord who sanctifies.
Each name reveals another side, another facet, of God that we need to know in order to know more of God, and to understand how these names can help us to grow in our faith, to become stronger.
That uncut diamond that is representative of our initial understanding of God and who he is, has gone from this (UNCUT SLIDE) to this (cut diamond).
There are 999 names of God. Imagine how much more we would know about Him if we studied each one, but even studying one or two brings us closer to God and Him closer to us, and that light that God shines in our hearts becomes brighter with each name we come across.
Make it your goal to study these names and come into a fuller, deeper, wider knowledge of Him.