“The Names of God Reveal His Nature”
1. Names in the Bible are often more than just personal titles - often prophetic; or disclosed information:
a. Abraham (Gen. 17:5) = “Father of a multitude”
(Gen 17:5 NASB) "No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.”
b. Sarah (Gen. 17:15-16) = “Princess”
(Gen 17:15-16 NASB) Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her."
c. Isaac (Gen. 17:19) = “Laughter”
d. Peter (Mat. 16:18) = “Rock”
Note: This is NOT simply an exercise in some
theological study – nor an opportunith for me to
look smarter than I am…..This isn’t a lesson about “language;” IT IS ABOUT GOD
AND SHOWING HIM THE PROPER HONOR AND RESPECT!
Note: This is NOT simply an exercise in some theological study – nor an opportunith for me to look smarter than I am…..This isn’t a lesson about “language;” IT IS ABOUT GOD AND SHOWING HIM THE PROPER HONOR AND RESPECT!
2. God's names likewise are of great importance as they are Divine in origin and help reveal His nature, character and power.
a. Should not be surprised to discover that there are many names used for God in the Bible.
b. If the universe overflows with the whole of God, how can one name contain the whole of His essence?
3. God's names are significant and holy. Not to be used in common or flippant manners.
a. Hold His name in reverence as it stands for Him.
b. NOTE: Ex. 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”
I. BASIC NAMES USED OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. “EL” (God) (also)= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym = Plural of EL (Elohiym used over 2000 times in OT)
"Elohim" is the plural of "EL" - used over 2000 times in the OT
Three persons in the Godhead - ALL possessing that Divine essence
1. One of the oldest designations for deity in the ancient world. Common name for Jehovah and idols as well - (a generic name).
2. Definition: to be strong; to have extended sphere of control; to possess binding force; prominent
3. All of these ideas stress power and authority; distance between God and man; fear and trembling in face of overwhelming majesty.
a. Gen. 17:1-5 making covenant with Abraham; had the power and authority to make such a covenant and carry it to completion; beyond what a mere human could have done.
Gen. 17:1-3, Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; [(Heb) EL] Walk before Me, and be blameless. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly."
b. 2 Sam. 22:31-33 strong authoritative figure who can not be surpassed in power or compassion
2 Sam. 22:31-33 "As for God, [(Heb) EL] His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, [(Heb) EL] besides the LORD? And who is a rock, besides our God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym ]? God [(Heb) EL] is my strong fortress; And He sets the blameless in His way.”
c. Neh. 1:4-5; 9:32 strong, awesome; superiority to any on earth; One capable of granting petitions - authority and power.
(Neh 1:4-5) Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym] of heaven. And I said, "I beseech Thee, 0 LORD God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym] of heaven, the great and awesome God, [(Heb) EL] who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,
(Neh 9:32 NASB) "Now therefore, our God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym], the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, [(Heb) EL], who dost keep covenant and lovingkindness, Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before Thee, Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and on all Thy people, From the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.
B. “YAHWEH” (Jehovah)
1. A uniquely Jewish name for Deity; closest we have to a personal name for God; used infrequently prior to Moses, but with development of nation used more frequently.
2. In KJV often translated as "Lord"; in ASV most translated "Jehovah" - used 6,823 times.
3. Definition: He which is; He who is truly present - from Hebrew root "havah" which means "to be" suggesting the One who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent existence.
When Moses asked what to say when people ask who sent him....God responded
Ex. 3:13-14 And Moses said unto God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym ], Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym ] of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym ] said unto Moses, I AM [ היה= hâyâh = haw-yaw'=”YAHWEH”= Jehovah] THAT I AM [ היה= hâyâh = haw-yaw'=”YAHWEH”= Jehovah]: and he said. Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM היה= hâyâh = haw-yaw'=”YAHWEH”= Jehovah hath sent me unto you.
4. The name Jehovah places an emphasis on the ever-presence of God.
5. There is a closeness associated with this name; often used when men pleaded with God for some favor or protection.
6. Jews would not pronounce this name in fear of profaning it. Scribes would wash hands before writing this name.
Lev. 24:16 "Moreover, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death."
C. "ADONAI” (Lord)
1. Definition: Master, Owner. Designates One having authority and surpassing power.
2. Shows that we are under the rule of God. He is to be in control, not us. His will is to be done not ours.
3. Suggests a "Master-Slave" relationship.
Deut. 10:17 "For the Lord [ ”YAHWEH”= Jehovah] your God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym] is the God [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym] of gods [(Heb) אלהים= = ’ĕlôhı̂ym], and the Lord אדני = 'ădônây = ad-o-noy' = Lord
of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, [(Heb) EL], who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe.”
II. SECONDARY NAMES FOR GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. "El SHADDAY" (The Almighty God)
1. Stresses the role of God as creator, sustainer of the universe; the initiator and keeper of covenants.
2. God is not being conceited or haughty when using this name - just stating facts.
3. Selected uses:
a. Gen. 17:1 ff covenant with Abraham
Gen 17:1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD [Jehovah] appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God [EL] Almighty [SHADDAY]; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
b. Gen 35:9ff – God changes Jacob’s name to Israel
Gen 35:9-11 Then God [’ĕlôhı̂ym] appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. (10) God [’ĕlôhı̂ym] said to him, "Your name is Jacob ; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name." Thus He called him Israel. (11) God [’ĕlôhı̂ym] also said to him, "I am God Almighty ["El SHADDAY"]; Be fruitful and multiply ; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you.
4. Almighty God possess all power:
a. power to create (Acts 17:24-26)
(Acts 17:24-26 NASB) "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation,
b. power to destroy (2 Peter 3:7-15) the earth and all that is in it - even the elements
c. power for salvation (Rom. 1:16)
5. How should we view this Almighty God?
a. Rev. 1:8,17
(Rev 1:8 KJV) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
(Rev 1:17 KJV) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
b. Ezek. 1:24, 28b
Ezek. 1:24 "I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty [SHADDAY], a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings,
Ezek. 1: 28b As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD [“YAHWEH”- (Jehovah)]. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking."
B. "EL OLAM" - (The Eternal God)
1. Stresses the eternal duration of God.
2. As such God is without:
(Psa. 90:1-2) "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountainswere born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
(Psa. 102:26-27) "Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. "But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.
3. Gives us reason to trust and fear.
4. "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable." (Isa. 40:28)
C. Other names:
1. The Most High God
2. Holy One
3. Righteous One
4. God of Sabaoths (Hosts)
II. NAMES FOR GOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. "THEOS" (God)
1. General term for deity (equates to "EL" of the OT) expresses self-sufficiency, self-determination and absolute righteousness
2. Used in reference to all three in the "God-head"
a. Father -John 5:18; 13:3
(John 5:18 NASB) For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
(John 13:3 NASB) Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God,
b. Son - Mat. 1:23; John 1:1; 20:28
(Mat 1:23 NASB) "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
(John 1:1 NASB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(John 20:28 NASB) Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
c. Holy Spirit-Acts 5:3-4
(Acts 5:3-4) But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to
B. "KURIOS" (Lord)
1. Similar to Adonai - Master, Control
2. In post-resurrection narratives used frequently of Jesus
(Lk. 24:34; John 20:18; 21:20)
(Luke 24:33-34) And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, "The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon."
(John 20:18) Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her.
(John 21:20) Peter, turning around, *saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?"
1. Ex. 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
2. Popular to use the names of God as common exclamations when no honor is intended for Him at all - be warned we are on "holy ground."
Swearing - bringing God's damnation
'Thank God I'm a country boy"
3. His names are precious as they help us to understand the One who sent His own Son and He who died for us.
Can't understand His grace..... plan of salvation