12.01.2014

The Names of God Series : EL SHADDAI (LORD GOD ALMIGHTY)



Meaning and Derivation: El is another name that is translated as "God" and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Another word much like Shaddai, and from which many believe it derived, is shad meaning "breast" in Hebrew (some other scholars believe that the name is derived from an Akkadian word Šadu, meaning "mountain," suggesting strength and power). This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer. [BlueLetterBible]

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
Genesis 17:1

He is who He is. Over the last few months we have touched on 15 different names of God, this concluding the study with number 16. God is the creator and sustainer of all things, to those who believe in Him and to those that do not. The very breathe that enters and escapes our bodies is all in thanks to Him. God gives freely to all people, from blessings of good jobs, to miracle healings, to making ends meet, to (most importantly) salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. What He wants in return is a relationship with His creation. He wants us to be His hands and feet, although He does not "need" us to accomplish His plans, yet He desires us to show His loving kindness to the world. Simply put to be like Him. All love, all the time.

In 1982, a couple of years before God had me grace this space, Amy Grant sang the below track, El Shaddai. Have you heard it? What do you think?

How amazing our Creator is, the One true and only God. May we delight in His love, seek to learn His will and carry it out, and may we embrace this world, looking towards Eternity forevermore.    




11.24.2014

The Names of God Series : EL ELYON (THE MOST HIGH GOD)



Meaning and Derivation: El is another name that is translated as "God" and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Elyon literally means "Most High" and is used both adjectivally and substantivally throughout the Old Testament. It expresses the extreme sovereignty and majesty of God and His highest preeminence. When the two words are combined - El Elyon - it can be translated as "the most exalted God."(Psa 57:2) [BlueLetterBible]

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
Genesis 14:18

When I was but a little girl in elementary school ancient Greece simply fascinated me for a season. As I looked at all their gods and goddesses with childlike wonder, I saw them as simply stories, yet amazing characters indeed. Athena was my favorite, a woman who was wise and just. As I have grown, the stories of old have taken on a different meaning to me. My heart is saddened that they did not know of the one true God, in His almighty splender. However, as we read in Acts they had an inkling that there was a Most High out there.

For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you. The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is he served by men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Acts 17:23-28


Of course this downcast sentiment does not extend only to the Greeks, but I find solace in knowing that El Elyon has made himself known to all people. Did you know that even though the Egyptians in a whole where engulfed in polytheism, Akhenaten (husband to Nefertiti) believed there to be only one true God whom he dubbed as Aten? As Plumb so eloquently sings, "There is a God-shaped hole in all of us". Yet it is for the individually to believe or not, to trust and have faith, or to simply dismiss the truth for the guise of lies.


11.18.2014

The Name of God Series : ADONAI (LORD, MASTER)



Meaning and Derivation: Adonai is the verbal parallel to Yahweh and Jehovah. Adonai is plural; the singular is adon. In reference to God the plural Adonai is used. When the singular adon is used, it usually refers to a human lord. Adon is used 215 times to refer to men. Occasionally in Scripture and predominantly in the Psalms, the singular adon is used to refer to God as well (cf. Exd 34:23). To avoid contravening the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exd 20:7), sometimes Adonai was used as a substitute for Yahweh (YHWH). Adonai can be translated literally as, "my lords' " (both plural and possessive). [BlueLetterBible]

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." But Abram said, "O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me, since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?"
Genesis 15:1-2


This word occurs in the Masoretic text 315 times by the side of the Tetragram YHWH (310 times preceding and five times succeeding it) and 134 times without it. Originally an appellation of God, the word became a definite title, and when the Tetragram became too holy for utterance Adonai was substituted for it, so that, as a rule, the name written YHWH receives the points of Adonai and is read Adonai, except in cases where Adonai precedes or succeeds it in the text, when it is read Elohim. The vowel-signs e, o, a, given to the Tetragrammaton in the written text, therefore, indicate this pronunciation, Aedonai, while the form Jehovah, introduced by a Christian writer about 1520, rests on a misunderstanding. The translation of YHWH by the word Lord in the King James's and in other versions is due to the traditional reading of the Tetragrammaton as Adonai, and this can be traced to the oldest translation of the Bible, the Septuagint. About the pronunciation of the Shem ha-Meforash, the "distinctive name" YHWH, there is no authentic information. In the early period of the Second Temple the Name was still in common use, as may be learned from such proper names as Jehohanan, or from liturgical formulas, such as Halelu-Yah. At the beginning of the Hellenistic era, however, the use of the Name was reserved for the Temple. From Sifre to Num. vi. 27, Mishnah Tamid, vii. 2, and Soṭah, vii. 6 it appears that the priests were allowed to pronounce the Name at the benediction only in the Temple; elsewhere they were obliged to use the appellative name (kinnuy) "Adonai." Philo, too, in referring to it says ("Life of Moses," iii. 11): "The four lettersmay be mentioned or heard only by holy men whose ears and tongues are purified by wisdom, and by no other in any place whatsoever." According to Josephus ("Ant." ii. 12, § 4):

"Moses besought God to impart to him the knowledge of His name and its pronunciation so that he might be able to invoke Him by name at the sacred acts, whereupon God communicated His name, hitherto unknown to any man; and it would be a sin for me to mention it."

Pronunciation of the Name by the Temple priests also gradually fell into disuse. Tosef., Soṭah, xiii. 8, quoted Menaḥot, 109b, and Yoma, 39b, relates that "from the time Simon the Just died [this is the traditional expression for the beginning of the Hellenistic period], the priests refrained from blessing the people with the Name"—in other words, they pronounced it indistinctly, or they mouthed or mumbled it. Thus says Tosef., Ber. vi. 23: Formerly they used to greet each other with the Ineffable Name; when the time of the decline of the study of the Law came, the elders mumbled the Name. Subsequently also the solemn utterance of the Name by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, that ought to have been heard by the priests and the people, according to the Mishnah Yoma, vi. 2, became inaudible or indistinct. [JewishEncyclopedia]


In addition to the more defined study above, I recommend checking out this CBN devotional, as well as one of the many other verses that denotes this Name of God. 


11.13.2014

The Names of God Series : ELOHIM (GOD)



Meaning and Derivation: Elohim is translated as "God." The derivation of the name Elohim is debatable to most scholars. Some believe it derived from 'êl which, in turn, originates from the root word, 'wl (which means "strong"). Others think that Elohim is derived from another two roots: 'lh (which means "god") in conjunction with 'elôah (which means "fear"). And still others presume that both 'êl and Elohim come from 'eloah. [BlueLetterBible]
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Never have I ever claimed to be a Hebrew scholar, I more-so write with the intent to bring hope to those with stories or snippets from my own walk. As such, for this name of God, I do so welcomely direct you to Blue Letter Bible , Hebrew 4 Christians, Abarim Publications or Let Us Reason for deeper study.

With only three names to go, I hope that you have enjoyed learning more about these monikers for the Creator, as much as I. 


11.10.2014

The Names of God Series : YAHWEH (LORD, JEHOVAH)


Meaning and Derivation: Yahweh is the promised name of God. This name of God which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled "YHWH" without vowels. YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which simply means "the four letters"). YHWH comes from the Hebrew letters: Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay. While YHWH is first used in Genesis 2, God did not reveal Himself as YHWH until Exodus 3. The modern spelling as "Yahweh" includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah." We no longer know for certain the exact pronunciation. During the third century A.D., the Jewish people stopped saying this name in fear of contravening the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exd 20:7). As a result of this, Adonai is occasionally a substitute for YHWH. The following compound names which start with "YHWH" have been shown using "Jehovah." This is due to the common usage of "Jehovah" in the English of these compound names in the early English translations of the Bible (e.g., the Geneva Bible, the King James Version, etc.). [BlueLetterBible]

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God [Yahweh] made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.Genesis 2:4-5

Yahweh is used over 6,500 times in the Bible, and admittedly it is one of my favorite names for God. To me Yahweh evokes a loving, kind - regal, yet friendly and comforting feeling when I speak it. As such, to commemorate this particular name of God I invite you to say it, or rather sing it with me. 



11.04.2014

The Names of God Series: EL OLAM (THE EVERLASTING GOD)



Meaning and Derivation: El is another name that is translated as "God" and can be used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Olam derives from the root word 'lm (which means "eternity"). Olam literally means "forever," "eternity," or "everlasting". When the two words are combined - El Olam - it can be translated as "The Eternal God." [BlueLetterBible]

And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
Genesis 21:33


But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
Jeremiah 10:10


Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.

Isaiah 26:4-6


As defined:
Forever - Through eternity; through endless ages, eternally. At all times; always.
Eternity - Infinite duration, without beginning in the past or end in the future; also, duration without end in the future; endless time.
Everlasting - "Everlasting," in strictness, is that which endures forever; either that which has no beginning and will have no end (in which sense it is applicable to God only), or that which, having a beginning, will have no end, but henceforth will exist forever (thus of beings created for immortality.

God was, is, and will forever be. It is as simple as that. God is the life-force in everything. If He was not, we would be not. All About God has a nice writing on our Everlasting God (loaded with scripture), and I urge you to take a gander.

To be a follower of Christ takes faith, to believe in the unseen, to trust in the unknown, but it is so very worth it. Will suddenly your life become problem free? No, but despite your troubles you will have a peace, and calmness that is only provided by the Spirit of God. You will have the assurance knowing that when your time on this globe is done, you will live out eternity with the Creator of it all, and His Son who came to save you. It is promised to believers, then at this time there will be no more sorrow, no more pain (Revelations).

If you are reading this and have doubts of God, I hope that your eyes may be open to the Truth. May someone be brought into your life to encourage you in the faith, and to answer any questions you have, or that you are prompted to seek them out using the Google machine (scripture search).

We give thanks to you God for all that you have done, are doing, and will do. Yours be the glory forever. In the name of your son, Jesus.



10.27.2014

The Names of God Series : JEHOVAH TSIDKENU (THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS)



Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Tsedek (tseh'-dek), from which Tsidkenu derived, means "to be stiff," "to be straight," or "righteous" in Hebrew. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Tsidkenu - it can be translated as "The Lord Who is our Righteousness." [BlueLetterBible]

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jeremiah 23:6

In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
Jeremiah 33:16

If you have a moment or ten to read, I suggest checking out this sermon from Charles Surgeon from 1851 in reference to this specific name of God.

The below was taken from Brandon Web.

When Jeremiah spoke this prophecy (Jeremiah 23:5-6), the kingdom of Judah was about to fall. The land of Judah was full of idolatry, oppression, violence, and political revolution. The Northern kingdom of Israel had gone into captivity 100 years before and Judah seemingly learned nothing from God's judgment upon them. It was under these conditions God gave this prophecy of Jehovah-Tsidkenu.

I. The Meaning Of The Word "Tsidkenu"
A. The word "Tsidkenu" is derived from "Tsedek" and means "righteousness."
B. "Tsedek" is translated hundreds of times as: right, righteous, righteousness, just, justify, declare innocent.
C. A simple definition of righteousness is 'doing that which is right'.
D. This name speaks of the fact that God will always do that which is right…because He is righteous!
(Exodus 9:27) And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
(Psalms 129:4) The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

II. Jehovah is the Source of Righteousness
A. Jehovah is Himself perfect righteousness. (Deuteronomy 32:4) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
(Isaiah 45:21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
B. Man has no righteousness
(Romans 3:10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
(Isaiah 64:6) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
C. The Bible makes it clear that righteousness is impossible to be attained by man alone.
(Psalms 51:5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
(Job 25:4) How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
D. Since we are unrighteous, we need pardon from God.
(Isaiah 61:10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

III. Jesus Is Our Jehovah-Tsidkenu
A. Jesus is Himself the Righteous One.
(Hebrews 1:8-9) But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
B. Jesus is made righteousness to us.
(1 Corinthians 1:30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
(2 Corinthians 5:21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
C. What we could not do Jesus the perfectly righteous one did for us.
(Romans 10:4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
(Romans 5:19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
D. Man tries to establish his own righteousness which cannot be done.
(Romans 10:3) For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
E. Our new man is created by Jehovah-Jesus in righteousness.
(Ephesians 4:24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
(Romans 3:26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

What a wonderful name that God has used to describe Himself tonight. He is Jehovah-Tsidkenu. The Righteous God who has provided for our acceptance before Himself through the cleansing of the blood of the Lamb. He wraps us in His righteousness through Jesus Christ the Righteous One!

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