“God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name, ‘the LORD’ I was not known to them.”
“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.”
When I was first saved, I remember being drawn to a song called, “El Shaddai”, written by Michael Card. The lyrics are below.
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai [means “God Almighty, God Almighty”]
El-Elyon na Adonai [means “God in the highest, Oh, Lord”]
Age to age, You’re still the same by the power of the name.
Erkamka na Adonai [means “We will love You, Oh, Lord”]
We will praise and lift You high – El-Shaddai
Through Your love And through the ram, You saved the son Of Abraham.
Through the power Of Your hand, Turned the sea Into dry land.
To the outcast On her knees, You were the God Who really sees.
And by Your might, You set Your children free. [Chorus]
Through the years, You made it clear, that the time of Christ Was near,
Though the people couldn’t see what Messiah ought to be.
Though Your Word Contained the plan, they just could not understand,
Your most awesome work was done though the frailty of Your son.
As a new Christian, I did not understand why God kept changing His name. (I hope you are smiling). Later on, I came to understand that the titles or names ascribed to God by Himself or by His people reflected His character and how He was revealing Himself to His people at that time. The names of God have become precious to me now, as I have experienced Him as Jehovah Jireh (the God Who provides) so many times, Jehovah Rapha (the Lord our healer) multiple times, as YHVH (Yahweh – LORD), Yeshua (Jesus, my Savior), Jehovah Shammah (the Lord is there), and perhaps most precious to me – El Roi (the God Who sees).
In college some people called me “Stevie” because they said I played my instrument like Stevie Wonder. As a child, they called me “Duby”, because they thought my brother and father’s name was hilarious. I did not much care for that. People who are closer to me might use a nickname to show endearment. Sometimes people use names to insult or put down another – But when God gives a name, He is breathing life and demonstrating relationship. If we seek Him, we will find Him. He wants us to know Him – for in that relationship we live an abundant life and how we are intended to live – abiding in Him.
One is never left the same after encountering God in a new way. He cannot be put into a box and defined simply by mankind or by one name. I love that the first Name for God is Elohim, for instance. It is a plural use of the name of God – mind blowing that He is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Elohim also means that He is the Eternal God. He has always been, always will be. He is so high above our intellects, we cannot fully apprehend or comprehend Him. Now that is a God worth worshiping, for if we could totally define and understand God, that means He would be on our level.
So, Who is God to you? Why not worship Him now? As you read His Word, go deeper with God by trying to understand how He is relating to His people in the passage you are reading. There are boundless treasures awaiting you, and worshiping Him is what we were made for.
Lord, I want to know you more. I do not want to settle for a relationship with You that is on the surface. Help me to draw nearer to You, seek You and make You known to others.