My wife has several names that she answers to. One nick name, and two other names given to her by her parents – one by her father and the other by her mother. One she loves and the other she hates. That is because names are very significant where she comes from. In the bible God gives and often changes the names of people to reflect their character or something specific about them. Their name identifies them and stands them up for something specific. For example: Abram become Abraham; Sarai becomes Sarah and Jacob becomes Israel.
In the same way, God’s names reflect His character. His names are far more than descriptions or designations of some super powerful being up there in the universe. His names are actually a revelation of his ways, his essence, his character, his person and his nature.
If you want to know what God is like, his person, his care and concern, you will find it in the revelation of His names. So join me as we take a look at few of those names today.
You need to keep in mind that this is his nature or character. A consistent, faithful provider:
Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord will provide Genesis 22:14 NT: Philippians 4:19
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God always provides our needs…always! It will be good for us to distinguish between needs and wants, because God gives what is needed for life and godliness.
Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord our banner Exodus 17:8-15 NT: John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” he covers us with protective love and care. His divine covering hides us from the enemy and from harm. He himself is our defense. Our rallying point. In Him and from Him we get the victory, because He fights for us.
Jehovah-Shalom - The Lord our peace Judges 6:24 NT: Ephesians 2:14
He is the one who brings peace into our lives. He takes away every stress, distress, worry, and gives us sleep at night. He said to cast all your care and anxiety on him for he cares for you. We find peace and rest in Him.
Jehovah-Raah or Roi -The Lord our shepherd Psalms 23:1NT: John 10:11
Think about what a shepherd does for his sheep. He provides a green pasture, he restores refreshing, he leads, he guides, protects from the enemy. He takes care of his sheep. That is what God is to us. Because of this we can have no wants.
Jehovah-Tsidkenu - The Lord our righteousness Jeremiah 23:6 NT: I Corinthians 1:30
I don’t want or need my own righteousness. They are as filthy as filthy rags. I want his righteousness , because it makes me whole. Nothing I do can justify me before the Father. I don’t have to try to justify myself, because He does.
Jehovah-Shammah - The Lord is present Ezekiel 48:35
NT: Hebrews 13:5
The Lord is always with us. He never leaves. He is in the small things and the big ones as well. He is there in the good times and the bad ones as well. He is with us in the city or in the country. He is there when friends are there and when they are nowhere to be found. He is present!
Jehovah-Rapha The Lord thy Physician Exodus 15:26
NT: James 5:15
The proper translation for Rapha is actually – “the Lord is your physician”
It is in his nature to nurse us, care for us, heal us. The phrase carries the idea of a continued, long-term care.
Jehovah Sabbaoth…The Lord of Host – 1 Samuel 1:3; 17:45
This one is my personal favorite. It portrays the Lord as a military figure. He is the commander of the armies of Heaven. Those of you who understand the battles we have to wage, for ourselves, families and this lost and dying world, can appreciate some help from “the Lord of Host.
Jehovah Maccaddeshcem – the Lord your Sanctifier- Exodus 31:13
“You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.” it is important to allow the Lord to do ‘His’ work in us. Sometimes we miss God when we try to sanctify ourselves all on our own. But we need to understand that it is Him working in us – “to will and to do according to His great pleasure.” That we are called to partner with Him.
Elohim – The Strong One – Genesis 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; Exodus 6:1; Psalm 91:1, 2
Yahweh (YHWH) – to Exist, to be – Genesis 4:3; Exodus 4:3
Adonai – Master Owner – Genesis 18:2; 40:1; 1 Samuel 1:15; Exodus 21:1-6; Joshua 5:14
Theos – the primary name use for God:
He is transcendent – Acts 17:24
He is unique – 1 Tim. 1:17
He is the only true God – Romans 3:30
He is Savior – John 3:16
the name is also used of Christ as God – John 1:1; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1
Kurios – Lord… As God in deity… Supreme authority… John 20:28; Phil. 2:11; Romans 10:9
Despots – Master… Carrying the idea of ownership… Jude 4; Luke 2:9; Acts 4:24; Rev. 6:10
Father… Mentioned 15 times in the OT a little over 250 times in the NT. we have a Father who is loving, caring, providing and not forgetting a father who know how to discipline… 1 Thess. 3:11; Matt. 7:11; Hebrews 12:5-11