The Names of God Pt. IV
Life & Light Community Church
Message from 10/2/2022
Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.
I apologize for this hastily put together message. It was prepared with notes from a previous study and used in place of the message originally planned for this week. However, due to conditions beyond our control, that message has been reserved for when we return to our John study in the coming weeks. Just the same, the Lord was present during our worship together and we had some great discussion around The Names of God!
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
Romans 10:12–13 (NASB95)
Scripture tells us that “whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).” But which name are you calling upon? Yes, that’s right, our Lord God has more than one name. The Names of God, which we are looking at today, are found in the Old Testament. Each name shows a different characteristic or attribute of God. These names are revealed to those who needed God, and a specific part of God, at that moment in time. There are some amazing things revealed about God in His names and those things will help the Christ follower develop a deeper faith.
This message will seek to help the Christ follower understand why The Names of God are important to develop a deeper faith.
The Names of God help the Christ follower know the One who has called them into fellowship on a deeper, more personal level.
1). The importance of the name El Elohe Yisrael to the Christ follower.
The first name of God we will explore is El Elohe Yisrael which means, God, or the God of Israel. God is distinct and separate from any false god the world has to offer. This is the name that Jacob used when he built the altar to God after he wrestled with the Lord. We have four Scripture references to examine concerning this name of God. The first is Genesis 33:18-20, after Jacob has wrestled with the Lord and the Lord changed his name from Jacob to Israel:
“Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped before the city. He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money. Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.” Genesis 33:18–20 (NASB95)
In Genesis 32:24-32, Jacob wrestled with the Lord until daybreak. The Lord touched the thigh socket of Jacob, thus causing his thigh to be dislocated. However, Jacob would not concede until he had received a blessing. After asking his name, the Lord changes his name from Jacob to Israel, “for you have striven with God and with man and have prevailed.” After meeting his brother, Esau, Jacob journeyed to Shechem, where he bought the plot of land to build his altar to the Lord God.
The second Scripture comes from Numbers 23:22, which we have seen before:
“God brings them out of Egypt, He is for them like the horns of the wild ox.” Numbers 23:22 (NASB95)
This passage comes after Balaam has been sent by Balak, the son of the king of Moab, to curse the nation of Israel, but Balaam is unable to curse Israel and instead, blesses the people. It is Balak, the one who wanted Israel cursed, who takes up the discourse of praising the God of Israel. The wild ox is a symbol of great strength, El uses His great strength to bring His people from Egypt.
Our next Scripture comes from Psalm 68:8:
“The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.”
Psalm 68:8 (NASB95)
Talk about climate change! This is the true cause of climate change, the very presence of the God of Israel! His creation groans out before Him and acknowledges His great power. There is nothing counterfeit about the God of Israel, no false god offered by this world can stand before God.
Our final Scripture also comes from the Psalms, 106:48:
“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise the LORD!”
Psalm 106:48 (NASB95)
Psalm 106 is a Psalm of confession and lament over the sins of the nation of Israel. The sins confessed include the murmuring at the Red Sea, the complaining meat to eat, their worship of the calf, the disbelief of the reports from the spies, and their continued complaining as the entered Canaan, among others. Only the Lord, the God of Israel is worthy of praise and blessing, from everlasting to everlasting.
There is no God like the God of Israel. He is separate and distinct from every false god offered by this world, and none of them can fulfill the promises they make like the God of Israel.
Questions for discussion/reflection:
What are you wrestling with the God of Israel about in this season of life?
How is the God of Israel using His power to bring you out of your “Egypt?”
2). The importance of the name El Elyon to the Christ follower.
The second name we will examine is El Elyon, meaning the God Most High. El Elyon is the Sovereign God in whom we can trust: He is supreme over all false gods. This is the name Melchizedek referred to when blessing Abraham. There are three Scripture references we will examine for El Elyon. The first comes from Genesis 14:17-23:
“Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’”
Genesis 14:17–23 (NASB95)
The second Scripture comes from Psalm 78:35. This Psalm is a Psalm of warning to future generations against unfaithfulness to the God Most High. This passage recounts a time when Israel remembers that God is their rock.
“And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.” Psalm 78:35 (NASB95)
Our final Scripture comes from Daniel 4:34, when Nebuchadnezzar has lost favor in the sight of the God Most High:
“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:34 (NASB95)
The God Most High has dominion over all things, man, animal, and indeed, the universe. He can raise us up to wonderous heights or cause our downfall, there is no one like the God most High. His kingdom alone will stand forever.
Questions for discussion/reflection:
How is El Elyon acting as your rock today?
How is El Elyon delivering your enemies into your hands during this season of life?
3). The importance of the name Yah or Jah to the Christ follower.
The final name of God we will examine is Yah or Jah, meaning “I AM,” the One Who is, and the Self-Existent One. Yah is the God who never changes, and His promises never fail; He is always with us. Yah is the short form of Yahweh, it is often used in combination with other names or phrases, such as – Hallelujah, praise the Lord, or Elijah, God is Yah – God is Lord.
There are two Scriptures from Exodus we will examine, the first from Exodus 3:14
“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
Exodus 3:14 (NASB95)
This is the name God used when He sent Moses to free His people from slavery in Egypt. Yah is the God who is who we need Him to be – The Great “I AM.”
The second Scripture in Exodus comes from chapter 15:
“The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” Exodus 15:2 (NASB95)
This verse is found in the song of Moses following the crossing of the Red Sea when God made a way for the Israelites to escape the armies of Pharoah and then destroyed those armies by closing the waters over them. No matter the circumstances, Yah will always make a way for His people.
Our next two Scriptures come from the Psalms, the first from Psalm 46, a psalm of trust and thanksgiving to Yah, the God of Israel, as their refuge, their security, and their peace.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 (NASB95)
A refuge provides shelter from danger and strength gives us courage in danger, while in the midst of trouble, Yah is a very present help. Yah’s help is both present and proven, it is ready and reliable.
Our second Scripture from the Psalms comes from 68:4, a psalm of victory as David took possession of the Ark.
“Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.” Psalm 68:4 (NASB95)
Yah is the One responsible for our victories over the enemy who seeks to destroy us, He alone is worthy of our praise.
Our final Scripture comes from Isaiah26:4:
“Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:4 (NASB95)
Yah is the One in which we can place our trust, an everlasting Rock.
Questions for discussion/reflection:
How is Yah making a way for you during this season of life?
How is Yah acting as a refuge for you during this season of life?
Once again, for the Christ follower, we find that Yahweh, the Great “I AM” is who we need Him to be during every season of our lives. If he separated and distinct from every false god this world has to offer. What false god allows you to wrestle with Him and bless you for it? He continues to display His power for His people in every circumstance of our lives. As El Elyon He is the rock on which we build our faith, He alone can and does deliver our enemies into our hands. No matter the situation, we have a God who is faithful, present, reliable, and ready.
Finally, Yah is the God who makes a way for us through every circumstance we face. Whether in spiritual battles, physical health battles, mental fatigue, or emotional exhaustion, Yah has a way for His people through every storm. No matter the foe we face, Yah is the refuge where we find security from danger, strength for courage, all while in the midst of our struggles. As we face yet another week of battles, be ready to turn to God as the God of Israel, El Elyon, or Yah to meet your needs, make a way through the storm or to provide shelter during danger. He is the God Who we Need Him to Be.
We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,
Amen and amen.