The Names of God Part VI

The Names of God Pt. VI

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 1/21/2023

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.

“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)

In Hebrew thought, a name was not just a way of identifying a person, it was a way of revealing that person’s identity and essence. The same is true with God, but God’s identity is not revealed in just one name but in many. Each name is like a curtain hung upon a window, as we draw back that curtain the view behind the curtain becomes more fully known. So, it is with the names of God, as we draw back the curtains on His name, we gain a more fully developed picture of who God really is.

When Moses asked God who He was, he wasn’t asking what he should call God. No, what Moses wanted was for God to describe Himself. He is not just God. He is the eternal God. He is the God of Israel. He is a God of compassion. He takes notice of the storms His people face. Moses asked for a name, he was given an expression of God’s relationship with His people, and so, the Christ follower too must seek to know and understand this One we call Father, for there is far more in a name than just a title.

Scripture tells us that “those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13 NASB95) But which name are you calling upon? Yes, that’s right, the 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 reveals a different characteristic or attribute of God. These names were revealed to those who needed God, a specific part of God, at that moment of time. There are some amazing things revealed about God in His names and those things help the Christ follower develop a deeper faith.

The Names of God brings the Christ follower into a deeper relationship with the One who created them, the One who makes the whole, and the One who has overcome the world and won the victory over sin, death, and the grave.

In this message we seek to understand how The Names of God help the Christ follower develop a deeper faith.

1). The importance of the name Elohim to the Christ follower is to help us identify the One who created all things.

He is the Creator, Giver, and Sustainer of all things – all things are held together by Him.

Elohim is the most common of the names used for God. It is the plural form of “El”; most likely this name is used to explain the plural of majesty or excellence. It is the name that conveys the creative power, authority, and sovereignty of God. This is the name used when referring to God in His relation to creation. Elohim can be understood as the All-Powerful Creator. He is the God who knows all, creates all, and is everywhere at all times. He is the all-powerful creator of the universe.

The most well-known passage of Scripture to include the name Elohim is found in Genesis 1:1-3. “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” This is the name of God used throughout the Genesis creation account, including when God created human beings. In Deuteronomy 10, we find God speaking to Moses when Moses returned back to the top of Mount Horeb to receive the Ten Commandments for a second time. It is in verse 17 where we find out more about our great God.

Elohim is said to be the God of gods and Lord of lords, showing His excellence over all other gods. And Elohim is shown to have no favorites and to take no bribes. In this we see both the compassion and excellency of Elohim. His compassion is seen in forgiving Israel and giving His commands a second time, though this time Moses must do the work of carving out the stone tablets before God inscribes them once again. His excellency is seen in not playing the favorite with anyone, nor can He be bribed by anything, from anyone.

Finally, in Psalm 68 we find a psalm of victory, likely written for David’s march back to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant. In this psalm there are seven names of God used, including Elohim. The number seven, signifying perfection or wholeness, gives us the full picture of the excellencies and power of our great God.

As Christ followers, we read the first words of John’s gospel account and we are immediately drawn back to Genesis and the creation story. We know Yeshua as the Word at creation, active in creating and sustaining the universe. We know from His life that He had no favorites and took no bribes from anyone. Included in His miracles or signs as John calls them, we see His power over nature as He turns water to wine, feeds thousands with just a few loaves of bread and fewer fish; He walks on the water and calms the storms. Part of the mission for Yeshua was to reveal the Father to all people and this He has done in a very real and personal way.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How are you seeing the creative power of Elohim during this season of life?

In what way is Yeshua revealing Elohim to you as you continue in your faith walk?

The Names of God help the Christ follower know the One who called them into fellowship on a deeper, more personal level.

2). The importance of the name Jehovah-Nissi to the Christ follower is to remind us that the victory has already been won.

In Yeshua, the world has been overcome and sin, death, and the grave have been defeated.

The name Jehovah-Nissi means the Lord our Banner, or the Lord our Miracle. This name is meant to remind us that God alone provides for our victory over the flesh and our enemy, Satan. This is the name Moses used for the altar he built after defeating the Amalekites at Rephidim. This is the first of three Scripture references we will look at to gain a fuller understanding of Jehovah-Nissi. Exodus 17 recounts two very important points for us. First, the beginning of chapter 17 of Exodus recounts the people complaining about the lack of water. God instructs Moses to strike a rock with his staff and He will provide water. Moses strikes the rock and water pours from the rock, enough for all of Israel. In 1 Corinthians 10:4, Paul reminds the church that all those in the desert ate the same spiritual food and, more importantly for us with our passage today, all drank the same spiritual drink. Paul tells the church that rock was Yeshua, Jesus.

The second part of chapter 17 is where the name Jehovah-Nissi finds its meaning. In this portion of the chapter Amalek has come against Israel. Moses instructs Joshua to choose men to fight for Israel and in the morning he will go to the top of the hill with God’s staff. As Joshua fights against Amalek when Moses raises his hands, Joshua prevails. But as the arms of Moses tire and he allows them to drop, Amalek prevails. Aaron and Hur come to the top of the hill and place a stone under Moses so he can be seated to watch the fighting and they lift his arms, one on each side, so that Israel prevails against Amalek. God instructs Moses to write in a book, to be remembered and to instruct Joshua, that God promises to wipe out the memory of Amalek. Jehovah-Nissi was the Banner, which can also be translated as rally point, for Joshua and all of Israel.

Deuteronomy 20 also serves as a reminder to look to God when you are facing an enemy that vastly outnumbers you. Do not be afraid for the Lord God goes with you into battle to fight for you. Moses goes on to list men who should not enter into battle. These are exemptions meant to make it clear that it is God, Jehovah-Nissi, who fights for Israel, and He alone gains the victory over their foes. Finally, in Isaiah 11 we find the shoot of Jesse, a branch from his roots, prophesied. Verses 10 – 11 tell us that this Branch will become the rally point for the remnant of God’s people. They will come to this Branch for rest, and this rest is said to be glorious.

As Christ followers, we know that Yeshua is the Branch of Jesse and we do indeed find rest in Him. He is also our Banner, our rally point, and our miracle, for each of us, in our own right, is a miracle in Yeshua. He has taken us from the hand of the enemy and set us on the path of righteousness because we have placed our faith in Him. He has fought and overcome the world that we might have victory over our sinful flesh. His work on the cross put an end to the enemies work in our lives, for now we can stand in the victory He has already won.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How is Jehovah-Nissi acting as your rally point in this season of life?

How are you finding rest in Yeshua during your faith journey?

The Names of God help the Christ follower know the One who called them into fellowship on a deeper, more personal level.

3). The importance of the name Jehovah-Rapha to the Christ follower is to remind us of the One who makes us whole.

He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us.

The final name we will examine today is Jehovah-Rapha. The meaning of this name is the Lord who Heals. He is the God who can heal us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This is the name that is proved by Yeshua as He heals the sick, blind, lame, and in His casting out of demons. In Exodus 15, right after the Lord has parted the Rea Sea for Israel to escape the Egyptian army, we find the people complaining about the lack of water, for the waters of Marah were bitter. Moses cries out to the Lord who shows him a tree and instructs him to cast the tree into the water. The tree makes the water sweet, and the people drink of the water freely.

After this, the Lord make statutes and regulations to test the people. He encourages the people to heed the voice of the Lord God and to do what is right in His sight, and to hear His commandments, then He will put none of the diseases on them which He had put upon the Egyptians, for He will be their healer. In Psalm 103:3, we are reminded by the psalmist that God alone removes our sin and heals our diseases. He redeems our lives from the pit, a life that was once headed on a path to death and surrounds us with lovingkindness and compassion. Finally, in Psalm 147:2-5, and particularly verse 3, we find the psalmist recounting the Lord’s care for His people. Verse three tells us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds the up their wounds.

As Christ followers, all of us have read, and perhaps some of us have even experienced, how Yeshua came to heal the sick, cause the blind to see, make the lame walk, and set free those captive to sin. We read in John that He heals a man lame for thirty-eight years. He will heal a man born blind, also found in John; in John chapter 4 His conversation with the woman at the well sets her mind free from whatever demons might have held her captive, so much so, that she returns to tell the people and the entire city comes out to see Yeshua. Finally, in chapter 11 Yeshua will raise Lazarus from the dead! And that is just the accounts found in John’s gospel message. We could go on and recount how Yeshua has healed each of us, but the message is clear, Jehovah-Rapha is our Healer!

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How has Jehovah-Rapha made a bitter situation sweet, simply by your calling out to Him?

How are you experiencing being set free in Yeshua during your faith walk?

The Names of God help the Christ follower know the One who called them into fellowship on a deeper, more personal level.

Each of The Names of God reveal a new characteristic or attribute of our great God. I do not believe it is a stretch to say that all of us have experienced Elohim as the all-powerful God who knows all, creates all, and is everywhere at all times. How often have you sat in awe at the beauty of a sunset, or sunrise, and silently given thanks to the Lord? Or how many times have you experienced Jehovah-Nissi providing you victory over a sinful element of your flesh? Maybe an addiction or habit you needed to break to draw closer to Yeshua? And how many times have you come before the Lord seeking healing from some ailment, illness, or affliction that is simply too big for you alone? Our great God is wonderful and complex. His love for us is far deeper than we may ever understand and as the day draws closer for His return, that love and care for His people will continue to be seen by all who call on His name.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: John 7: 36-53

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