There is something important I want to be sure to mention. In Genesis, Adam (the first man/human) was named by God and he, in turn, named Eve (the second human) and also all the animals. After that, children were named by their parents. Sometimes people were re-named by God (Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul). But did you know that when asked His name, God gave no “name” for men to call Him?
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘˜The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘˜What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘˜I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘˜The LORD [According to Biblegateway.com, the Hebrew word for LORD sounds like and may be related to the Hebrew word for I AM], the God of your fathers the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. Ex 3:13-15.
Did you catch a name in there? Neither did the Hebrews. They considered the actual name of God to be sacred and unknown to man. I love that, rather than calling Him a name, calling Him “I AM” is a description of constant action, a positive state of being; it is a present tense verb and is constantly current. Paul said, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8.
But since I AM was so active, there arose the need to discuss Him and tell His story, and to refer specifically to Him and to describe Him. So God was given many descriptions, which we would consider His “names”. Remember that Kay Arthur also mentioned that names had a special significance in Hebrew culture because they described the character of a person.
So here is another thing I love: God is not defined by one name or description. In this study we will learn about the descriptions of God that occur through both the Old and New Testaments. Another thing to interject here, and this may be something you already know, but in case you never thought of it, or are apt to forget about it – when we read the bible we are reading a translation from either Hebrew in the Old testament or Greek in the New Testament to English. Whenever another language is translated to English, the English word that most closely matches the word in the original language is used. Sometimes English is pretty limited in the choices and this is the case with God. We basically use “God” or LORD” for all the names of God which are translated from Hebrew or Greek.
In this study we will uncover the richness of these other languages and learn that, though we have settled on pretty much one name for Him, God cannot be contained in that one word. He is too amazing and wonderful to have just one or two names. We will learn the meaning of who HE IS – I AM.
So for Day Four we begin to study the Creator, Elohim. Kay Arthur packs a lot into a short lesson. Here are some of the highlights for me: El means strong or mighty; Elohim means Creator God; the him part is plural, and shows the trinity was present at the beginning of creation (as we see in Genesis 1 where God refers to Himself as Us and John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. ).
And Kay says that since the all-powerful triune God created the earth and all that is in it – that means He created us too, for His glory and pleasure, just as we are. She reminds us of a difficult concept: God is God and He is flawless and He is in charge over all. He makes no “mistakes”…nothing happens out of His control. All that happens is according to his plan and is designed to bring glory to Him (to reflect who He is). So often when hard times come or life “isn’t fair”, people feel like God has lost sight of them or the devil has gotten the better of them.
We will explore this issue in much more depth later, but for now think on this: God Elohim, the Creator, designed you and your life. You are not a mistake, and for good or bad, you are not where you are by accident. This is a hard thing to accept, especially during trying times…today please share with us about the difficulty of accepting God’s plan for you or someone you love OR please share about how you have seen God’s goodness in your own adversity OR share something else. It would just be good to hear from you!
Just a Girl…just like you!