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Which Names Do You Know Him By?
© 2017 Philip A Matthews
Exodus 6:1-3—“Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (Genesis 17:1), but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”
Exodus 6:3 (Composite translations)—"I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, God Almighty, God All-Powerful, The Strong God, but by My name The LORD, JEHOVAH, YAHWEH (the redemptive name of God), GOD I-AM-Present, I did not make Myself known to them.”
In the Bible, there are a lot of names for God, and each one describes a different aspect of His multi-faceted (many faces) personality and capabilities. Here are just a few:
- EL, ELOAH [el, el-oh-ah]: God "mighty, strong, prominent." (Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 139:19).
- ELOHIM [el-oh-heem]: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33) – the plural form of Eloah, which accommodates the doctrine of the Trinity.
- EL SHADDAI [el-shah-dahy]: “God Almighty,” “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5).
- ADONAI [ˌædɒˈnaɪ; ah-daw-nahy]: “Lord, Master” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15).
- YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH [yah-way / ji-hoh-veh]: “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14).
- JEHOVAH or YAHWEH-JIREH [yah-way-ji-reh]: "The Lord Will Provide" (Genesis 22:14).
- YAHWEH-RAPHA [yah-way-raw-faw]: "The Lord Who Heals" (Exodus 15:26).
- YAHWEH-NISSI [yah-way-nee-see]: "The Lord Our Banner" (Exodus 17:15).
- YAHWEH-M'KADDESH [yah-way-meh-kad-esh]: "The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy" (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28).
- YAHWEH-SHALOM [yah-way-shah-lohm]: "The Lord Our Peace" (Judges 6:24)
- YAHWEH-ELOHIM [yah-way-el-oh-him]: "LORD God" (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5), meaning the “Lord of Lords.”
- YAHWEH-TSIDKENU [yah-way-tzid-kay-noo]: "The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).
- YAHWEH-ROHI [yah-way-roh-hee]: "The Lord Our Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1).
- YAHWEH-SHAMMAH [yah-way-sham-mahw]: "The Lord Is There” (Ezekiel 48:35).
- YAHWEH-SABAOTH [yah-way-sah-bah-ohth]: "The Lord of Hosts" (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7).
- “I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM!” Exodus 3:14, the Eternal Existing One.
- EL ELYON [el-el-yohn]: “Most High" (Deuteronomy 26:19).
- EL ROI [el-roh-ee]: "God of Seeing" (Genesis 16:13). Haggar: The “God who sees me and takes note of me.”
- EL-OLAM [el-oh-lahm]: "Everlasting God" (Psalm 90:1-3).
- EL-GIBHOR [el-ghee-bohr]: “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6).
- ABBA is an intimate word for father (Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6), something like Daddy or Papa, but even more like “Da-da,” some of the first syllables spoken by a baby.
- JESUS/YESHUA: This name means “Savior.” All of the above names and abilities are encapsulated in this one name.
This is the truth concerning God: (1) You can utilize ONLY what you know of Him, and (2) what you do not know of Him can kill you. For example, if you know God as a Savior from sin and guilt, then you can be saved. Otherwise, if you don’t know that He saves, you will be lost. If you don’t know that He heals, then you will never be healed. If you don’t know Him as a Deliverer, then you will be bound by whatever you’re addicted to or enslaved by for the rest of your life. It is extremely important to get to know God and apply God in every area and aspect of your life, because you can utilize ONLY what you KNOW and EXPERIENCE of Him.
In fact, you can look at your own life and tell exactly how much you really know God:
- If you don’t have inner peace, then you don’t know Him as “The Comforter” (John 14:16-18, 26-27) or Jehovah Shalom. You don’t know Him as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), one of the names of Jesus. Jesus promised, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). The “peace” that the world gives depends on achieving perfect and ideal circumstances in one’s life, but Jesus’ peace depends only on Him and His steady love for us, no matter what the circumstances. Most of us literally kill ourselves struggling and stressing to control circumstances, to change other people (or run from the difficult ones and ban them from our lives!), and to create perfect or good enough conditions so we can finally relax and find some peace. We die trying to live, when Jesus just wants us to have a life of peace right now, right where we are. Jesus gives us peace in the midst of the storm—not afterwards!
- If you are being depressed and hindered on your journey because of your husband or your lack of a husband (or wife), then you don’t know HIM as your “Husband:” “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called” (Isaiah 54:5). Too many Christians are expecting a husband or wife to fulfill all of their expectations and needs, when really God Himself is the ONLY really dependable companion. That nice man or woman can do the best they can, but you better not make the mistake of putting all your eggs in their basket! They WILL disappoint you at some time. Divorce among Christians means that somebody needs to get to know the Lord in the area of romance and relationship.
- If you are constantly worried about “what you’re going to eat or drink or wear,” that is, your finances and your earthly life, then you need to get to know Him as your “JEHOVAH-JIREH,” your Provider. Believe it or not, your financial support comes from your G-O-D, not your J-O-B! God must give you good heath for you to even make it to that job! Furthermore, God has sources of resources that don’t come from a job. Just trust Him.
- If you have a bunch of unpleasant, difficult people you can’t truly love, people that you just can’t stand or tolerate, relatives that you have fallen out with and refuse to talk to—then listen to the Apostle John, who gets real rough with us about this: “The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love--so you can't know him if you don't love” (1 John 4:8 The Message). If you know Him as LOVE, even more specifically as the “LOVER of your soul,” then you will be able to love other souls. Simple as that. Is there anything to argue about here?
- If you are feeling insecure and fearful, then obviously you need to get to know Him as your “Shepherd, JEHOVAH-ROHI:” “The Lord is my Shepherd… I will fear no evil,” not even in the “valley and shadow of death,” where I am helpless and have no control (Psalm 23). The “Good Shepherd” picks up and holds the young lambs close to His chest so that they feel safe and secure and are not plagued with fear and insecurity.
- JEHOVAH-ROHI, the Shepherd, also satisfies the dissatisfied, so that they “shall not want,” i.e., have no lacks. If you are constantly restless and dissatisfied with life, there’s something about God you are missing, some aspect in which you don’t know Him. “For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9). This is extremely important, because dissatisfaction drives all human evil. Indeed, the Apostle Peter states that the corruption and evil in the world is a direct result of unrestrained human desire (2 Peter 1:4), people who always want and crave and are never satisfied with their lives as they are now. A satisfied person never reaches out for the “forbidden fruit” or makes crazy moves to fulfill some selfish desire. In contrast, a dissatisfied person is perpetually at risk, always falling into traps and making mistakes, constantly looking for “greener grass” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
Knowing this, God Himself addressed this major human problem with the Tenth Commandment: “Do not covet… No lusting after your neighbor's house--or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey” (Exodus 20:17). Jesus dealt with the problem with this warning: “Beware and guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man's life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs” (Luke 12:15 Amplified). For this reason, the Apostle Paul said, “Godliness with contentment brings great gain,” that is, “huge profits” (1 Timothy 6:6). With so many dissatisfied people in the world and the church, it’s obvious that only a few really know God as the satisfying “Shepherd” of their souls.
- If you still have father wounds or mother issues, get to know ABBA, Daddy-God. It is a proven fact that we are products of our upbringing, marked—usually negatively—for life by the way our mother and father treated us—or mistreated us. Only God can heal these deep father- or mother-wounds, but only if we get to know Him as “ABBA.” Father-God can finally be that father you never had or that mother you needed so bad.
- If you feel lonely, neglected, or forgotten, get acquainted with JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH or EL ROI, the “God who notices little old you.” Intimately knowing “EMMANUEL,” the God who is always with us, 24/7, can eliminate loneliness. Try building a close relationship with the HOLY SPIRIT and experience never being lonely again.
- If you never see any miracles and have given in to the hopeless idea that the way things are going is inevitable, then you need to experience/know EL-GIBHOR or EL SHADDAI, the mighty miracle working God. You need to see a miracle every day! Mother Nature, Father Time, and the Laws of Physics don’t always have the last say when you really know the miracle-working Master of the Universe! Just ask the Resurrected Jesus!
What shall we say then? If you look at their lives, too many Christians today seem to barely know the Lord! They make all kinds of crazy moves and have all kinds of strange attitudes and issues. They need to get to know Jesus in His fullness! They know Him as their Savior, but not in any other way. If you only knew Him in every way, you would be totally and completely happy and satisfied! You would know Him as the loving, trustworthy, Controller of your life, and you would commit everything in your life to Him and RELAX. You would know Him as your “Adonai” and Master to whom you have completely submitted and surrendered, and you would quit doing your own thing entirely. The fact is, Jesus must be Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all!
And one more fact: JESUS IS SUPPOSED TO BE—AND WANTS TO BE AND DIED TO BE—YOUR EVERYTHING, YOUR ALL IN ALL, YOUR ALL-SUFFICIENT PANACEA, AND YOUR TOTAL-LIFE, EVERLASTING “ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING!” IS HE? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
REMEMBER: THE FACETS OF GOD YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT—THAT IS, THE “FACES” OF GOD YOU DO NOT SEE, THAT HAS NEVER BEEN REVEALED TO YOU—CAN LEAVE YOU HURT, DAMAGED, AND EVEN DEAD! THE DEGREE OF THE ABUNDANT LIFE YOU EXPERIENCE IS DIRECTLY DETERMINED BY THE DEGREE IN WHICH YOU KNOW GOD! IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS HERE!
“ACQUAINT NOW THYSELF WITH HIM… GET TO KNOW GOD, AND YOU’LL BE AT PEACE WITH HIM, AND THEN PROSPERITY WILL COME TO YOU” (JOB 22:21).