Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

Bible Witness 3rd Retreat: “The Names of God” – I

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 20 March 2011

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The third retreat of BWMM (March 16-18) was a joyous time of fellowship and studying God’s Word on “The Names of God”. Though it was much labour for me and my co-labourers at BWMM, it was certainly worth all the strain and effort; and we look forward to the next retreat which is to be held, God willing, in September (7-9). We also thank God for the expertise and dedication of Bro Stephen Yap, which was an invaluable help in organizing this retreat.

The retreat had sixty-six participants, including 6 children. The main purpose for organizing this retreat is to equip God’s people in the Word of God. We have taken into consideration their physical rest and relaxation as well. We praise God that His grace has enabled us to plan and provide such a retreat.

A peek into what we have learned

Scripture reveals to us hundreds of names of God by which His people have known Him or even addressed Him. All of these names of God were sacred to His ancient people. They were reverentially and affectionately remembered and used by His people in their worships, songs, prayers and even in mutual conversations.

Each of the three persons of God also has unique names or titles. God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Spirit (Holy Spirit) have various distinct names.

More than just designations of God

The names of God are not nicknames or just different designations by which God was known to different persons. They are meant to open our hearts and minds to the grandeur of God.

Through these many different names, Scripture reveals the person and perfections of God to His people. They reveal to us His majestic person, His glorious attributes, His mighty deeds and His supreme greatness. They also define His relationship with His people. God’s covenantal favours to His people are reflected in many of His names in the Bible.

Names are revelation of God

The names of God are not assigned to Him by any man. We do not name God, for He names Himself. God assigned the names to Himself.

In this regard, God’s names are revelatory of Himself. When God designated Himself, He was making known a certain truth concerning Himself.

One of the chief ways God has made Himself known is through the different names which He had revealed in Scripture. Through the names of God, He tells us a lot about His character.

The names of God were part of His progressive revelation (cf. Hebrews 1:1). They provide us with revelatory information concerning God. Our concept of God must be based on what He has revealed concerning Himself. We should not be imagining what He is like.

Our pluralistic society has always been trying to make God in its own image, and we must detest all such efforts. We must not succumb to such a mindset and practice.

Instead, we should adhere fully to God’s own selfrevelation in His Word. In our worship and prayers, in our songs and in our conversation, we must remember Him as He has revealed Himself. A deep knowledge of the names of God would help us to do just that.

We have delighted ourselves in the learning of more than forty names of God listed below:

  1. Elohim – (Gen 1:1 – more than 2,500 occurrences)
  2. Elohim Chaiyim – “Living God” (Deut 5:26; Jer 10:10).
  3. Elohay Elohim – “God of gods” (Deut 10:17).
  4. Elohay Kedem – “Eternal God” (Deut 33:27).
  5. Elohay HaShamayim – “The God of heaven” (Neh 2:4).
  6. Elohay Mauzi – “God of My Strength” (Psalm 43:2).
  7. Elohay Tehilati – “God of My Praise” (Psalm 109:1).
  8. Elohay Yishi – “God of My Salvation” (Psalm 18:46).
  9. Elohay Mishpat – “God of Judgement” (Isa 30:18).
  10. Elohay Mikarov – “God at hand” (Jer 23:23).
  11. Elohay Marom – “High God” (Micah 6:6).
  12. El (more than 200 occurrences)
  13. El Elyon – “ The Most High God” (Genesis 14:18).
  14. El Olam – “The Everlasting God” (Genesis 21:33).
  15. El HaNe'eman – “The Faithful God” (Deut 7:9).
  16. El HaGadol – “The Great God” (Deut 10:17).
  17. El De'ot – “The God of Knowledge” (1 Samuel 2:3).
  18. El Emet – “The God of Truth” (Psalm 31:5 [v. 6 – H]).
  19. El Yisrael – “The God of Israel” (Psalm 68:35).
  20. El HaShamayim – “The God of Heaven” (Psalm 136:26).
  21. El HaKadosh – “God that is holy” / The Holy God (Isa 5:16).
  22. Immanu El – “Immanuel” / God with Us (Isa 7:14).
  23. El Yeshuati – “God is My Salvation” / God, My Salvation (Isa 12:2).
  24. El Echad – “One God” (Mal 2:10).
  25. Yâhovah - The LORD / Jehovah (more than 6,500 occurrences)
  26. Yâh – JA/The LORD (Psalm 68:4; 49 occurrences)
  27. Yâhovah Elohim (Gen 2:4)
  28. “The LORD God” (465 times in the Bible)
  29. “The LORD his God” (29 times)
  30. “The LORD my God” (21 times)
  31. “The LORD our God” (90 times)
  32. “The LORD thy God” (298 times)
  33. “The LORD God of Israel” (95 times)
  34. “Jehovah-jireh” “The LORD who Sees” (Gen 22:14).
  35. “Jehovahnissi” – “The LORD My Banner” (Exodus 17:15).
  36. “Jehovahshalom” – “The LORD of Peace” (Judges 6:24).
  37. Yâhovah Rapha – “The LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).
  38. Yâhovah Tsâbaoth – “The LORD of Hosts” (1 Sam 1:3,11; 2 Sam 5:10).
  39. Yâhovah Ro’i – “The LORD, My Shepherd” (Psalm 23:5).
  40. Yâhovah O'saynu – “The LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:6).
  41. Yah Yâhovah – “The LORD JEHOVAH” (Isaiah 12:2; 26:4).
  42. Yâhovah Tzidkaynu – “The LORD Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).
  43. Yâhovah M'kadesh – “The LORD who sanctify” (Ezekiel 37:28).

Blessed be the name of the LORD who has taught us so many great and deep things about Himself through His names which He has revealed in Scripture.