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God’s Names

Adonai—Lord of All

Means Lord or Master, occurs 449 times in the O.T. Emphasizes the servant/master relationship, and suggests God’s authority as Master; one who possesses absolute authority. What can we learn from this name of God?

1. The Master, Lord has the right to expect obedience: “Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

2. The slave may expect provision

Elohim—The Strong One, Above all others who are called god

Used 2550 times in the O.T. First used of God’s creative activity. God is the absolute and supreme source of everything that is.

El Shaddai—The God of Strength

Probably related to the word “Mountain” and suggests the power or strength of God. This name also emphasizes God’s covenant keeping nature (Gen 17:1). “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2 “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”

Some feel Shaddai is derived from a root that refers to a mother’s breast, sustaining a newborn infant. If so, it conveys love, tenderness, mercy, all that a mother is to a dependent newborn, God is to his children.


1. Jacob fleeing from Esau.

God comforts his own and makes them fruitful.

Gen 28:3-4 “And may God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4 “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you; that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”

The God of strength and power is also able to comfort the weary and protect the weak

Ps 91:1-2. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”

2. Job chastened by God

God often corrents His own to make them fruitful. Used this way in the book of Job 31 times. Job was a “perfect” man. God wanted to refine him still more, make him even more fruitful. And by the end of the book, God had given to Job more than he had to begin with.

El Elyon—The God Most High

God is supreme above all other gods

Gen 14:18-22 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tenth of all. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” 22.And Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,

He possess everything else. Satan sought to ascend to the heights and belike the Most High God. He failed. There is no one else, nothing else that can or ever will challenge God’s rulership over His universe.

El Olam, Everlasting God

Stresses the unchangableness of God

Gen 21:33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

El Olam is all His people will ever need, from generation to generation, (Ps 100:5, 103:17).

Times change, people change, governments change, everything changes. But God doesn’t. He never has. He never will. He has been who He currently is and who He will be. In a world that is spinning so rapidly, nothing seems to be dependable, constant, God doesn’t change. People will fail you. Disappoint you. Make and break commitments. Betray you. God never will.

Isa 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. 30.Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

El Roi, The God Who Sees

Only used once in the Bible, Genesis 16:13, on the lips of Hagar. Sarah had given Hagar to Abraham to have children. This was according to custom in those days, but not according to God. After Hagar bore Ishmael, Sarah treated her so harshly, Hagar ran away. She fled into the wilderness. Think with me about her situation: She was removed from family. She was removed from friends. She was alone and away from shelter, food, water, help, sustenance, everything that she needed. Then the Lord’s angel appeared to her, and rescued her.

Gen 16:13Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “Thou art a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?”

God sees your heartache. God sees your struggles with your disobedient child. God sees your

Yahweh—The God who Is

Used 6828 times in the O.T. Likely related to the verb, To Be. This name was uniquely revealed to Israel, and emphasizes God’s faithfulness to His covenants with His people.

Yahweh Jireh, The Lord Will Provide

Used only once in the O.T. God asked Abraham to offer his only son as a human sacrifice. The pagan nations around them practiced human sacrifice regularly. God was in essence asking Abraham, “Is your love for me, the true God as great as their love for their false gods?” Abraham was willing to surrender his son to God, and to God’s will. Abraham was willing to surrender hsi son, not fully understanding, but fully trusting. What about you?

14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Yahweh Nissi, The Lord Our Banner

The Israelites had just exited from Egypt when they encountered the Amelekites. They weren’t ready for battle, but God told Moses to fight them. Moses went up on a mountain to pray while Joshua led the battle. The more Moses prayed, the better the Israelites did. Afterwards, Moses built an altar and called it Yahweh Nissi, the Lord our Banner. It was a reminder that their strength, their strategy didn’t win the victory. God did. Israel couldn’t defeat her enemies in her own strength. Israel’s source of victory, Israels’ banner, was her great God. God fought on her behalf, and He does the same today, fighting on behalf on His people, winning their battles for them.

15 And Moses built an altar, and named it The LORD is My Banner;

Yahweh Shalom, The Lord is Peace

22 When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” 23 And the LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. Judges 6:24

Yahweh Sabbaoth, The Lord of Hosts

“Sabbaoth” means “to assemble.” The idea seems to be warfare, warriors. They are assembled for battle. This name of God is used repeatedly in the prophetic books, usually indicating some great national crisis. This term was also used of angels. What can we learn? Yahweh who rules the hosts of heaven, is able to mobilize them in an instant on behalf of his child. He is your guardian, protector. There is no battle you face that is overwhelming for Him and His hosts.

1 Sam 17:45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

Ps 24:8-10 Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

Ps 46:10-11 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Yahweh M’qaddishkhem, The Lord Your Sanctifier

Appears first in Ex 31:13, in conjunction with keeping the Sabbath.

13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

God set His people apart for his own purposes and glory. They were to be a holy people because they served a holy God. The same is still true today.

Heb 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

1 Pet 1:15-16 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Yahweh Raah, The Lord My Shepherd

Psa 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Yahweh Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness,

Jer 23:6 “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’

Jer 33:16 ‘In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she shall be called: the LORD is our righteousness.’

Yahweh El Gemolah, The Lord of Recompense

Jer 51:56 For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men will be captured, their bows are shattered; for the LORD is a God of recompense, He will fully repay.

Yahweh Nakeh, The God Who Smites

9 ‘And My eye will show no pity, nor will I spare. I will repay you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know that I, the LORD, do the smiting.

Yahweh Shammah, The God Who Is Present

35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.”

Yahweh Rapha, The God Who Heals

Exod 15:22-26 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. 26 And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.”

Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine, H. Wayne House, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ. House, 1992), pp. 51-52.

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