Posts tagged “Elohim

The Names of God – Elohim (Part 2)

This week we are looking at the first mention of the name of God, ‘Elohim’ (“In the beginning God…” Genesis 1:1) used well over 2,500 times from Genesis to Malachi (think God is trying to tell us something!) containing the idea of God’s creative power, His authority, and sovereignty.

Elijah and the bad king Ahab of Israel (“Ahab did more evil in the sight of the Lord than any of those before him.”- 1 Kings 16:30) are at the showdown on Mount Carmel.  Ahab became a Baal worshiper, so…Elijah requests all the people of the region and the 450 false prophets of Baal to come and let’s get this decided right now! ‘Show me what ya got’, let’s see whose god can bring down fire – the winner – is THE God!  The Baal folks prepared their bull sacrifice and began their calling out, yet funny how nothing happens, Elijah offers, “Perhaps you should yell louder” –  they do. From morning until evening the fiasco continued… still no response. There is no movement or sound from the heavens, not even a slight flutter of a ravens wing (See 1 Kings 17:6).   Elijah steps up (dramatic drum roll) he took 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, creating an altar, he arranged the wood and the sacrificed bull.  He didn’t stop there, he dug a large trench around the altar and had 4 large jars of water poured on the offering and the wood, again and again – 3 times the water was poured, filling even the trench.  Elijah prayed…

O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that You, O LORD, are God [Elohim] and that You have brought them back to Yourself.” Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The LORD—He is God! Yes, the LORD is God! (1 Kings 18:37-39, NLT)

Here’s the totally cool part… as Elijah steps onto the pages of scripture, he speaks the word of the Lord that there would be no rain – for years (1 Kings 17:1).  ‘Baal’ was considered the god of rain and what do you know, there was a drought in the land, so much for a ‘reigning Baal’ (HA!)  What does Elijah do as he stands with his offering? With the lack of water, valuable as it is, he drenches the altar with it.  I love it!  Let me pour your god on here too and let THE God burn’m up!  After this, the 450 false prophets were destroyed at Elijah’s command, and guess what?  Elijah again prayed… it rained!  God not only opened the heavens with fire, but He did what the false god could not!  Nothing and no one comes against God’s word!

The Lord doesn’t just show up to show off, He-is-God!  Full of creative power, and sovereign authority, Elohim.

Can I get a hardy “Go God!

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)

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The Names of God

 

 

I have the wonderful privilege of teaching our women’s Bible Study at church and stepping into this holiday season (and our building expansion is in full swing) we are doing Bible study HERE (in cyberland) for the next few weeks.  It is good God stuff, and excellent for all.  We are looking at the Names of God.

The very 1st appearance of God’s name “In the beginning God...” (Gen. 1:1) in the Hebrew is ‘Elohim’ (El-o-HEEM). It contains the idea of God’s creative power, His authority, and sovereignty. It is used well over 2,500 times from Genesis to Malachi, occurring 32 times in the first chapter alone. Elohim is the plural form of ‘El’ which means mighty or strong. Being in the plural form,  Elohim is always used as a singular designation for God and does not imply polytheism, (worship of many gods, as was the custom of surrounding nations). God was very direct when telling Moses to tell the Israelites, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God [Elohim], the LORD is one.” (Deut. 6:4) Remember at creation, day 6 – “God [Elohim] said, “Let US make man in OUR image…” (1:26, emphasis mine). Elohim reveals the triune nature of God, the ‘ontological equality’ (throw those words out at Thanksgiving dinner) of the Trinity. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit – all are equal in value but different in function. The Father planned redemption, Jesus accomplished it and Holy Spirit applies it. We actually see all three of the Trinity at the same time in the baptism of Jesus found in Matthew 3:13-17.

King David writes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God [Elohim] and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) David understands this ‘create.’ He knows that what he wants in his heart can ONLY be placed there by his God. Create, ‘bara’ is the Hebrew verb used exclusively of God. Sovereignty bringing into existence what wasn’t and now is – creating out of nothing. ‘Bara’ does not work like that of a recipe, taking ingredients and placing them together to form something, like that of a cake. It is new materials, new results. David knew he didn’t have within himself what it took to have a clean, a pure heart.  May we too cry out “CREATE! O God!” Bring stuff into our heart, good God stuff, YOUR stuff, give us qualities exclusively of YOU! Elohim, our creative and sovereign God.

Going forward we will look at the names of God, noting that these different names highlight the many amazing aspects of His character. 

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)