God has several names in both the Old and New Testament. Throughout the Old Testament, He has primarily six names which reflect Who He is and what He does. The New Testament, however, gives us primarily one name. As you read and study this article, keep in mind how you, as a Christian, can take these names of God and apply them to your life.
1. El Shaddai -- the Almighty God, meaning the God of more than enough. (Gen 17:1)
2. Elohim -- the plural form of God (the Trinity in unity acting as one. (Gen 1:1)
3. El Elyon -- the most high God. (Gen 14:18-20)
4. El Olam -- the everlasting God. (Gen 21:33)
5. Adonai -- LORD master or ruler of all. (Gen 15:1-2)
6. Jehovah -- the personal name of God in his relationship as redeemer . (Ex 6:2-3)
Throughout the Old Testament, the name “Jehovah” appears 5,321 times. Jehovah is used for the LORD God. The actual Hebrew form of the word Jehovah was YHWH with no vowels in it (the Hebrew alphabet does not have any vowels) YHWH was probably pronounced “Yahweh.” YHWY was THE divine name for Jehovah. The Israelite did not even dare pronounce His name, so they used the word “Adonai” (LORD) instead. By using the word “Adonai,” the Israelite avoided the risk of blasphemy by improperly pronouncing God’s divine name.
Since Jehovah is the covenant name of God, expressing a personal relationship, it was natural that His name would be compounded with other terms to identify and make specific those relationships. Let’s look at the nine compound names of Jehovah – LORD. In these names, you will see that God is simply revealing His nature, His character, and His relationship to His people.
- Jehovah Elohim – The Lord God of Israel – the Creator of the heavens and the earth….in other words – all of the universes. (Gen. 1:1)
- Jehovah Jireh -- the Lord our Provider. (Gen 22:14) - He reveals Himself as our provider – of all our needs. According to His riches in glory.
- Jehovah Rapha -- the Lord our Healer (Ex 15:26)
- Jehovah Nissi -- the Lord our es (Ex 17:15)
- Jehovah Shalom -- the Lord our Peace (Judges 6:24)
- Jehovah Raah -- the Lord our Shepherd (Psm 23:1)
- Jehovah Tsidkenu -- the Lord our Righteousness (Jer 23:6)
- Jehovah Sabaoth -- the King of Glory (Psm 24:7-8)
- Jehovah Shammah -- the Lord is there or present (Ez 48:35)
New Testament names for God
In the New Testament, God is primarily referred to as “Heavenly Father.” He no longer claims to have one family in the Jewish people. His desire is to have many sons and daughters, as many as who will accept Him through His Son, Jesus.
The word Father, however, has different meanings to different people. Quite naturally, man generally takes on the attitude that God is like their earthly father. If you grew up with a loving caring father, your concept of a heavenly father will probably be that of a loving and caring God. And that is good! If, however, your earthly father was not loving or caring person toward you, that is probably what your concept will be of a heavenly Father. We need to cast aside all preconceived ideas of who we think God is as a father image. God wants us to look at Him as the ultimate Father, the provider of everything we need. As our Heavenly Father, He is our complete provider – the One in Whom we CAN trust.
Concepts of God
Most people's concept of God is warped. Some people have grown up with the teaching that we must be afraid of God. If that is you, you might think He is out to somehow “get you.” Thoughts such as: “If I do something wrong, God will punish me,” or “ I am afraid that the wrath of God is going to come down on me.” Sadly, these thoughts are learned responses to improper biblical teaching. They consider Him as some bad awful God who goes around and hurts people instead of cares for them. Please think about this:
What kind of heavenly Father would we have who put awful things on us. If our earthly fathers did to us what most people think God does to us, it would be considered abuse. We put people in prison for abuses that many people think that God does to us.
Another wrong thought could be: “If you were to be suddenly struck down by a car accident and seriously hurt, in a hospital for months, and then you said, “’God is teaching me a lesson." That is just as erroneous!
Let me ask you – “What kind of earthly father would cause that kind of harm to their child for them to be seriously injured and then tell them: "I'm teaching you a lesson--this is my discipline upon you." In our society, we would have such a father locked up in prison and throw away the key. Lastly, what if a person is discovered to have cancer, and they think that God gave it to them. Let me ask you again, would you put something like that on your child? Of course not. That is not our heavenly Father.
Mat 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
God is a good God......full of love and mercy for you.
How you see God
How you see God is critical to your spiritual and mental health, as well as your success in life.
- El Shaddai - more than enough
- Adonai – Ruler/Master
- Jehovah Raphi – Healer
- Jehovah Tsidkenu - Righteousness
- Jehovah Shammah – Ever Present God
...along with all of the other redemptive names of God….and see Him as your heavenly Father –a Father who loves you dearly, and wants the very best for you.
In these names, there are four important questions we need to ask ourself?
1. Who is the God I serve?
2. Who is my God?
3. Do I believe God is Who He says He is?
4. Who is the God in me?
Someone once said, “if there is anything about God that you don’t like or understand, then you don’t have a revelation of Him in that area.” If, however, you eagerly accept God for Who He says He is, and can answer these four questions “scripturally,” you are well on your way to leading a victorious life.