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The Names Of God: Elohim

by | Thu, Aug 20 2015

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Elohim is the Hebrew word for God that appears in the very first sentence of the Bible. His name is a reminder that He is the One responsible for absolutely everything we see around us, He created the heavens above and the earth beneath, He separated the light from the dark, water and dry land, night and day.

Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning God – Elohim – created the heavens and the earth.’

The name Elohim reveals the truth about God’s creative power as well as His authority and sovereignty that are intrinsically who He is…He IS all authority and absolute sovereign power and might.

Most people are not aware of the fact that Yeshua was using a form of this name of God when He was agonising in Gethsemane when He was praying to His Father before He faced the cross. He said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He was crying out to the ultimate power and authority in the universe. (Mar 15:34)

The interesting thing about God is that He has many names and they all say something about who He is and what He’s like. He’s so big and so complex that we really cannot comprehend Him without help and His names help us grasp – at least in part – what His nature and character are like.

The name Elohim is plural, which means it’s not referring to God in a singular sense. It’s not referring to multiple ‘gods’ which would be the case with other so-called gods and goddesses in paganism, but rather in this case, it’s referring to God Almighty, the absolute supreme God of all Gods and His unique power and make-up. He is the supreme God and judge over all. Period! The plurality of this name again, doesn’t point to multiple gods but rather it is an emphasis of His majesty; He is the One True God in all His immense complexity. He is God of all other gods, and there is none as high and lofty as Him.

If you look at the multitude of gods and goddesses in the pagan world you see that they have a god for this and a god for that, there gods and goddesses are limited (because they’re non-existence of course), but our God is God of all and over all; He is the ultimate power and authority!

As believer’s in Yeshua, we also see clearly the inference of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the plurality of the name Elohim.

His power is seen through the fact that God made absolutely everything out of absolutely nothing. He set absolute order where there was absolute chaos. By the power of His words He created beauty…what is the purpose of beauty? Beauty doesn’t serve a purpose and therefore, beauty makes no sense if you hold to the theory of evolution, but beauty tells us a great deal about Elohim…He loves beautiful things, beauty is part of His essence and what drives and pleases Him and beauty is a result of His power, He exuded creative power and incomprehensible imagination in order to display the beauty we see all around us in creation. Beauty is a clear evidence of God’s power.

Elohim is used in two different ways in Scripture, El is used around 200 times in the Hebrew Bible and Elohim is used more than 2,500 times and as such, God has revealed Himself as the absolute Sovereign over every single molecule of His creation. There is none to compare with Him.

Considering how extensive His sovereign power and majesty are, consider this verse.

Genesis 1:27, ‘God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’

It’s really important that when we study this verse we don’t come away thinking we’re divine beings; we are not gods. We are not imbued with the same power that God has, and when you read what God commanded Adam to do, you find that God did not command Adam to be a little god on the earth, rather God commanded Adam to be a steward, a carer, a lover and a protector and guardian of all that God had created.

The word ‘image’ in the Hebrew is ‘tselem’ and it means ‘likeness’, ‘resemblance’, or ‘semblance’. It also means a ‘phantom’ and a ‘figurative illusion’, a ‘representative figure’ which is what we are, we resemble Him but we are not duplicates of Him.

When God describes Himself throughout the Scripture He uses terminology that we’re able to comprehend; He speaks with the breath of His mouth (Psa 33:6); He hears the cries of His people (Psa 34:17); He has a strong right arm (Psa 118:16-24); He sits on a throne (Psa 103:19); He has a face (Num 6:25-26). We know that God is Spirit and He doesn’t have a physical body like we do, but He describes Himself using language that resembles what we humans look like so we get a picture that allows us to relate to and comprehend in measure what He is like. (John 4:24)

It’s in this that we are made in His image and likeness but we are physically human, not spiritually divine. Of course the absolute representation of Elohim is Yeshua the Son, who took upon Himself the physical body of a human in order to dwell among us and He told Philip, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9)

Elohim, sovereign, all powerful, mighty God is so holy and pure that it’s not possible for we sinful human beings to look upon Him and live, He is too pure and we, sadly are incredibly impure. His love for us however is so great, that He set in action a plan that would ensure His holiness, perfection and righteousness would remain uncompromised, but would also reveal the extent of His great mercy as well. Elohim, the Mighty God – became one of us so that we could in fact look upon Him without dying, and He was hung on a cross and lifted up, now, all who look upon Him with repentance and faith become His children.

What does the Bible say about the sovereign, majestic power of Elohim?

Psalm 102:25-27, ‘Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.’

His power is immeasurable and yet, He actually gives His power to those who belong to Him…this is not our power, but His power given to us to strengthen and enable us because we belong to Him.

Isaiah 40:28-29, ‘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. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.’

What about God’s promises? Is our God strong enough to keep the promises and covenants He’s detailed in His Word?

Isaiah 41:10, ‘Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Genesis 28:15, ‘Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’

It’s hard, but try to get your head around this incredible truth about God’s nature as revealed in the name Elohim; He is absolute sovereign over all creation, He is the supreme power and ruler in the entire universe and there is none to compare with Him. His Word is absolute, His power is absolute, His might is absolute, His promises are unshakable and what was going through His mind when He created mankind?

He was thinking about putting His own image and likeness into us so that we would be reflections of Him. What have we done with that precious gift and responsibility? We corrupted it.

How has He helped us in our predicament? He became one of us so that we could see Him and live and then the God of all gods, the absolute sovereign of the universe, died on a cross in our place so that mercy could be granted us and divine justice could be satisfied and then, to top it all off, He gave us His Spirit, He strength and His comfort so that we can live our lives well before the eyes of a watching world.

Psalm 18:28-35, ‘For You light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness. For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is blameless; the Word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. you have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.’

Elohim…Amazing!

Shalom

Mandy 🙂