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The Beautiful Names of God

Early in my Christian walk I didn’t know God had names. Knowing the names of God didn’t seem to be a burning question either. God was God, Jesus was his Son and Holy Spirit was our wing man. In fact, even the latter I didn’t understand until my late 20’s. In the Presbyterian church He was the Holy Ghost and ghosts were creepy to me so I didn’t ask too many questions.

Names didn’t enter the equation until my second decade. I heard a song in the new church I started attending with some strange lyrics “There is no God like Jehovah, there is no God like Jehooovahhh.”

I had to check the bulletin, I thought I missed the Kingdom Hall part of the church name. Never had I heard the name Jehovah associated with my God. All I knew about Jehovah was the witnesses that came to our door with names badges and tracts.

he beautiful names of god

Over the past 15 or so years I’ve learned several names for God and I’m learning more now. In this series, The Beautiful Names of God we’re going to explore several common names from the Bible.

You might be thinking you don’t need more names, He’s always God; the same yesterday, today and forever, and you’re right. God has never, not once changed. He is not changing now nor will he ever in the future. What changed over time in the Old Testament is how his creation has known him.

Let me give you an earthly example. Think about yourself. What names, besides your given name do you go by?

  • Wife (hunny, sweetie, etc)
  • Mom
  • Grandma
  • Miss/Mrs. _____
  • A pet name from your childhood

You are still you, no matter what you’re called. What do all of these names represent? They represent how people relate to you. My grandfather called me Little Darlin’ when I was growing up and I imagine if he were still here today he’d be calling me that still. I was his darling; the apple of his eye. My husband rarely calls me Danielle, always Hun, and of course I’m some variation of Mom to my son.

No matter what I’m called I am still me. My spirit does not change because my flesh is called by something different. God doesn’t change by being called a different name but a different aspect of who He is reveals itself in every name.

In Old Testament times people a name often signified a character quality, trait or significant attribute about the individual.  In 1 Samuel we see Hannah naming her son, “And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.”  Samuel means ‘name of God or ‘God has shared’. That’s just one example of many from scripture. 

So it’s fitting that God would have several names by which he was known. We’ve over simplified things if we think of him only as three letters, G-O-D.

As I study the names of God and when these names were first used it occurred to me: If we do not fully know God is our own selfish ignorance whereas in the Old Testament they had no way of fully knowing all the attributes of God. We look back at history, his story, so we can see all aspects of His character, they did not have that advantage.

As we’ll see in this series, except perhaps in Eden, God did not make himself fully known all at once. Little by little we see God revealing himself to different people in His timing. We are the lucky ones. We can read His word, the veil is torn, Holy Spirit is in us, we have the knowledge, super natural revelation, to understand more about God than any generation before Jesus.

God. Three letters do little justice to the multi-dimensional characteristics of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

 

Head knowledge we know from reading scripture and it becomes revelation when we see it play out in our own lives. Perhaps that’s how it is supposed to be, a revelation of names, one by one when they’re needed most. This creates a lifetime of yada (knowing) God.

It struck me as presumptuous to think that creator and sustainer of the universe who knows everything and is ever present would have only one name. After all, even I have four or five and I the only thing I can create is a really good tuna casserole.

Why Know God’s Names

Knowing God’s names is about taking your understanding of who his is to a deeper level. Knowing the truth about who God gives you a multi-dimensional view, if you will. As He is revealed through scripture, study and experience you see a bit more of this amazing God we serve.

I hope you’ll join me as we study the beautiful names and compounds names of God and learn more about who he was, who he is and who he will always be.

Do you know the many names of God?

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Comments

  1. Jehovah Jireh – “my provider” is one 😀

  2. I enjoyed your reading your post, Danielle. So wonderful that we can call out His beautiful names!

  3. The more we learn about God, the more we realize how incredible He is and His name is powerful! I can’t wait to read the upcoming posts!

  4. Ahh, I love this!! A truly personal relationship with God I think is the foundation to solving so many of our problems, and realizing how powerful, approachable, and loving He is – all at once – through His many names is a great way to go about it. I’m personally partial to ‘I AM.’ 🙂 If that doesn’t say everything and yet nothing, I don’t know what does! He has a sense of humor, among other things! 🙂

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