Is the man carrying the Cross a mystery to you? Do you know him, really?
Whether you realize it or not, Our God desires for us to get to know him most specifically by his many Hebrew Names(*) in scripture. So, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, I decided to choose that subject…the Names of God…for this week’s blog.
After all, just last week my blog was about reassuring you that God certainly knows our names, therefore it is only befitting that we also know his Name(s) since it is a name above every name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. It is also a name where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Ironically, in order to wholeheartedly commune with God, and to praise God, and to give him glory and thanksgiving for the gift of salvation, it is imperative that we know something about him and his wonderous works. We find these instructive words in the New Testament and the Old Testament:
|“Now this is eternal life; that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3 TNIV
My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. Hosea 4:6 NLT
You will notice that the second Bible quotation above is from the Old Testament and refers to us as ‘priests’. In the New Testament, all those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ are called a royal priesthood.
|But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 TNIV|
Now that we have established that God truly desires that you get to know him intimately, let us proceed with identifying six out of 12 Hebrew Names ascribed to God. (The remaining six names will be discussed in next week’s blog…God willing.)
|1. Elohim – Whenever you want to express the general idea of God’s greatness and his glory that is manifested in the world. Your demeanor in prayer should be a serious one.|
|2. Jehovah – Whenever you want to express that God possesses essential life and can sustain a permanent existence (eternity). God is specifically concerned with his creation and the preservation of the entire world. So please remember to refer to him with this name as you pray for all nations during the Covid-19 pandemic.|
|3. El-Shaddai – Whenever you want to express gratitude for God’s provisions, nourishment and supplies. Especially as he keeps you during this Covid-19 crises may I suggest that you add ‘Almighty’ in front of El-Shaddai when you pray. Because that is Who he is.|
|4. Adonai – Usually, in most cases, this name is used interchangeably with the title Lord. It denotes ownership of something or someone. In prayer, to acknowledge God as Adonai means you understand that your body, soul and mind (your total being) belong to God. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings over all nations all by himself.|
|5. Jehovah-jireh – This is considered as a mighty name reference to God. You may consider using it when you are praying for a miracle to happen. You are literally praying to asking God to use his miracle-working powers to manifest (show/reveal) his provision to you. In other words, you are asking God to make sure you recognize that the answer to your prayer is being provided by him and not some doctor, lawyer or Indian chief. You are begging to SEE God’s glory and to profusely give thanks to him alone. Abraham and his offering of his son Isaac are your examples.|
|6. Jehovah-rophe (pronounced rah-pha) – Whenever there is a need for healing of the body by a physician, you can refer to God as Jehovah-rophe. But, when we consider that many of the body’s aches and pains are cause by spiritual and mental stresses, we can also reach out to God by this name for spiritual restoration as well.|
(*) NOTE: For an in-depth study of the Names of God I used a paperback book by the same title written by Nathan Stone.
On a personal note, I have experienced God in all of these name-situations above, especially when on international mission trips. Please allow me to recall just two:
- While in Hanoi, Vietnam (a pagan nation) our mission team was only allowed by their government to distribute gifts, medicines and teach English as a second language. But I witnessed a young girl in my class turn her paper over once she had finished her lesson and begin drawing a ‘man’ on the cross. (I had not mentioned anything about our Christian heritage and the profound surprise on my face when I saw it caused the Vietnam guard assigned to my class room to rush over to see what so surprised me. His glaring stare on me caused me to tremble because I just knew he was blaming me and was deciding whether or not to dismiss the class and to report me. At that moment all of the other children in the class left their seats and came over to see what all the excitement was about. Everyone of them returned to their seats and begin to draw the same thing…Jesus on the Cross! Oh, the power of Elohim…the greatness of his might! Needless to say, that guard knew that his arms were too short to box with God.
- While in Nicaragua, Central America I remember sitting at a large pot of hot rice my mission team had prepared for a community high in the mountains. We instructed the children to line up first to receive the food and the adults to follow. My team leader ordered me to serve everyone first, so I took a seat on the short stool. I noticed that no one in line had a bowl to receive the hot rice in. When the first child approach me with a great big smile, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small plastic bag similar to those in our grocery stores. My eyes expanded to the size of half dollar coins. My fear was that once I poured the hot rice into that plastic bag, the tremendous heat would cause the bag to burst. (I surmised that no one had any bowls and I was right.) So I sent up a quick prayer to my Jehovah-jireh. Into the plastic bag went the hot rice. And you guessed it…the plastic bag miraculously ‘solidified’ and held everyones’ portion of rice. Hallelujah!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
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