What’s in a name?

Psalm 8:1 “ O Lord our God, the majesty and glory of your name fills all the earth and overflows the heavens”

Names are extremely significant.    They are used to identify and describe people.    People sometimes pick names for their children based on characteristics they hope that child will develop.    Some people’s names really suit them and others not so much.   Names become popular and then are picked because they happen to be the latest fashion.

There is authority & power associated with names.    A law or order signed in the name of the ruler of a nation has a seal of authenticity and is to be obeyed.   It signifies the will of that person and those subject to their authority will obey.

Some people will still “name drop” to get favoured treatment or bend the rules by pretending to be associated with a famous name or person.

Others go even further and will steal other people’s names & identity to get what they want.   Identity theft is one of the major crimes throughout the world.   Good names can be stolen and ruined in an instant.

The bible teaches us a lot about the character of God from the names which God reveals about himself and uses.    Jesus also introduced a new name for God – “Abba” meaning Father.

Matthew 6: 9-13 “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Hallowed means – to revere, sanctify, consecrate, set apart, worship, lift up, exalt HIS HOLY NAME

Names also have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm.

The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify:

RANK OR AUTHORITY, CHARACTER AND REPUTATION

Every name of God in the Bible reveals a characteristic of God

 1. “ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1

GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe.   This goes very much against current secular teachings.

Elohim is in the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.

It is humbling to think but actually I believe that man has never had an original thought or done anything new under the sun really.   We claim to create but I believe that God is the only true source of creative power.

We are taught in the bible that satan is also a created being & a counterfeiter.   He impersonates and steals identities.  He pretends to be what he is not.  We are warned to test things and not to just accept what we see on face value as there are false christs, false prophets, false teachers impersonating the truth.

2        “EL ELYON” – THE MOST HIGH GOD

Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Creator of heaven and earth.

And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

There is no-one or thing above God.

GOD occupies the highest position and throne.

God has the last word.   He cannot be over ruled.   If God has declared or decreed it – then it is coming to pass and no-one or nothing can stop His will being accomplished.

God has sent forth His Word and it will be performed.

3.  “JEHOVAH JIREH” – GOD OF PROVISION

Genesis 22:8-14 –Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

God revealed himself to Abraham on Mount Moriah that he is the GOD of PROVISION.

God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. Abraham experienced the provision of God.

God later provided Jesus as the sacrifice for sin in our place so that we could be redeemed.

God shows his provision for His people all through the bible.  God can and does provide for our needs.    We still encounter His incredible provision for us.

The storehouses of heaven are not empty and God has all resources.  He can truly supply all our needs.

4.  ”EL – SHADDAI” – GOD ALMIGHTY -ALL POWERFUL

 Genesis 17:1 & Exodus 6:3

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty”

The literal translation “The God who is Enough”   “The All Powerful” “The one who is Self-Sufficient”

God is the source of all power.  Nothing or no-one is more powerful than God.

If He is for us then who can be against us.

5.  “JEHOVAH” – Exodus 3 v 13 “ I AM THE I AM.”

God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush as the I AM.

God is saying in this statement that He is everything and also in everything.  He reveals himself as a HOLY GOD and tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.

God is going to demonstrate to the Israelites that He alone is everything to them:

Redeemer, Protector, Healer, Source of all Provision in the wilderness, Defeater of their enemies.

6.  “JEHOVAH RAPHA”HEALER

Exodus 15:26 – God reveals himself as the GOD WHO HEALS.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

GOD reveals that it is in nature to heal and to sustain in health.   Jesus went about doing good and healing people.  He sent his disciples out with the power to heal and he uses His people today to bring healing in His name.   God is still in the business of healing people.

7.  “JEHOVAH NISSI”PROTECTOR

Exodus 17:15 – God is revealed as “The LORD is my BANNER”.

God revealed his protection of Israel by defeating their enemies the Amalekites.

Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

In the same theme there is also a similar name of God

EL GIBBOR –Mighty God (Champion/hero) – Isaiah 9: 6,7

Super heroes are very much the culture of today.   The film franchises of super heroes are popular for a reason.   Everyone wants a hero –  A champion to look up to.

God is the ultimate hero of His people.

8. “JEHOVAH SHALOM”the Lord is PEACE

Judges 6:24 So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace.

Shalom Peace means rest, harmony, wholeness, completeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, and prosperity i.e. total wellbeing.

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace.

Perfect Peace is found in God.

9.  “JEHOVAH TSIDKENU” – RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jeremiah 23:6 – the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS

“In his days Judah will be saved  and Israel will live in safety.

This is the name by which He will be called:

The LORD Our Righteousness.”

Jesus is righteous.   He was the only true righteous son because he is God.   God himself who is Righteous became our Righteousness through Jesus.

10. “JEHOVAH SHAMMAH” – the LORD is THERE/PRESENT

 Ezekiel 48:35 God reveals himself as wanting to be present with us – that is His plan.  He is in our past, present and future. He is omnipresent and eternal in nature.

God is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end).  He is there when we get up and when we go to bed.  He is not surprised by anything!! Even when we are.

He makes the way ahead for us to walk in.

11. “JEHOVAH SABAOTH” – “The LORD of HOSTS”.

1 Samuel 17:45  “Then said David to the Philistine,  You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts”

God is the captain of all the hosts (angelic) of Heaven.

The angels are at God’s command.   We read in the bible how they are used as God’s messengers and to carry out God’s orders.   I often pray and ask God to send his angels to help me and to protect my family.

12.  “JEHOVAH – ROI (Ra-ah)”– SHEPHERD

 Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

God is the good shepherd who looks after us.  We are the sheep of His pasture.

A good shepherd tends & watches over the flock,  protects them, feeds them & leads them in and out to good pastures.   He binds up their wounds & heals them.

13.  ABBA  – God as FATHER

Matthew 6 9-13 – Jesus teaches us to pray to  “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Jesus reveals God as our Father for the first time in scripture. It reveals a new more intimate level of relationship.

The identity of God as a Father to us is so important and learning to relate to God as a Father can be difficult if we have not experienced what true fatherhood is.  I pray for a revelation of God as a father to those who have not experienced or understood this before.

14.  GOD IS LOVE

The Bible reveals that God is LOVE (AGAPE)– His Character is LOVE

 1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

AGAPE means “undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable good will that always seeks the highest good of the other person.

It describes the unconditional love which God has for the world.

Discovering God loves us and the extent of that love for us – that love that knows no bounds – it’s height, depth & breadth – what an incredible thing to be loved so much.

When we are loved like that and by such an awesome God then you realise how valuable you are to God.

We really are the apple of His eye.

PRAYER;

“ Lord, your word says that you are my shepherd. I choose to believe your word and declare in faith that you are my shepherd . Thank you God that you are Jehovah Roi – My Shepherd. I declare that I belong to you and you alone and you are Lord of my life. Thank you God that you are the one true shepherd who tends, cares and provides for me.   Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures where I can rest and be refreshed in you.   Thank you Lord that you lead me every day. Help me to follow in your footsteps and to be obedient to your voice.

Thank you God that you are JEHOVAH JIREH – the God who provides for me and that I shall not want. Lord, your word declares that you will provide all my needs according to your riches in glory. Help me to see Lord that these are not my wants but my needs.

Thank you Lord that you are JEHOVAH TSIDKENU the God of righteousness who leads me in paths of righteousness.   Lord keep me from temptation and sin and keep my feet on the rights paths of your presence. Thank you God for Jesus who your word declares is the good shepherd who by his death on the cross has opened up the way for me to come before your throne. I thank you for the blood of Christ that cleanses me and the robes of righteousness which cover me.

God, help me to share the love of Christ with those who don’t know you so that they can see and know Christ as their Shepherd.   Lord give me compassion for those who don’t know you.

Thank you God for the pastors and elders who you have put in positions to be shepherds of this flock. God bless them and help them to be good shepherds filled with your wisdom as they love us, lead us and care for us.

Lord, help me to feed on good food – building up myself and strengthening myself in you and your Word. Lord, renew my appetite and thirst for you because I know that you are the only one who can satisfy.   You alone are the bread of life.

God finally, I acknowledge that your word says that “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His People and the Sheep of His pasture”. Lord, let me have a true revelation of who you are so that I will not boast in me but in you alone. That I will walk humbly before you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Finally, these are some of the things which the Bible says about the Name of the Lord:

The Name of the Lord is a defence (Psalm 20:1)

A help in time of trouble (Psalm 9:10)

A comfort (Daniel 11:32)

A strong tower (Proverbs 18:10)

A weapon (1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Chronicles 14:11)

An ointment poured forth (Song of Solomon 1:3)

“In the name of our God We will set up our banners: The Lord fulfill all your petitions “ Psalm 20:5

Exodus 34 v5

“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there AND PROCLAIMED THE NAME OF THE LORD; And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed. “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation

 

 

 

God’s banqueting table

We were taking communion on Sunday and I was reminded of God’s banqueting table and that His banner over us there is love.    The words are from the Song of Solomon but we also sing a worship song about God bringing us to His banqueting table.    It is only through that act of selfless love when Christ died on the cross that we have the ability to come to that banqueting table and to the place prepared for us there.    Christ issued the invitation and I accepted.    Christ’s banner of love is over me and all around me when I am there.    I have a place at the banqueting table and so I have access to the full provision of God.   I am dressed appropriately for the banquet with the garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness because I have accepted Christ as my saviour, so there is no chance that I will be refused entry,  but how often I can neglect to go there and take hold of and enjoy all that Christ has obtained for me at the Cross.    Thankfully, the invitation from God is always open to come at any time – 24/7.   There is always a welcome and my place will never be filled by anyone else so there is always a guarantee that I will have a place at the banqueting table.    God can do exceedingly above all that I ask or imagine there because he is a God of abundance.    The banquet is a picture of abundance and plenty for everyone.   The best food and drink are laid on at the banquet for the guests.  Let’s not neglect to ask God for the things that we need and to trust Him to provide for us and sustain us.     It might be physical or spiritual sustenance that we need and we can be sure that whatever it is,  He will be faithful to meet our needs.    Allow Him to fill us there with His love there so that we can be changed and overflow that love to others.      There was a time a few years ago when we were away on retreat and the leader encouraged us all to take up the invitation to come to God’s banqueting table.   He pulled up a physical chair and invited us to take our seat at the table.   We did so and as we did that physical act we saw and imagined ourselves seated at the table feasting on all the provision of God that Christ had obtained for us.   It had a profound effect on me.   I encourage you to take up your place at God’s banqueting table today.  Don’t leave it empty.

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor
Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

 

 

Hidden treasures

I preached on Joseph a number of years ago and as part of that preach the Lord gave me 3 words for the church.  The Lord has reminded me of those words now and so they may encourage you.  The first was that the wealth of the Egyptians and the treasures of darkness would be released to the church for God’s plans to be accomplished for His glory and to advance His kingdom.  Those who had need of resources to fulfil the vision that God had given them had to ask in faith for these resources to be released to them.   The resources would be released but not from the traditional church giving etc. but would come from external sources – “the wealth of the Egyptians” and “treasures of darkness”.   It did not matter that people may not have all of God’s purposes revealed to them but as they walked out the purposes of God and His plans then more and more would be revealed.  It just needed that first step of faith.  If you need resources to fulfil the vision that God has given you then ask God to give you the wealth of the Egyptians and the hidden riches of the secret places so that you can be a blessing to others. – Isaiah 45 v3.    v 14 “Thus says the Lord – the labour of Egypt and merchandise of Cush; and of the Sabeans, men of stature, they shall come over to you and they shall be yours.”

The second word was that some would suffer for the sake of the vision and calling which the Lord had put on their life but that God would never forsake them.  He would be with them in every situation and would reward them when they stand before His throne.  If you are going through a difficult situation then hold on to God in faith and run the race until the end.    The Lord will reward your faithfulness and will never let you down.  He is with you in all the suffering and pain to uphold you.

The third word was that some would leave and go to foreign people and foreign places and that was part of God’s purpose and plan.  He was calling them out.   If you feel the call of God to go out to foreign places then follow that vision with confidence that it is God who has put the desire in your heart.