What’s in a Name?
By Teri Spears
The invisible thing called a “Good Name” is made up of the breath of numbers that speak well of you. Lord Halifax
What’s in a name: That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. William Shakespeare
At our local church we have a quarterly children’s dedication. It is a special time for new parents or new Christians to bring children to the ministry to be dedicated to the service of God. I always do research on the meaning of the children’s names and give them a commission accordingly. In scripture, people believed that the most intimate knowledge of a person came through knowing their name and the meaning thereof. Some of the names of children today present quite a challenge!
A name is important. Our name is our identity, our distinguishing mark, our label, our tag.
So it is with God. Scripture says give God the glory due His name. We need to be able to do this properly. The Old Testament reveals many names of God that expose His character. They help us in developing our relationship with this invisible God. He has an intense desire to have an intimate relationship with us. Many people have lost the revelation of His majesty in the intimacy of really knowing Him and knowing His character. America does not truly understand majesty. We have never had a king or queen who ruled supreme, someone to whom all our loyalty was devoted. It is not part of our culture, so therefore, we have not understood the majesty of God.
A.W. Tozer said it well: “A condition…has existed in the church for some years and is steadily growing worse. I refer to the loss of the concept of majesty from the popular religious mind.” From our presidents, to our pastors, to ordinary people, the level of respect and awe for positions or fellow citizens as God’s creations has waned.
We need to recapture both the majesty and the intimacy in our relationship with our heavenly Father. In a world of broken relationships, fractured lives, and shattered trust, we have a hard time visualizing or conceiving the possibility of an absolute relationship, an unimpaired life, and complete trust; yet, that is precisely what we can find in Him. The key is in “knowing” Him You never trust a person until you know them.
The consistency of God’s character is in His names. His names reveal His power, His holiness and His dominion. This is why the Ten Commandments forbid the desecration of God’s name.
Oaths taken in His name transcended life spans. Victories were won under the banner of His name. Power was unleashed when prophets proclaimed His name. God is so great, so sovereign, it takes many names just to begin to conceive grasp His character.
God wants us to fathom His greatness through His names. He wants us to recognize His majesty through His names. He wants us to experience Him like never before by comprehending Him through His names!
We need to see Him as more than our provider or our emergency valve. We need to see Him as a true companion and comrade; as an advocate and defender, as our alley and associate, yet witness His sovereignty and majesty.
What a privilege to develop a relationship with the Most High God!
One way to do this is spend twelve days, twelve weeks or all twelve months in a year, focusing on twelve different names of God. We should spend more time in praise and adoration than in petition during this segment of prayer. Each name chosen will give opportunity for petition, but sometimes we need to do more giving in relationship than taking. Let us determine this will be a time of giving back to Him for all He has done for us.
In our local church, we focused on a name a month and presented a banner with that name the first Sunday of the month. Then the worship of an entire service focused on that particular name. Through the remaining month we reiterated and reinforced the need to praise that characteristic of God.
Institute this in your life or your church, and you will be drawn to a different dimension of “knowing” God! Experience His glory through His names! You will find Him to be more than enough! Life has a way of crowding out our “God-time.” Why don’t you leave the hurry behind and just experience Him. Experience His names. Experience His presence. Seek His face through His attributes.
He is waiting.
(The following can be utilized to facilitate your time in communion with Him or as presentations. The enclosed CD has art work for banners that you may use for presentation or display.)
Jehovah -The Eternal One
This is the foundation name of the Old Testament! It means the Eternal One, Supremely Powerful, and Perfect Being, Self-existent One: I AM. The Hebrew word for Jehovah is composed of a four-letter construct YHWH or the approximate equivalent to Yawah. The exact pronunciation is not known because it was rarely spoken. Ancient Hebrews refused to speak it and would substitute, “Adonai”.
Douglas Anspach from University of Notre Dame, Department of Theology says: “YHWH is known to translate as He who is or thought of as the first word of the entire name Yhawer-ser-yihweh meaning He brings into being whatever comes into being, thus naming Him the Creator.”
This is His personal name – what He calls Himself time and time again. The name Jehovah occurs 6,823 times in the Old Testament, first used in Genesis 2:4 (Jehovah Elohim).
It has been told that the 8th century Mastoretes, who were Jewish scholars that copied the Hebrew Bible, so revered the name “Jehovah” that prior to writing the name they would go to their quarters, bathe, and put on clean clothes. In certain chapters such as Deuteronomy 28, they had to go through this cleansing ceremony forty times! What reverence for a name!
Jehovah is the most personal name. Such a complete name -defining His relationship with His people; depicting His interaction with us personally. It expresses His power, yet His yearning – His vow to His promise of redemption. So much in a name!
A name so sacred to the Jews they feared to utter it. Yet, we know the fullness of the name.
Isaiah 12:2: “…for the Lord, even Jehovah, is my strength and my song, He also is become my salvation.”
Jehovah of the Old Testament became Jesus of the New Testament. The I AM that Moses experienced in Exodus 3 is still the I AM today!
Jehovah – the eternal one!
Jehovah M’Kaddesh – The Lord Who Sanctifies
Exodus 31:13: “…I am the Lord who doth sanctify you.”
Leviticus 20:7-8: “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am the Lord your God. And ye shall keep my statues and do them: I am the Lord who sanctifieth you.”
To sanctify means to set apart for holiness – to make whole. God calls for a people who are set apart. Holiness is the central revelation of God’s character.
“…be ye holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 20:7).
When we enter His presence, we carry excess baggage, weights that burden us down. Sin that nags at our conscience. Unforgiveness that fills us with guilt. We must rid ourselves of these things and let Jehovah M’Kaddesh sanctify us!
II Chronicles 29:5 reads, “…sanctify now yourselves and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.”
Sometimes we even need to let the Sanctifier sanctify the house! Rid it of any filthiness of the world. Why not take a moment now and let Jehovah M’Kaddesh forgive you and cleanse your body and your physical home. Then He can meet with you in a special way.
Exodus 29:43 says, “And there will I meet with the children of Israel and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.” Let His presence come in to sanctify iniquity put sin away and cleanse the depravity of ourselves and our nation. Then His glory can be made known.
When we worship, our worship cleanses so the Sanctifier can be at home in a sanctified place! Let us cleanse our life, our thoughts, our actions, and our home. Let Jehovah M’Kaddesh reside in a sanctified place.
Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide
“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh…” (Genesis 22:14).
“Mom, I’m home!” The voice rang out in the camp at Beersheba. Isaac and Abraham had returned at last. It had been a long week of waiting. When Isaac finally found his mother, Sarah, he embraced her as never before.
“Mom, you won’t believe what happened!” Then Isaac began telling the story.
The story involved a mysterious trip that Abraham had asked his son to join him on. Isaac was so happy to be making a trip with his father. He had helped his dad pack and get all the things they would need for a trip to sacrifice to their God.
In the excitement of leaving, Isaac didn’t notice until they were three days out, they had no lamb for the burnt offering. Abraham only would say, “God will provide.”
Isaac continued his story to his mother with an exclamation of, “You will never believe what happened next!” For you see, Isaac, was to be the burnt offering. And in his humility, he had been willing. But he was able to finish the story by explaining the angel and the ram caught in the bushes.
“Mom, when Dad and I saw that ram, we both wept!”
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh -the Lord will provide!
And in this day of many needs, He is still Jehovah Jireh. Amidst the violence, the anger, the ungovernable forces; the hunger, the homeless, the famine and the wars; the Prophet Isaiah reminds us, “…the Lord’s hand is not shortened…” (Isaiah 59:1). He can reach beyond. He will never be overwhelmed by too many needs.
When our promises are tested we must go where God tells us to go and worship in spite of the circumstances. Then listen for the sound. The ram will be near by. God will reveal the provision you need. He is our provider! He can supply everything we need, for He is Jehovah Jireh!
Jehovah T’sidkenu – The Lord Is Our Righteousness
This name is derived from the root word “tsidek” meaning balanced as on scales justice, righteous, declared innocent. Through Jehovah T’sidkenu I can be declared innocent and righteous even though I am only a human born in sin.
“…Israel shall dwell safely; and this is His name whereby He shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). Jeremiah gave this name to God, the Righteous King. He revealed His righteousness to Israel in days gone by, but He will also reveal Himself to be our righteousness! We could never in ourselves be righteous but through Him we attain righteousness. We are unholy; He is always holy. We are inadequate; He is invincible. We are helpless and hopeless when we try on our own to be righteous, but what a solace to know by His splendid name Jehovah T’sidkenu, He supplies what He prescribes.
Calvary bought us the right to be righteous. At Calvary we obtained “…the righteousness of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:1). The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 85:10:…righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Jesus became righteousness in flesh, so I could attain righteousness. Matthew 5:6 reads: “Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” His righteousness is for the taking purchased with His own blood.
When the devil comes in like a flood reminding us of our unrighteous past – Jehovah T’sidkenu will remind us of our bright future. The devil will try to daunt us with our unrighteousness; God will establish a blueprint for advancement. The devil will make our past look too hard to overcome, but Jehovah T’sidkenu will make our future too wonderful to miss! It’s not by our might nor by our power but it is Jehovah T’sidkenu in us.
Isaiah 41:10: “…Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” We serve a righteous God that wants to help us. He is holy in all His ways and works. He alone is the Righteous One! And when we feel we’re standing alone, His hand upholds us.
I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spake in rapture of Christ on a tree,
Jehovah T’sidkenu was nothing to me.
When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety, in self could I see;
Jehovah T’sidkenu my Savior must be.
My terror all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free;
Jehovah T’sidkenu is all things to me!
In Revelation, the last book of the Bible, John writes: “And I saw heaven open, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doeth and make war.” When all is said and done and we have finished the course and kept the faith, Jehovah T’sidkenu will return. Through His righteousness, He will put away for the final time all unrighteousness! What a privilege to know Him as Jehovah T’sidkenu.
Jehovah Nissi – The Lord Our Banner
There is a certain feeling that sweeps over me when I see Old Glory waving in the wind. The stars and stripes are reminiscence of so many things good memories and destructive durations. Yet, it is a loyalty of my soul. Flags (banners) have been etched in our history. Men have defended their flag with their last breath. Many have perished to protect the honor of their flag.
So it was in Exodus Chapter 17. Israel had passed the days of no food and no water. But enemies more debilitating than hunger and thirst were approaching. Exodus 17:8 says: “Then came Amalek and fought with Israel…” Amalek was one of the first to oppose Israel. And Jehovah would manifest Himself powerfully.
It had been a long, exhausting day on the battlefield for Israel. Joshua was leading the conflict with Amalek. Moses sat on a hillside overlooking the struggle with his hands held up by Aaron and Hur. When the victory was achieved and deliverance was in the hands of Joshua, scripture says, “And Moses built an altar and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi” (Exodus 17:15). The Lord our Banner! It was Moses who conferred this name to God after this victory over the Amalekites. To these armies the name of God was a banner under which Israel could rally for victory.
So it is with our daily battles. To be overcomers in resisting our adversary, we must fight under Jehovah’s name and banner. He wants us to hold high light against darkness, good against evil, holiness against the destruction of sin. No matter how strong the enemy, God is with us, holding our hands up and flying His banner.
Jehovah could have won the battle against Amalek without Joshua, but Joshua could not have reached victory without Jehovah. God must go with us as Jehovah-Nissi. We must establish Jehovah Nissi in our life.
He will enter every battle with us. He will give us strength to forge ahead in the face of impossibilities. We will fly the banner of Jehovah Nissi. It will reach from Moses to us. From generation to generation, He never changes. Fly the banner high. Let it be the loyalty of our soul. Let it defeat the Amalekites in our life. Let victory be confirmed!
Satan would not have been struck such a fatal blow at Calvary if he would have left Jesus lying on the ground on His cross. Go ahead and nail the nails and mock Him and have your day, Satan. You never should have stood that cross up, because then the scripture was fulfilled: “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” When the banner above all banners was hoisted upon a rugged cross, the victory was flown for all generations to see and to come to Jehovah Nissi the banner our Lord.
Jehovah Shammah – The Lord Is There
This name signifies Jehovah’s abiding presence with His people. He is a God of the present.
Ezekiel penned this name of God. Ezekiel begins and ends with God. Chapter 1:1 says he saw visions of God while held captive. Although a captive in Babylon, he prophesied about a city he would live in someday. He closes his prophetic book by exclaiming, “…and the name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah Shammah” (Ezekiel 48:35). The Lord is there.
He is not just here with me, but He is there with you. He is a God in the present. If our back is to the wall, He is present! If the money has run out, He is present! If our children are sick, He is present! If our home is falling apart, He is present! When pain consumes our body, He is present! If a lawsuit is pending, He is present! Whatever the problem, He is present!
He did not keep Daniel out of the lion’s den, He was just present with him. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had to walk in the fiery furnace, but Jehovah Shammah was there. The Red Sea looked like an impossibility to Moses but God was there. God was with Joseph in the pit, Job in his suffering, David facing Goliath, and Peter in prison. God was present!
Psalms 23 shows us how He is there. David proclaims, “…thou are with me…” (Psalm 23:4). From the pastures, beside the waters, into restoration and righteousness; then on to the valley of death�He is There! In the presence of our enemies and through any circumstance, He is There. In the last verse of Psalms 23 where David proclaims He is There “all the days of my life.” Then we will dwell where the unseen presence becomes the seen presence and will see Him as He is!
Jehovah Shammah is the last revelatory name of God in the Old Testament and will be the last revelatory name we will experience when our feet touch the streets of gold and we realize He is present! If Jehovah Shammah was present in Babylon in captivity; we can be sure He will be present in the Eternal City. He was with Paul in the storm saying, “fear not!” He was in the king’s court with Esther as she walked in fear. He was leading in the battle with Deborah. He was with young Miriam as she shielded a tiny ark in the Nile River, yet He is present in the present!
He is there when all our friends have walked out! He is there when we feel depressed! He is there when we feel defeated! Jehovah Shammah! He is always there! He is present when we need peace! He is present when we are afraid! He is present when we are confused! He is even present when we have failed! He is always present!
I am thankful I serve a God, not just of the Old Testament, not just a God that will reign in eternity, but a God who is present in my life.
Jehovah Rohi – The Lord Our Shepherd
Isaiah saw the Great Shepherd as one who lovingly fed His flock, gathered His lambs in His arms, carried them in His bosom and gently led those that were with young (Isaiah 40:11). Ezekiel saw the Great Shepherd seeking for lost sheep and delivering them out of dark, cloudy days (Ezekiel 34:1112). Then in John 10:11 Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Peter reaffirms us as sheep being returned “to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (I Peter 2:25).
But David expresses it completely when he states in Psalms 23:1: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Words so fresh, they could have been written yesterday. They comfort us. Children repeat them, scholars expound on them, the sick relish in them and choirs sing of them. It is an utterance of weakness and trust of leaning and being sustained.
This name of God shows a relationship with One who provides loving care for His people. Sheep dwell in peace when their Shepherd is near. We need to draw close to the Shepherd. To the countrymen surrounding David, a shepherd was a familiar object. From Mt. Carmel to Mt. Pisgah, Israel was covered with flocks. It is a glorious endorsement, full of comfort and awe to understand I belong to God!
We are all pilgrims in need of divine provision on this journey of life. This is why it is so important to discover the revelation of God as Jehovah Rohi. For it is here we see the One whose love and concern is something we can forever depend on.
Whatever our needs, be they earthly or spiritual, our Shepherd is there to abate and soothe. He is our Friend to listen, our Provider to supply, our Protector to preserve, and our faithful shepherd to lead. Above all, we need this comforting image of our Savior our Shepherd.
We must cast our cares on the great Caretaker – Jehovah Rohi, and let Him take care of us. God has manifest Himself as the One who tends His flock and supports them in times of trouble. And someday He will gather them to Himself!
Whatever our need, He cares. When we fall, the good Shepherd will pick us up and carry us.
Cast your cares on the great Caretaker Jehovah Rohi – our Shepherd!
Jehovah Rophe – The Lord Who Heals
Humanity stands in piteous and pathetic need of a Physician. He can be found in Jehovah Rophe! In Matthew, He “healed them all” and in Exodus 15:26 He proclaimed: “…for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
In times of physical sickness – He heals.
In times of emotional distress – He heals.
In times of pain – He heals.
In times of affliction – He heals.
He is Jehovah Rophe!
And so it is with us. We start on this voyage of existence so highly wrought with expectations of life and people only to discover the water is bitter. Things are never what they seem -business nor pleasure, home nor church, dating nor marriage. Ideology crumbles and disappointments need healing.
Israel had left behind much beauty in Egypt: The Nile and its fertility, the cities and their splendor, and the comforts of dwelling so long in a land. The cravings of their appetites could be satisfied in Egypt. Now they had entered the harshness and severity of a desert. The Red Sea was in view but too salty, so they hurried on to Marah in hope of fresh water and sustenance.
When they arrived at their hopeful springs, only to find them bitter, their spirits broke. Moses cried to God. It was a time of purposeful prayer. And God revealed Himself as Jehovah Rophe. The bitter waters were sweetened and the people were refreshed and strengthened.
The weariness of the wilderness journey and the disappointments of Marah are all part of the plan so He can be unveiled as Jehovah Rophe.
In times of trouble, our first resort should be God. And in answer to our prayers the waters can be sweetened. We can discover God, manifest as Jehovah Rophe, that without the disappointment He could not be known. He can turn bitter into sweet, dry and thirsty to refreshed. He is the healer.
We can bring to Jehovah Rophe our fractured hopes, broken dreams, interrupted promises, bleeding wounds, injustices, seething words in our memory, and past voices that keep our mind confused. When we bring our pain and sickness to Him, He will hand healing to us. The Great Physician has the proper cure no matter what Marah may have been in our life. He alone can cover all the healing we require in our body, soul, and spirit. He will heal all levels of our body. He is the Great Physician the One who can repair, restore, renew, renovate, and revive a life. He brings refreshing. His very nature is to be a healer. He came from His heavenly throne to walk to us as a healer. When He walked through earth in flesh as Jesus, He healed “all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases among the people.” He held not only the healing balm but wore the skin as well. He took the stripes on His back so we can be healed.
Just because we serve Him, does not mean we will be spared affliction. But it does mean Jehovah Rophe will be in attendance.
Jehovah Shalom – The Lord Our Peace
“This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice – peace. America has stood down enemies before and will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.” These words were spoken bravely by President George W. Bush after the September 11 attack on America a call for peace.
Peace such an elusive force. The New Webster’s Dictionary says peace is the condition that exists when nations or other groups are not fighting; or freedom from noise, worries, troubles, or fears. Yes, an elusive entity in this day. It is hard to remember a time when there were no wars. I am not sure there has ever been a time with no noise, worries, troubles, or fears. Where do we find such a substance as peace?
Judges 6 introduces the “substance.” The story begins on the west side of the Jordan, in Ophrah of Manesseh. A farmer’s son, hiding from the Midianites, was busy threshing wheat beside a lonely winepress. While he threshed, he thought of all the catastrophes that had fallen on the land of Israel and wondering whether God had forsaken His people.
As he took a much needed break and straightened his back, near by he saw a stranger sitting beneath an oak tree. To his bewilderment, the stranger addressed him as a ‘mighty man of valor.’ The farmer’s son was sure there was some mistake and turned to see who else was near. There was no one!
The angel spoke to Gideon further instructing him to go in his might against Midian and save Israel. Fear struck his heart for he knew his limitations. He knew he was not mighty. He had been trained to be fearful by fearful parents. He also reminded the angel how poor he was and how little self esteem he had. But the angel spoke these words, “Peace be unto thee: fear not!” Before Gideon could liberate a nation he had to be liberated. In verse 21 the fire liberated him! His perception was opened, and his fears aborted.
“Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord and called it Jehovah Shalom” (Judges 6:24). Shalom translates to peace. A literal translation means the kind of peace that results from being a whole person in right relationship to God and to one’s fellow man. Gideon was unshackled from his past and became a new man in a new relationship with God and Israel.
We must let Jehovah Shalom unshackle us and let the elusive force called peace become a liberating energy, might and strength through Jehovah Shalom in us. Let the fire of the Spirit liberate us.
Peace we cannot understand. Peace that is incomprehensible. Peace ever abiding even when our world is trembling. Peace not spoken about from a President, but peace supplied by the Prince of Peace! Jehovah Shalom!
Peace! Peace! In a world reeling with fear and violence. He speaks peace! He is Jehovah Shalom! “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
El Shaddai – The Almighty God
El Shaddai – the Almighty, strength in its original origin. An Almighty Being who ordinarily operates in silence and stands cloaked in invisibility; breaks through the eons of time and proclaims to a ninety-nine year-old man, “I am El Shaddai…” “I am the Almighty God…” (Genesis 17:1).
All loving all powerful and able to bring life to an old man, “…and him as good as dead…” (Hebrews 11:12).
El Shaddai is found six times in Genesis and thirty-one times in Job. He is explaining Himself to be a God who coerces nature to do what is even conflicting to itself. He is not tied to laws of nature. He is supreme over them! He is the Almighty God – El Shaddai! So powerful, so compelling, so capable that no force can withstand.
This is one of the most powerful among the divine names. It tells of His all-sustaining power and grace to us pilgrims. Grace to overcome failures and power to fulfill every promise. My faith rises knowing the God I serve is all-sufficient and able to overpower and overcome any obstacle. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14).
Why should I worry? Why be anxious? Why be tormented? The sun stops at His command. Worlds are formed by His power. Light exists because of His Word. Sins are remitted by His blood. The Almighty can do anything we need. If we can grasp and believe this, our worries and fears will
Why would we follow another when the Almighty wants to befriend us?
– The One who delivered millions from Pharaoh’s bondage can most assuredly deliver us.
– If this Almighty One brings the dead to life, He can dispel our depression and confusion.
– This is the One that can take an adulterous David and make him a man after God’s own heart. He can surely deliver us from sin’s grip.
– If He was Almighty enough to turn water into wine, He is Almighty enough to provide food for us.
– He is the same One that opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, and healed lepers. He will bring healing to us.
He is El Shaddai! He is the self-sufficient One! He is the strength giver.
In Revelation, John spoke of Him as the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty! (Revelation 1:18). El Shaddai, the Almighty God, will return in triumph to show His power eternal. He declared in Matthew 28: 18, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Not partial power or fragmented authority. Not divided energy or shared dominion, but all power!
Let Him be your Almighty; your El Shaddai.
Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts
The Lord of Hosts�the King and Ruler of Israel, the Commander of the angelic host and armies of God�the er of the universe. This is the Lord in manifestation of power.
The word hosts in the scriptures is related to heavenly bodies, angels, saints, and sinners. So as Lord of Hosts, He has the authority to allocate all these groups, or hosts, to fulfill His objectives and to assist His people.
This is why Jeremiah used the name about eighty times and Zechariah called on the Lord of Hosts about fifty times. Haggai professes it fourteen times and in Malachi it occurs about twenty-five times.
No wonder David speaks with such conviction in Psalms 24:10, “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.” And again in Psalms 46:7 and 11: “The Lord of hosts is with us!” The very foundation of assurance. Our God is “the Lord of Hosts.” He has countless angels at His command, and He is with us; He is on our side, ever ready to help. Greater is He that is for us than they that be against us.
Jehovah Sabaoth, He is able to subdue all the world under us and all the heavens above us. He has immeasurable power. God doesn’t know how much power He possesses, because He has never found anything big enough to challenge Him.
“The Lord of Hosts is with us!” He takes our part, is present with us, and President over us. We can triumph in this knowledge. He has all creatures at His beck and command. The sovereign God is with us and promises to never leave us.
Even if it seems hosts may be against us, we need not fear, for the Lord of Hosts is with us. “Hosts” denotes a systematized assembly under authority. God has multitudes waiting to yield to His decrees.
In Zechariah 4 when it was time for Zerubbabel to finish rebuilding the temple, God stepped in as Jehovah Sabaoth. In verse 6 it says, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” He showed His strength and sovereignty, His supremacy and superiority. Mountains shall become plains (verse 7). Obstacles are only stepping stones when Jehovah Sabaoth shows up. Let Him reign in your life!
El Olam – The God of Eternity/The Everlasting God
It is enigmatic for us to think of anything outside of time. We judge everything by time. Our calendar, our daily lives, our celebrations, seasons, eons, history, and even church services and dental appointments. Time controls our lives. From the movement of the sun, to the growth of a seed, to the ticking of a watch, we are governed by time.
Yet El Olam is without beginning and without end. Completely outside of time. He is the Creator of time. He is the One who sent His Son in the fulness of time. He is the Everlasting God. The God whose wisdom has divided all time and eternity into dispensations. He is not only everlasting, but He is the God over everlasting things. He stands not in contrast to heathen gods, who are born and die, but as the Everlasting God with no entrance and no exit. He has no origin and no conclusion no inauguration and no termination. He is unchangeable. He is self-existent and independent of time. The eternity where God is from is like His omniscience and omnipotence. We cannot perceive nor understand its vastness. All things except God have a beginning. Life can come only from life. Like begets like. Each kind is after another. Science even tells us of the beginning of the stars.
Everything has a beginning except God. He was before time and will be after time. The Eternal God. “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). The foundation of time is God. He has life in Himself. He has no need for another. He made the matter which He used at creation.
– Creation had a beginning – but the Creator had none.
– Creation is prone to change – but the Creator is unchangeable.
– Creation will only exist for a period of time – but the Creator is eternal.
Psalm 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” He is God, the Everlasting One. He is eternal. He will never leave nor forsake us. He is the God we will meet in eternity. How we live on this earth will control where we spend eternity.
He reaches from everlasting, back into time, to draw me to Him. He loves me when I do not love myself. The God of eternity robed Himself in time and died to become my friend and Savior. He wrote a will with His own blood, so I can inherit an eternity spent with Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
The Eternal, Everlasting God has thoughts of peace for me. He covets Heaven for me and for you. Let El Olam help you settle your eternal destination.
What a privilege to experience the names of God. If we all pursue and practice His character through His names, we can see a corporate move of God. God’s character never changes. His methods have changed many times throughout history, but He remains unchanged. In this radically changing world, grasp His unchanging hand. When the world shakes, we will stand.
Haggai 2:7: “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
May your house be filled with glory as you pursue His presence through His names.
The chapter What’s in a Name written by Teri Spears was excerpted from Enlarging Your House of Prayer: A Blueprint for Expansion, 2002.