THE NAMES OF GOD (Nama-nama Allah)

“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.” Psa 148:13

In the Old Testament times, a name was not only identification, but an identity as well. Many times a special meaning was attached to the name. Names had, among other purposes, an explanatory purpose (e.g., Nabal, whose name means “fool,” is the target of Abigail’s explanation to David: “For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” – 1Sa 25:25).

Throughout Scripture God reveals Himself to us through His names. When we study these names that He reveals to us in the Bible, we will better understand who God really is. The meanings behind God’s names reveal the central personality and nature of the One who bears them.

WHO IS GOD TO YOU?

1. Name of God: Elohim

  • Elohim means “God” – This name refers to God’s incredible power and might.
  • He is the One and only God. He is Supreme, the true God in a world that promotes many false gods and religions. He is the one on whom we can fully rely, He is Sovereign, He is the one we can completely trust.
  • He is the Mighty One over all of nature, this world, and the heavens above, our creative God who has worked wonders by His hands.
  • God reminds that He is Elohim every single day.
  • His amazing power is at work in every sunrise, every sunset, in the way He holds the stars in the sky, and carries His people through difficult times.
  • You can be assured, you are held by an Almighty God, you never have to fear, God’s hands are strong and secure.
  • “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
  • “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
  •  In the Old Testament Elohim occurs over 2000 times. Elohim is first used in Gen 1:1.
  • Next to Lord (Yahweh), Elohim is the major designation for God. Elohim refers to “deity” but comes virtually to be a name for the true God. Elohim sums up what is intended by “god” or the divine.
  • From the Bible’s first sentence the superlative nature of God’s power is evident as God (Elohim)speaks a world into existence (Genesis 1:3 Genesis 1:6 Genesis 1:9). His actions also bespeak his power, enabling barren women such as Sarah and Rebecca to conceive (Genesis 18:10 Genesis 18:14 ; 25:21), bringing an oppressed people out of Egypt (Exodus 20:2), and with power raising Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom 1:1-4). Believers, Peter writes, are “shielded by God’s power” (1 Peter 1:5).
  • In the name Elohim is fullness of divine power. [Bakers Evangelical Dictionary]

2. Name of God: Yahweh

  • Yahweh means “The Lord” – Yahweh is derived from the Hebrew word for “I AM,” it is the proper name of the divine person, coming from the verb which means to “exist,” “be.”
  • When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was scared. He needed reassurance, he needed to know God was bigger than this problem, that He would carry them through, that even if people wouldn’t listen to him, they would listen to the One who sent him. Because His name carried that much awe and honor. He said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of you fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:13-14
  • God’s name, Yahweh, is one of authority. It is one that holds great power, and says to all who hear, “I AM the One, true God, follow me.”
  • God is still the “Great I AM,” for He never changes.
  • We can trust His loving leadership in our lives, just as Moses did.
  • He calls us for his specific purposes, reminding us that He knows our way and He has a plan.
  • Yhwh, the tetragrammaton because of its four letters, is, strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. It is also the most frequent name, occurring in the Old Testament 6, 828 times (almost 700 times in the Psalms alone). Yah is a shortened form that appears fifty times in the Old Testament, including forty-three occurrences in the Psalms, often in the admonition “hallelu-jah” (lit. praise Jah).
  • English Bibles represent the name yhwh by the title “Lord” (written in capitals to distinguish it from “lord”).

3. EL SHADDAI (LORD GOD ALMIGHTY)

  • Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament El Shaddai occurs 7 times. El Shaddai is first used in Gen 17:1.
  • El Shaddai means “God Almighty” – God’s name, El Shaddai, reminds us that He is all-powerful, He is the Mighty One, He is the 9-1-1 (Psalm 91:1) to run to. And we can find refuge and rest in His shadow. This is comforting in a world where we face many battles day by day.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to know who we can trust, we may feel unsafe or uncertain in circumstances surrounding us. We want to know that our loved ones are protected and covered in His care, especially when they’re away from us.
  • This verse and God’s reminder that He is the Almighty gives us the security and assurance that nothing else around us can offer.
  • He is the God who sees all, knows all, and has the power to go before us, walk with us daily, and cover us from behind. Dwelling in God’s presence gives us shelter and rest.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

To Abraham God appears as God Almighty, El Shaddai.

Kej.17:1 Ketika Abram berumur sembilan puluh sembilan tahun, maka TUHAN menampakkan diri kepada Abram dan berfirman kepadanya: “Akulah Allah Yang Mahakuasa, hiduplah di hadapan-Ku dengan tidak bercela. (2) Aku akan mengadakan perjanjian antara Aku dan engkau, dan Aku akan membuat engkau sangat banyak.”

4. EL ELYON (THE MOST HIGH GOD)

  • Means “God Most High” – El Elyon is a name used through the Old Testament revealing God is above all gods, that nothing in life is more sacred.
  • He is indeed the Lord Most High, the One who reigns supreme.
  • He is greater than any force of darkness in this world.
  • He is bigger than any problem we might come up against in this life. In daily life struggles and battles, we sometimes just need to be reminded that God is still in control.
  • He never will lose His power and might, though the world feels dark many days.
  • He has conquered death and sin.
  • He is Mighty. He is Lord. He is exalted over all.

“I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalm 7:17

5. JEHOVAH NISSI (THE LORD MY BANNER)

  • Yahweh Nissi means “The Lord Is My Banner” – This is the name of God that proclaims His protection, leadership, and deliverance for His people.
  • Just as God brought divine protection for the Israelites against their enemy, the Amalekites, He offers us protection and deliverance today from the enemies we may face in this life. While Joshua and the people fought against their enemy, Moses stood on top of a hill with God’s staff in his hands. The Bibletells the story that even though Moses grew weary, when his hands were lifted by those who supported him, the Israelites were winning, and when his hands lowered the Amalekites were winning. It was clear to all who gave them victory that day.
  • Sometimes we spin our wheels trying to battle through our hard days in our own strength. We get weary, we get upset, we get angry, and we end up losing it.
  • God’s reminder is to all Him to be our banner, our protector, that One that is able to lead us and give us supernatural victory against forces and obstacles that come against us.
  • If we allow Him to be in control, He will do more on our behalf, than would ever be possible on our own.

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

6. El Roi 

  • El Roi means “The God Who Sees” – I love the kindness and care that this name holds as it points to God’s character.
  • He is one who chases after us, who follows us with goodness.
  • He is the one who sees us when we feel lonely, all on our own, or when we just need the reminder that God is close.
  • The name El Roi says to us that God is watching over all, that He sees the affairs of people, and knows when we feel lost and unloved.
  • When Hagar had run away to a desert place far from those she felt hurt and betrayed by, we see God surround her in so much grace and care. He didn’t leave her alone in her troubles. Nor will He leave us to fend for ourselves through difficult times.
  • This story of God’s name reminds us that He is always close, that He sees us when we feel that no one else does, and that He cares.

“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

7. JEHOVAH JIREH (GOD IS MY PROVIDER)

  • “The Lord Will Provide” – God will provide for our needs. Every one of them, He is faithful, He is able, nothing is too difficult for Him.
  • Sometimes His timing is different than ours, maybe we feel that He’s forgotten and hasn’t heard our prayers.
  • Sometimes we get our “needs” and “wants” mixed up, and other times He knows what is better for us than we even know ourselves.
  • We can trust Him, that His timing is perfect, and that all things are possible for Him even when we can’t see a way out.
  • Abraham found this to be true. Alone with his son Isaac in the wilderness, He knew and trusted that God would provide for a sacrifice in place of his only child. He believed in God’s character, and knew Him to be faithful, loving, and the God who will provide.
  • Often it seems, that God tests our hearts like He did Abraham’s that day. He wants to know what we’re willing to lay down before Him, before He opens the doors of provision and blessing. May we be found faithful.

“So 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.” Genesis 22:14

8. JEHOVAH RAPHA (THE LORD WHO HEALS)

  • Jehovah Rapha means “Healer, the Lord who heals you”
  • This name brings so much comfort and hope to many of us who have prayed for healing and deliverance from disease, illness, brokenness, or painful circumstances.
  • It reminds us that God knows we’re in need of help, He understands we’re in need of healing, and He promises to redeem every broken place in our lives.  He never leaves us on our own to fend for ourselves.
  • Without Him we couldn’t have hope for true freedom and healing, but just as God brought miraculous deliverance from all types diseases and difficulties throughout His word, He promises to act on behalf of His people still today.
  • Sometimes the healing doesn’t come in the timetable or way that we would choose, and that can be hard. But as believers we still have this hope and assurance: we will live forever free in heaven, far away from the burdens we’ve carried here in this life.
  • Jesus promises to make all things new, and God will wipe away every tear.

He said, “If you listen carefully to 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.” – Exodus 15:26

9. JEHOVAH SHALOM (THE LORD IS PEACE)

Yahweh Shalom means “The Lord Is Peace” God is the only One able to give us the peace that passes all of our own understanding.

In the Old Testament Jehovah-Shalom occurs only once in Jdg 6:24.

“Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace.” Judges 6:24

  • Gideon knew this well from a time that he and his people were surrounded by a fierce enemy. There was nothing about that time that seemed “peaceful.” And yet, God showed up strong on their behalf, He was faithful and brought deliverance straight through fear-filled days. Maybe that’s why Gideon felt so led to build an altar to the Lord and call it, “The Lord is Peace.”
  • In times of greatest darkness, he had seen how true this was.
  • The peace of God often doesn’t make sense to a world that would tell us to hurry and worry. A world that seems hard some days, and often so full of struggles.
  • In the midst of it all, He reminds us that He is our true peace, so we never need to fear. No matter what we face.

10. JEHOVAH SHAMMAH (THE LORD IS THERE)

  • Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. 
  • Shammah is derived from the Hebrew word sham, which can be translated as “there.” 
  • Jehovah Shammah is a symbolic name for the earthly Jerusalem.
  • The name indicates that God has not abandoned Jerusalem, leaving it in ruins, but that there will be a restoration.

In the Old Testament Jehovah Shammah occurs only once in Ezekiel 48:35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

11. JEHOVAH TSIDKENU (THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS)

  • Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. 
  • Tsedek (tseh’-dek), from which Tsidkenu derived, means “to be stiff,” “to be straight,” or “righteous” in Hebrew. When the two words are combined – Jehovah Tsidkenu – it can be translated as “The Lord Who is our Righteousness.”

Jer 23:6 KJV – 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Jer 33:16 KJV – 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the namewherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

12. JEHOVAH SABAOTH (THE LORD OF HOSTS)

  • Jehovah and Elohim occur with Sabaoth over 285 times. It is most frequently used in Jeremiah and Isaiah. Jehovah Sabaoth is first used in 1Sa 1:3.
  • Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. 
  • Sabaoth (se bâ’ôt) means “armies” or “hosts.” 
  • Jehovah Sabaoth can be translated as “The Lord of Armies” (1Sa 1:3).
  • This name denotes His universal sovereignty over every army, both spiritual and earthly.
  • The Lord of Hosts is the king of all heaven and earth. (Psa 24:9-10Psa 84:3Isa 6:5).

Maz.24:9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. 

Maz.84:3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.

Yes.6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

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