Updated: Sep 8
One of the ways that God’s character and power are made known to us is through the names attributed to Him in the Bible. To mention a few of these names from the Hebrew Old Testament…we find God called Adonai: The Lord our Master. We find Him called El Olam, meaning God Everlasting. We find Him referred to as El Hane’eman, meaning God is faithful. Scripture includes hundreds of names for God.
Studying God’s names, titles, and attributes is one of the ways that we get to know God as He has revealed Himself. Often, we have a limited view of God’s character and might. We may have learned about His glory and power, and yet not actually trust in His “Name,” meaning His character, His authority, and His promises as He has revealed them to us.
Learning the names of God is an effective way to immerse ourselves in who God is. It’s important to study these names in their settings—in the stories that inspired the name to be given. For instance, we are given a window of illumination into God through His name Yahweh in the story of Moses at the burning bush (Exod. 3). From a burning bush, God called Moses to return to Egypt as a deliver of God’s people out of slavery and into the Promised Land. Hesitant and insecure, Moses said, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His Name?’ What shall I say to them (Exod. 3:13)?”
"'What is His Name?’ What shall I say to them?"
In response to Moses’s query about who he should say sent him, God replies, “And God said moreover, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God [Yahweh Elohim] of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations (Exod. 3:15).” As God sent Moses to save His people out of slavery and into the Promised Land, He identified Himself as Yahweh. This name, Yahweh, is His personal name given to His people whom He will keep His promises to generation after generation…unto eternity.
In Hebrew, the Bible uses the name Yahweh over 6800 times. Yahweh our God is always present with His people, intervening on their behalf. So, what does knowing this name of God require of us? How do we respond in awe and obedience to the revelation that God provided at the burning bush? We learn that Yahweh is a personal God in covenant with His people. He is present in our lives. To believe these things and to act on them is to know in our hearts that God is with us, for us, and committed to delivering us from bondage into His marvelous kingdom. Therefore, we walk and talk with Him everyday, trusting Yahweh to direct our steps unto His path.
As you study through the names of God in Scripture and respond to what God has revealed, you will continue to grow into the likeness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we behold Him deeply we will bring glory to God and do great things in His name!