Different Names of God Explained
God is one who wears many hats and performs many functions. To some, He is referred to as Daddy or Abba Father, and to others, He may be Best friend, Comforter, or Lover. God will always reveal himself through a need that we have. For example, in order to know God as the provider we must be brought to a place of great need, and to recognize him as the Prince of Peace, we must first recognize the chaos we face outside of Him. In this same spirit, In the Old Testament pioneers of the faith gave Him names based on the way He manifested Himself to them in their trials and needs. Here are some of them explained below:
JEHOVAH JIREH: The Lord who provides.
Abraham was a devout man of God commonly referred to as the father of Faith as a result of his unreserved trust in God. As difficult and heartbreaking as it was when God asked him to sacrifice and kill his only son Isaac, whom he loved and waited so very long for, he obediently took Isaac to the mount and was ready to sacrifice him. Thankfully, at the very last minute, God blessed him with a lamb for the sacrifice in place of his son. From this encounter with God Abraham was able to recognize him as Jehovah Jireh, the Lord God who will provide. Similarly, just like earthly fathers would try their best within their human limits to provide for us, our Heavenly Father too would not spare us anything we need. He will always make sure we do not lack anything necessary for the phase of life he has put us in.
JEHOVAH RAPHA: The Lord who heals.
God desires that all his children be whole in body, mind, and spirit and free from any infirmity or disease. It is very easy to fall into the temptation to run to modern medicine when we feel something wrong in our bodies but often times He is willing to heal us with his own hands if we just ask and believe. Also, more important than healing our corruptible flesh, he wants to heal our soul and spirit from any dents or bruises. He also wants to heal us from the guilt and weight of sin, the vices we struggle with, and the past hurts that it seems we can never recover from. He wants to heal us so we can be in constant communion with Him because the greatest achievement of a person is having a spirit that is in fellowship with its maker but sometimes our mess can block that connection.
JEHOVAH NISSI: The Lord our banner.
A banner is anything that bears a symbol, a logo or a message that represents something or someone. When the Israelites were in battle with their enemies God told Moses to stand on a hill and lift up his rod as they fight. As long as the rod was up, they won but when he brought it down, they lost the battle. God wants to be the banner in our lives. He wants to have the upper hand in anything we do because only then can He guarantee us victory in the battles we fight. We can rest assured of success as long as He is in the forefront of our lives. The moment we decide to let him take the back seat while we hold the reins to our lives is the moment we start losing the battle. The Lord is our banner, the one who represents us, and will fight on our behalf.
YAHWEH ROHI: The Lord our Shepherd
The relationship between a shepherd and his sheep is a metaphor that can closely illustrate the relationship between God and his children. The shepherd will build a pen for his sheep, make sure they are fed and watered, make an extra shed for them to keep warm when it is cold, and he will stay awake when they are asleep to protect them from wolves that would come to prey on them. He knows each of his sheep by name and if any one of them were to go missing he would secure the remaining ones to go after the missing one. The sheep knows his shepherd’s voice and would not respond to any other voice but his. In our lives God, if we let him, will be our shepherd. He will be the one who takes care of us, protects us from the enemy, provides everything we need and His will be the only voice we listen to.
These are just some of the many names of God! As we go and grow in our spiritual walk with God we will find many other names of God to ring true depending on the relationship you have with him! What is your favorite name of God?
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