O God, I’m so excited for this journey on which I’m about to embark. I’m thirsting not only to know more about You, but also to know You more. God, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to discover who You truly are. Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to understand eternal mysteries that only You can reveal on this exciting adventure. Give me the discipline to do my work, the perseverance to continue when I want to give up, and the mind to practically apply all that I learn. Enable me to taste and see that You are good. Show me marvelous things from Your Word. Reveal Your majesty, show me Your glory, and draw me so close to Your heart that I feel, down to the marrow of my bones, that You are the All-Consuming Fire! I ask all this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Watch this Video Overview of the Study
In the beginning, God created everything: the Heavens above and the earth below. Here’s what happened. — Genesis 1:1
The Word declares that our God is a personal God and a loving and forgiving Father. He demands justice, yet extends grace. He is kind and compassionate and allows for free will, but mandates that this free will has consequences when wrongly exercised. However, be- cause of His grace, in the midst of those consequences, God extends mercy and promises to never leave us or forsake us.
Do you ever wonder what our world would be like if everyone knew our God in this way? I do… often.
The notion that God has continued to impress upon my heart is this: if we are to introduce others to the God whom we know and love, then we must know Him better. When I first had this thought, hard questions followed. Wendy, how well do you really know Me? My heart, My character, My names, and the attributes those names represent?
I must confess — I did not. When I first started reading the Bible, I noticed that the writers referred to God by other names now and then. But I did not pay much attention or question why, and often I could not even pronounce the names! As I studied the Bible more, I learned that each name meant something; sometimes the name pointed to an aspect of God’s character, and other times it pointed to how He relates to His people. Over time, I could recite many of those names and pray them eloquently, but I really didn’t understand all of them or know where each name originated.
So I immersed myself in the pages of His Word once again, this time inviting God to unveil Himself to me in a fresh way. I prayed, “Show me who You are, God, and why I should care. Reveal to me why You are worthy of being called the One True God; why I should unabashedly love and serve You and You alone. Decipher Your names. Make known Your character. Help me know You better so I can live and walk in the image in which You created me.”
As I poured myself into the Scriptures, God answered my prayers. And the more I approached God’s Word with an open heart, the more I fell in love with God’s wonderful names — the names that reveal the vastness of His character. The names that affirm the work He does on our behalf.
Friend, the more deeply we explore our God, the more we are able to move beyond simply knowing about Him to truly knowing Him. And as that love grows and our relationship strengthens, God settles into that special place—reserved solely for Him—that He created in our hearts. We become a living, breathing vessel through whom God can work in this world. He transforms our hearts, and through our changed hearts God can change the world.
Our newfound knowledge will give us privileged access into God’s heart and open new ways for us to experience Him in quiet time, prayer, and worship.
So let’s turn our attention to Elohim (pronounced el-o-heem), the God who created us.
We find our first name of God in Genesis 1. In an English-language Bible we see the word God. But in the original Hebrew language, the word was Elohim. The word el is a generic word for god. It refers to our God as well as other, pagan gods. The writers of the Bible added the word im to the end of this generic name. This is like adding an “s” to the end of a word in English; it makes the word plural.
So the noun Elohim is plural, but it is always used with a singular verb. What does this mean? It means Elohim signifies one triune God, not many gods. This unique use of the plural Elohim to refer to one, individual god is unique to the God of the Bible. No other God has the name Elohim.
Why is this significant? Because it indicates a unity and diversity within the nature of God. The Hebrew language often pluralized nouns to express greatness and multiple attributes. With the name Elohim, this unity and diversity captures the doctrine of the Trinity — one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Though the exact meaning of Elohim is not known, the name itself incorporates the idea of strength and power and speaks to the supremacy of God as He reveals Himself through His creation. We find it in the opening words of Genesis 1: “In the beginning, God created everything: the heavens above and the earth below …” (Genesis 1:1a).
Watch the Video for Session 1
In the beginning God created. Our universe does not exist by accident. God acted freely and intentionally with each word He spoke. He executed each stage of creation’s design. Just look around you — the glorious beauty that lies before you has been carefully crafted by a living, personal, creative God! Elohim purposefully placed earth in its exact location and deposited each one of His created people on that earth at a specially ordained time and place in order to accomplish His purposes!
Read Acts 17:24-27
How do Luke’s words confirm the truth that God is Creator?
Throughout Scripture, God’s Word affirms and confirms that He is the Creator. Read the following verses and share what you learn about Elohim.
- Psalm 8:3-9
- Proverbs 3:19
- Isaiah 40:26
Our God has done great and unsearchable things beyond our comprehension. He brought into existence every natural wonder the eye can see: every twinkling star, every delicate snowflake, every drop of rain, every billowy cloud, every crisp cool day, every roaring sea, every clap of thunder, every bolt of lightning, every majestic mountain — all gifts shaped and fashioned by our Creator. Elohim’s invisible qualities echo throughout our world:
From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people. — Romans 1:20
Elohim dictates the rising and the setting of the sun. He sets the boundaries of the sea. The stars rise and fall at His command. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has been or ever will be that His hand has not created.
Take some time today to thank God for His creation. Look outside your window. Remember the sights and sounds from any of your trips to the mountains or the beach. Praise Him for all He has created for your enjoyment and pleasure! Write your prayer of praise.
Excerpted with permission from I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God by Wendy Blight, copyright Wendy Blight.
* * *
Come join the conversation on our blog. We would love to hear your thoughts on the name of God – Elohim!