When your last name is Smith, there is a lot of pressure to pick a good first name for your kid. Common names like John or Mary result in complete anonymity. John Smith? There are a blue million of them (no offense to any John Smith’s out there). With each of our three children, we struggled to find just the right name to go with their common surname. It was late into each pregnancy before we settled on a name.
We named our first born Claire, which means bright. She is her name. She came out full of personality with a strong will and unquenchable curiosity to match. Our second daughter got a double name because, well, we couldn’t agree on a single name. Sarah Kate means pure princess. She is all about the frills and lip gloss, just like a princess. She is just as passionate about doing the right thing. Her heart is so kind. She lives up to her name.
We finally got to choose a boy name with our third child. Alas, we still couldn’t agree. The family voted and Barrett won. Barrett means bear power. I have two children who live up to their name. Why did I agree to this name knowing it might mean I would birth a man-cub? He is young, but he is bear power. He is strong and determined. He is also protective and loyal. I’ll take it!
Names and their meanings carry such power. This is especially true of the names of God
I headed into this week with a heavy heart. I wanted to quit a lot of things and try to find an easier way to do life. I pressed into God, and He responded with the assurance of His presence. He reminded me of His character through His many names. The trials didn’t end; in fact, they grew. However, God held me close and whispered His names to me.
This week’s #FridayFive is an all-out celebration of our God! We are here to worship a God who first introduced Himself as Elohim, the strong, Creator God (Gen. 1:1). He revealed Himself to His people through the pages of scripture with names such as Jehovah Malakh (The Angel of the Lord, Gen. 16:7) and Jehovah Shalom (The God of Peace, Judges 6:24). I included five of the names of God that brought me comfort and strength this week.
Elohenu Olam: Our Everlasting God
For this God is our God for ever and ever (Elohenu Olam); he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14
I am mid-way through an incredible series by Lynn Austin, The Restoration Chronicles. It is historical fiction built around the Israelites’ return to Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity. The power of God is evident in scripture and proclaimed in Austin’s novels. As I read, I am reminded that the very same God who guided His people back to Jerusalem is the very same God I serve. The power of God displayed in the Old Testament is the same power available to believers today. God is an everlasting God; the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Elohe Tishuathi: God of My Salvation
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior (Elohe Tishuathi), and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Psalm 51:14
This Lenten season is a time of reflection on the sinfulness of man and the righteousness made available through Jesus’ death on the cross. I have had an opportunity to see some of my ugly in the past few weeks. In these moments of difficult self-reflection, I am ever thankful for Elohe Tishuathi, the God of my Salvation. Because God redeemed His creation through the sacrifice of His own Son, I am delivered from the punishment for my sin.
Elohei Mikkarov: God who is near
Am I a God (Elohei) who is near (Mikkarov), declares the Lord, and not a God far off? Jeremiah 23:23
This characteristic of God, His nearness to His people, has been particularly dear to me this week. During difficult times, I find comfort and hope in knowing that God is not absent or aloof. He is in the midst of my joy and my sorrow. This also means my sin is not hidden from Him. Even in that, I can find comfort. Nothing in my soul is hidden from His sight. He rejoices over me with singing and holds me close when I weep.
Ruach Hakkodesh: Holy Spirit
Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakkodesh) from me. Psalm 51:11
In John 14, Jesus prepared His followers for His death and ascension. He promises the Holy Spirit saying, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things.” During this trying week, the presence of God in my ministered to me. He spoke to me as I read His word. He helped me form my scattered thoughts into prayers. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that the presence of God abides in me through the Holy Spirit. Yet I know it to be true as sure as I know my own name. I can sense His presence, feel His power, and hear His voice.
Immanuel: God with us
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (Immanuel). Isaiah 7:14
Jesus. God with us. Imagine it for just a minute—the wonder of that thought. God with us. God who is holy, seated on the throne in heaven, came to earth to walk among us. I am humbled by the extravagant love of God. It is a love that knows no limit. If He came to earth to be with us, I know He will stand with me now in my time of need.
#FridayFive Link Up
Reflecting on the names of God brings comfort, peace, and engages us in worship. God is near to you in a personal way. You may hold tight to The God Who Heals or God Our Refuge. What name of God is significant to you today? Share in the comments or link up using the button below. For a quick guide, visit TonyEvans.org. For an even deeper study, join Proverbs 31 Bible study class, I Know His Name by Wendy Blight. Registration ends February 27, so grab your spot today!
Be sure to come back next week and share Five Obstacles. Tell us how you overcame them or share some obstacles you struggle to overcome. Strengthen and encourage us by sharing some strategies for overcoming obstacles. We can rejoice with you and pray for you!
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