What’s in a Name: The Names of God

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What is a name?  Google defines “name” as: “a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to” .  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary refers to it as “a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing“.  So in essence, a name is a word by which something’s distinctiveness is known, what makes that particular something unique.

Often, we just refer to God as “God”, but sometimes we say “Father” or “Lord”.  Would it surprise you to know that God has many different names and titles?  Can you name a few?  How many?  Did you know that some sources say there are as many as 900 different references to God?  Amazing.  If a name tells us what a thing IS, maybe we can learn more about who God is, just by studying His name.  Here are a few names that we use when we refer to God: the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, the Maker, the Godhead, Jehovah/Yahweh; Father, Son, Holy Ghost/Spirit; the Holy Trinity; and even “The Man Upstairs” (although, this one seems a tad irreverent).  Over the next few weeks I’d like to explore some of these names in an attempt to know God better.

Let’s start by looking at what just the English name “God” means to us.  Once again, Google says God is: “the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being“.  Merriam-Webster defines the word as this: “a spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc., and that can affect nature and the lives of people“.  Already we have some synonyms that we use for our God that describe His nature: creator, ruler, source of all authority.  He is: powerful, strong, knowledgable, supreme, and able to affect all that He has created.  Already we are painting a word picture of the distinctiveness of God, the personage of God.

The next few weeks we will study the names God is referred to in the Bible, specifically the Old Testament since it is there that we are first introduced to our Creator.  Each one gives us an idea of who God is and why He deserves our worship and obedience.  Hope you’ll join me! God bless!

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