Names of God: Elohim

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Last week, dear readers, we began a new series on the names of God.  Over the next couple of weeks, we will be focusing on three names in particular that will carry over into many of the others we will study later on.  They are the most used names and are often used to create compound names to describe God.

When God is first introduced to us in the Old Testament, He is referred to as “Elohim” (el-o-heem).  In Hebrew, this name means “mighty” or “strong”.  An interesting point to note about this name is that it is plural, being the plural form of “Elohe” which means “deity”.  This name is used over 2,000 times in the Old Testament.  In our modern bibles, the name is translated, simply “God”.  When used without an article (the), the word is used to refer to other “gods”, for instance, the Canaanite gods.

In the bible, Elohim is the Mighty Creator, the Author of Life.  He speaks and the world is:

“‘I made the earth
    and created man on it;
it was My hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded all their host’…

For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
    (He is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
    (He established it;
He did not create it empty,
    He formed it to be inhabited!):
‘I am the Lord, and there is no other’.” – Isa. 45:12,18

Elohim simply spoke the world into existence. Our gloriously wondrous world and all it’s splendors, words lovingly spoken from our Creator God.  He simply opened His mouth, and it happened. Imagine the awesome, raw power.

Elohim breathes Life:

“The Lord God [Elohim] formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” – Gen. 2:7

“[He] gives breath to the people on it
    and spirit to those who walk in it.” – Isa. 42:5

“In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12:10

He didn’t even have to speak this time, He breathed.  Sweet, life-giving breath flowed into Adam’s nostrils and he awoke.  That same life-giving breath lives inside us, filling us with God-breath, His essence.  He breathes and we live.  Inhale. Exhale. Think about your own breath and the life that it brings you.  Now think about how much more God’s breath brings Life to all each time He breathes.

Elohim is mighty.  Google defines “mighty” as: “possessing great and impressive power or strength”.  Doesn’t that sound like our God?  Impressive.  Great.  Powerful.

The Mighty One, God the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.

“…the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever”. – Jos. 4:24

Elohim is strong.

“The Lord is the strength of His people” – Psa. 28:8

“In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” – 1 Chr. 29:12

Awesome is God from His sanctuary;
    the God of Israel—He is the one who gives power and strength to His people.” – Psa. 68:35

His strength is our strength.  Our own weaknesses and limitations are nothing to Him.  Through Him we are empowered to do His will.  Empowered is a pretty amazing word.  Power dwelling within.  God’s life-breath, God’s awesome, raw power, living within His creation.  Amazing.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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