Remember that great hymn ‘Immortal Invisible God only wise ‘, the last phrase of the verse is ‘Thy great name we praise’. What’s in a name?
Down through the ages particularly seen in biblical times there has been a disposition to recognise conditions, ancestors, circumstances, personality, genealogies or blessings when naming a child. William Shakespeare when penning Romeo and Juliet asks ‘What’s in a name?’ In todays modern society naming children does not particularly follow the trends of past ages. However if we consider the names in the Bible there is great significance in them, especially when considering the name that is above every name. To the Hebrews of old the name of God revealed the nature of His character. His names are many and each one is like a facet of a diamond shining forth with a beauty all of its own yet complementing the whole gem stone. I believe there is at least 27 particular names of the Father in the Old Testament, names such as El Olam – God of Eternity, Jehovah Elohay – The Lord my God, Jehovah Gmolah – The God of Recompense.
Let us consider God’s name first mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures Genesis ch1 vs1. ‘In the beginning God’ Here the Hebrew word is ELOHIM. This 1st verse you could say is His signature of His book that Holy men would write under the inspiration of His Holy Spirit. ELOHIM is in the plural form speaking of the Trinity acting in union. This name ELOHIM is being used here in context with His Creative Power. This name means God the strong, powerful and mighty creator. In the first two chapters of Genesis this name is used 35 times when speaking of His Creative Power. Remember ch1 vs26, ‘Let us make man in OUR image’. (Check Ex20 vs11 – the father, check Col ch1vs16 – the Son, check Job ch26 vs13 – the Holy Spirit) The Trinity in creation. With ELOHIM being all knowing He knew that man would fall therefore we can see not only His creative power and might in His name but we can also see His grace. Hallelujah what a God we have. THY GREAT NAME WE PRAISE.
Looking at another facet of God’s names. It is found in Genesis ch14 vs18, when Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings meets Melchizedek priest of the most High God – EL – THE STRONG ONE. If you remember Abraham gave tithes to the priest, demonstrating his recognition of Melchizedek as the high priest of EL the strong one. Abraham here I believe is showing his faith in God the strong one EL and attributing the victory over the. 4 kings to Him.
EL is frequently used when He is using His great power. EL’s name is also given to the promised Messiah in Isaiah ch9 vs6 & 7. Perhaps the most sacred and expressive use of EL is found in Psalms 22 v1 where Christ appeals to El the strong one when experiencing the agony of the Cross. ‘My’ God, my God why hast thou forsaken me’ . In the new testament Jesus personalises it when He cries out in His humanity ‘ELOI, ELOI- my strength, my strength’. God was His strength on the Cross EL – the strong one, is distinctly a part of the character of God the Father and God the Son, surely therefore when we consider Philippians ch4 vs13 ‘ I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me’, It means so much more knowing the depth of that glorious name. Trust The Father El and trust Christ the Son for your strength. Hallelujah, a double portion is there for us whenever we are combating the world, the flesh and the devil and whenever we are on our knees praying to overcome Temptation. Oh yes THY GREAT NAME WE PRAISE.
There are many more names of God to speak of yet but sufficient for the day.