Think of a time you met someone new. What is usually the first thing we do? We find out their name. As we develop relationships with people we often give them “nicknames” that hold a special significance about them or that speaks to our specific relationship. Sometimes people have many nicknames between different relationships, or they use a different nickname depending on a situation or setting. Those names are personal, and when we learn someone’s name or give them meaningful nicknames we learn a little bit more about who they are and we develop a closer bond.
God also has many names, and through knowing those names we get to learn more about Him and build a closer relationship with Him. Each name has its own significance and power. None of His names are empty or pointless. Here we get to dive into several of His names that tell us about His eternal glory and power, and so much more. We get to learn that Our God is forever; no beginning, and most importantly no end.
Ancient of Days (Aramaic: Attiq Yomin)
God is Active in History
'"As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.' Daniel 7:9
In the book of Daniel, God shows Daniel a vision of an old man in white, sitting powerfully on his throne. The man was not God, or even what God looks like, but it was meant to impress God’s dignity and power upon Daniel.
'As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. ' Daniel 7:21-22
Daniel called the impression of God Ancient of Days, or in the original Aramaic, Attiq Yomin. This means Ancient One, and tells us of how God is present in all of time and judge over all of time and creation. God is the everlastingly supreme authority.
The God Who Sees (El Roi)
Responder of Needs
'So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, "You are a God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." ' Genesis 16:13
El Roi is Hebrew for the God Who Sees. It expresses that God responds to our needs, and that He knows everything about us, our lives, and our circumstances throughout our past, present and even our future. The God Who Sees knows exactly what we need even before we do and will always provide for us in the ways and timing He knows is best. He will always be there with you, watching over you, and preparing the way for you.
Everlasting God (El Olam)
'Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord , the Everlasting God. ' Genesis 21:33
Sometimes it is really difficult to feel like anyone could understand what we are going through. It feels like no one else could ever have possibly been through it, and no one could possible know what is ahead for us. I have certainly felt like there is no way anyone could know the hurt I’ve experienced, and like there was no end in sight for the suffering. Fortunately for us, though, all of that is a lie Satan likes to tell us so that we don’t know the truth about El Olam.
' May his name endure forever [Olam], his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! Blessed be the Lord , the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever [Olam]; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!' Psalms 72:17-19
Our God, El Olam, is forever. He is eternal; everlasting. There is no beginning and no end to Him. He exists in all of time, and with that His love, grace and mercy lasts forever. He has seen everything, experienced it all Himself, and lays out the path for each of us. There is hope in the future He has laid out for us. We are never alone because El Olam is constant forever.
The Holy One of Israel (Qedosh Yisra’el)
Set-apart God of Israel
' But now thus says the Lord , he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.' Isaiah 43:1-3
People are pretty broken. We carry lots of baggage, hold onto a lot of guilt and shame, and fight every day not to fall into depression and despair. It is so hard to find a place we belong. Growing up I was the complete outcast. No one liked me, my “friends” were cruel, and I suffered immensely while trying to figure out my own place in the world. I didn’t think I belonged anywhere, and so I didn’t want to be anywhere. But rather than my life slipping away by my own hand, The Holy One of Israel grabbed hold of my heart and told me “I love you, I made you, and you have a purpose.” In my own deep, dark hole God found me and pulled me out through the muck. It was a very long, difficult journey, and still is, but I learned through that struggle that God saves us, redeems us, and carries us through our pain and suffering. That is Qedosh Yisra’el. When we give in to Him, we find salvation. When we fight Him, hate Him, reject Him we do not get to know this truth about Him.
' Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord , they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.' Isaiah 1:4
Leader who pronounces judgement
'Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" ' Genesis 18:25
You ever catch yourself talking about the choices of others? Who they choose to love? How they choose to live? What they choose to eat? What they do for work? The money they make? The things they have? The mistakes they’ve done? We do it all the time. We judge others, while we sit here with our own choices, our own mistakes, our own baggage. Do we have a right to judge? Nope! That is not our job, nor is it our responsibility - and that’s a hefty responsibility.
Shapat is the Judge. Our God is the leader who pronounces judgement. That is His job. He carries that burden. When we take it upon ourselves to judge others we are not loving others as God calls us to (1 Peter 4:8, Philippians 2:3-4, Matthew 5:43-48, 1 John 4:7-21, and more). God carries out judgement while our role is to live faithfully by His commands.
' For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.' Psalms 37:28
There is so much to know about Our Amazing God. He is an incredible, never-ending provider who serves as our comforter and our judge. I cannot wait to keep diving into more of who God is next week as we continue our Names of God series. Don’t forget to check it out!