God has many different names in the Old Testament. Each title exemplified his distinctiveness and his power. Similarly, Jesus Christ has parallel titles in the New Testament, which reveal his many facets.
The “Psalm of David” (Psalms 23) illustrates God’s direction, protection, and guidance in the life of the believer, which corresponds to his many titles used throughout the Bible.
1. Jehovah-Nissi: God Is My Refuge
Moses’s faithfulness resulted in Israel’s preservation and victory in battle. In Exodus 17:11, we learn that “when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” As Moses’s hands grew weary, a stone was placed under him while Aaron and Hur helped by keeping Moses’s hands in the raised position. Following the victory and triumph, “Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi,” which is translated to either the “Lord is my refuge” or the “Lord is my banner” (Exodus 17:16).
In 1 Corinthians 15:57, Paul taught “[b]ut thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” God provided the victory and provision for Israel, while we receive salvation provided through and by the shed blood of his son Jesus Christ.
2. Jehovah-Jireh: God Will Provide
“I shall not want,” (Psalm 23:1).
We learn another name for God in Genesis 22:13-14: Jehovah-Jireh or “God will provide.”
In the Old Testament, Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his son Isaac for an offering. After the altar was constructed, an angel of the Lord “called off” the need for Isaac to be the offering because the Lord saw “that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (Genesis 22:12).
In 2 Peter 1:3, we are told Christ and “his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
If we know God and have a relationship with his son Jesus, we know he is a great provider. Not only does he provide for our daily needs of physical sustenance, but he provided for our eternal need in his plan of salvation.
Paul taught in Acts 4:12, “[n]either is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
3. Jehovah Rapha: God Heals
God was Jehovah Rapha, or “God that healeth” (Exodus 15:26), as he promised not to put “these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
In Matthew 9:35, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Just a few of the many healings of Jesus during his life on Earth are specifically recorded in the Bible.
In 1 Peter 2:24, we are promised spiritual healing and life by and through Christ who “himself bore our sins in his own body on the cross.”
4. Jehovah-Shalom: God Our Peace
In Judges 6:24, God is referred to as Jehovah-Shalom, which means “God our Peace.” Here, Gideon built an altar unto the Lord after he said unto him, “[p]eace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.”
To prophesy the savior’s birth, it is written in Isaiah 9:6, “[f]or to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulder. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The world will always be full of conflict and turmoil (2 Timothy 3:1-5). The scriptures teach this will increase until the second coming of Jesus Christ. However, believers of Jesus Christ are promised a different, sustainable peace. Take heart because Jesus said in John 14:27, “[p]eace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“He leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2).
5. Jehovah-Raah: God Our Way and Shepherd
He is Jehovah-Raah, “God our Way and Shepherd,” in Psalm 23:1.
John 10:11 Jesus calls himself “the good shepherd” as He “lays down his life for the sheep.”
In 1 Corinthians 2:12, Paul taught that the saved are guided by a Spirit foreign to non-believers when he stated, “[n]ow we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
He gives us direction and the discernment of circumstances, which allows us to be knowledgeable and make Spirit-led decisions.
6. Jehovah Tsidkenu: God of Righteousness
“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
In Jeremiah 23:6, God is referred to as Jehovah Tsidkenu, which is translated “God of Righteousness.” This proclamation was made in response to the promise that in the reign of David: “Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely.”
In 1 Corinthians 1:30, Paul told the church “[b]ut by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Jesus Christ changed the definition of the righteousness referred to in the Old Testament. When we have Jesus in our lives, we have righteousness not “of [our] own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:9).
More directly, Paul preached, “[f]or Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4).
7. Jehovah-Shammah: God Is There/Ever-Present
God is the “Ever present light” when He is introduced as Jehovah-Shammah in Ezekiel 48:35, in reference to a vast city.
In John 8:12 Jesus is the “Light of the World:” “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
God’s light today is shown through His people who are indwelled by the Holy Spirit: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14).
Most poignantly, in 2 Corinthians 4:3,4, Paul preached, “[b]ut even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” Darkness is simply the absence of light, not vice versa. Wherever Jesus is present, darkness is impossible.
While we believe in the Trinity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Bible refers to each entity and their specific function throughout the different periods. Old Testament prophesies and New Testament accounts about Jesus contain parallel references, fulling each of the seven names of God in the Old Testament.
Chad is a believer in Christ, attorney at law, wannabe golfer, runner, dog lover, and writer. He enjoys serving his church as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at his golf devotion par3sixteen.com. He and his wife Brandi reside in Tennessee with their canine son Alistair.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez