We see the word ‘god’ in many religions. Often the gods also have their own names. In Christianity, God is also often addressed by the word God. Why? Because Christians believe that there is only one God. That’s also why they always write it with a capital letter. But did you know that in the Bible, the most important book for Christians, there are many other names for God? They all say something about the character and deeds of God.
Some names of God
In Exodus God calls himself I Am. This name is also known as the letters YHWH, which is often pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah. This roughly translates to I Am. This name describes God’s presence; He is always there, always with you. The name Yahweh occurs about 7,000 times in the Old Testament.
Adonai – My Lord
The Jews do not pronounce his name Yahweh out of respect for God. Instead they call him ‘Adonai’ which means ‘my Lord’ or ‘my Master’.
Bore’ – Creator
Do you ever go on a holiday trip to the mountains? Or to the sea or the snow? Or maybe you go for long walks in a forest. Isn’t it special what you see in nature? God designed that. How it looks, how it feels, how it smells and even how it works. Everything has been designed by God. Millennia ago He made it all. That is why we also call God ‘Creator’.
El Shaddai – Almighty
God is the most powerful person there is. He has all power in heaven and on earth. Because He has all power, He is also called the Almighty.
Abba – Father
This name describes who God is to people on a personal level. Everyone has a (biological) earthly father. God wants to be our heavenly father. He fulfills the role of a father who loves his children. It can be difficult to see God that way if your own experience with your father is not so good. But God still wants to fulfill the role. Where your earthly father has failed you, God does not fail. He wants to protect, guide and love you. He wants to be an example of what a good father should be. And if we may call him Abba, father, it means we are his children.
El-Olam – Eternal God
Can you imagine? Always exist? God’s existence is actually like a circle; there is no beginning and no end. God is always there and is therefore also called the Eternal God.
Yahweh Yireh – God provides
The word Yahweh occurs more often in the names of God. Now with the addition of Yireh. Combined, Yahweh Yireh means: God will provide. God always knows what you need most deeply and He will make sure that you lack nothing. This often seems different, but God will never let go of what He started with. He once started with you and He wants you to choose to trust Him.
Agape – Love
God is a very loving God, so loving that He Himself is called love. God is love. Everything He does is also out of love. It may not really be a name, but it describes Him very well. He also always wants the best for you, because He loves you. Sometimes that is quite difficult to understand, because we do not know everything. We cannot see which choice has the best consequences and can therefore sometimes make the wrong choice. God really wants to help you in your life, so that you make the right choices.
Yahweh Rapha – God will heal
This name means God will heal. In the Bible we come across many stories of God healing people, especially in the New Testament, the second part of the Bible. “Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.” Matthew 15:30.
But these miracles are not just of the past; many people still experience miracles. Watch this video about Tom, who experienced a miracle himself.
All names of God say something about his identity and character. Which name appeals to you the most?
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