I am blessed to live in a beautiful place. When most people think of Alabama, they don’t realize that it includes over 30 miles of beautiful Gulf Coast beaches and one of the most exotic ecosystems in America, the Mobile Bay and Delta. I can drive 20 minutes south of my home and paddle surf or 20 minutes north of my house and hunt for dove and deer. My wife and I have Friday morning date walks on the bluffs overlooking the bay just 5 minutes from my front door. I say all of this to tell you that I also happen to believe all of this stunning beauty I’m describing was created…by someone. Now, before you write me off as another crazy Bible thumping nut, let me point out that I am by no means alone in my conclusion. Many well know scientists and astronomers call it intelligent design. The world and the universe look like they were intentionally made. I would agree, and I’d say they look like they were created because they absolutely were created.
The first name for God we find in the Scripture is Elohim. This name is in the book of Genesis. It is a beautiful name and it packs great meaning. Elohim is the strong creator God. The name is a description of the God I believe in with all of my heart and life. The Bible also reveals that God created everything we see and know out on nothing. The term for this is Ex Nihilo. My kids love building things with legos, and they can be pretty creative, but they don’t ex nihilo. They need raw materials to build with, as do all humans. Man has never created anything out of nothing. Only Elohim has this kind of power.
I’m so thankful Elohim is powerful and creative. I enjoy creation. I love the outdoors, and I love raising kids to enjoy it as well. I want you to know that God created this universe for His glory but also for our enjoyment. Science is telling us now that just getting outside for a bit can have huge physical and mental benefits. This creation is really good! I hope that wherever you live, whether it’s a booming metropolis or a lake in the mountains, you will enjoy God’s creation and admire His work. Don’t worship the creation, but certainly appreciate it. The next time you feel a gentle breeze or hear a rolling thunder, think of Elohim. When the sun warms your face and the sound of crickets chirping dances in your ears, give thanks to Him. He is the creator. He is Elohim. He created the world. He also created…you.
The Bible is God’s revelation to us. In other words, God has revealed Himself to us through the scriptures in a very specific way. Now, this obviously raises the value of Scripture to an infinitely lofty place, but it also means that if we want to really know God we must move beyond His general revelation in creation and our own consciences and go to His Word to find out Who He really is. It is there in His Word that we find this amazing God has many names. God reveals Himself to us through different names and getting to know them will only enhance our relationship with Him.
It is important to note that the multiplicity of His names does not convey a multitude of gods. No, we serve and worship one God. But, as the scriptures teach us our one God exists as the Trinity in three persons. We are monotheistic as Christians. In the Old Testament we find God’s people running into people groups who were polytheistic. They believed in many gods. Many had a “throw it at the wall” approach to religion to see what would stick. Thankfully, the one true God has told us exactly who He is.
In the Old Testament book of Exodus, God stunningly through a burning bush speaks to an 80 year old shepherd, Moses. Moses had spent the first 40 years of his life living as a royal Egyptian. Upon learning of his Hebrew ancestry, Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating one of the many Hebrew slaves. This forced him into the desert for a 40 year career of herding sheep. It is here that Moses encounters the living God who speaks to him. God tells Moses of His plan to rescue the Hebrews from slavery, and how He intends to use Moses to do this. Moses then asks God an obvious question……what is your name? Moses knew both the Egyptians and the Hebrews would want to know just who this God was that Moses was representing. To Moses surprise, God answered.
“I am that I am. “ Simple, powerful, and revealing. This is where we get the English word Jehovah. This is God’s primary name. He is the great I Am. The name means the self existing and self revealing God. What a name!! God needs nothing, but for His glory and our good He reveals Himself to us! It also means that you and I don’t get to define God for ourselves. God must be known as He reveals Himself. We don’t get to put Him in any box because He refuses to exist in any man-made box. God wants you to know Him as He is……the I Am.
I encourage you to spend some time thinking about this majestic name of God. Jehovah, the great I Am. He is a real God Who is really alive. He is a God Who can be known. I’ve experienced that the more I know Him, the more I love Him. He is amazing.