Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Names of God (Shaddai)

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen. 17:1)

A closer look:
The Almighty God – (El Shaddai or God Almighty) – meaning all sufficient, and Almighty

The name of God “Shaddai” is that which was revealed to and prominently used by the patriarchs Abraham (Gen. 17:1), Isaac (Gen. 28:3), and Jacob (Gen. 43:14).  God is able to grant Abraham the promise of seed despite his age, because He is Almighty.  The book of Job teaches us several divine works and character attributed to God Almighty:  He chastens men (Job 5:17), He hears prayers (Job 8:5), He is ineffable (Job 11:7), He is unconquerable (Job 15:25), He punishes the wicked (Job 21:20), He restores the repentant (Job 22:23), He grants understanding (Job 32:8) and life (Job 33:4).  His name “Shaddai” suggests two things:

1.  His power (to punish or destroy).  What a fearful thing it is to fall under the wrath of Almighty God! (see Is. 13:6)

2.  His providence (to nourish and establish).  What a wonderful thing it is to find grace in the eyes of God Almighty! (see Rev. 1:8)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Names of God (Elyon)

“(18) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  (19)  And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:  (20)  And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.  (21)  And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.  (22)  And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,” (Gen. 14:18-22)
A closer look:
Most High God – Elyon (literally, God most high) signifies His exalted and supreme position.

It is the occasion of the meeting between Abram and Melchizedek that we find for the first time the name “the Most High God.”  His name “Most High God” suggests His supremacy over all.  He is the highest, the exalted or supreme one.  Angels and demons refer to God as the “Highest” or the “Most High” (Lk. 2:14; Mk. 5:7).  Our prayers ought to immediately draw our mind and heart to recognize that God is the Most High (Ps. 7:17; 83:18; Matt. 6:9).  He is supreme, not us.  His will is the main thing, not ours.  His name “Elyon” suggests two things:

1.  His habitation is above all. (Deut. 26:15; Isa. 57:15; Psalm 83:18)

2.  His position is superior and sovereign over all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Names of God (El)

“Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.” (Isa. 31:3)
A closer look:
God – El (the singular form of the plural “Elim”) means “mighty”
Holpen – helped

“El” is the oldest name for God.  The term El was also used to reference false gods, or even heros, but we use this name to designate the only true and living God, the God of the Bible.  Daniel 11:36 recognizes God this way: “the God (El) of gods…”  While the history of the name El is obscure, His self-disclosure as El is not obscure.  Often the Old Testament uses El as a prefix;  for example, in Gen. 33:20 He is called “Elelohe-Israel” (or God, the God of Israel) in order to differentiate God from that which is worshipped by others as false gods.  Sometimes El is used as a suffix;  for instance,  in Isa. 7:14 the Lord Jesus is called “Immanuel” (literally “with us is God” – Barnes, or commonly “God with us”).  His name “El” suggests two things:

1.  His strength, might and or power.  His power is over all of nature and beings.

2.  His uniqueness among all that is.  He is transcendent from everything and everyone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Names of God (Elohim)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)

A closer look:
God – Elohim (the plural form of the singular name Eloah).
The Bible goes no further in proving the existence of God than by simply declaring the fact that God (Who was already in existence prior to the beginning of time) created everything. God’s name in the Hebrew is “Elohim.” Elohim is a plural noun, and can be translated “gods” (ex. Psalm 82:1, 6). When it is referring to the God of the Bible, it is properly translated in the singular “God.” The name God (Elohim) is the name that is most frequently used in the Old Testament. The term is taken from the root word “El” meaning strength or mighty. The Arabic equivalent being “Allah.” His name Elohim suggests three things:

1. His strength or might - He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all.

2. The plurality of persons within the Godhead - We have in the name “Elohim” an intimation of the Triune God, as each person was directly involved in Creation.

A. God the Father – Gen. 1:26
B. God the Son – John 1:1-2; Col. 1:16
C. God the Holy Spirit – Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4

3. The plurality of majesty - This is perhaps the most direct application to the uni-plural name of God. When we think of God, He is so immense, so ineffable, that within His divine essence is a vast, and incomprehensible array of attributes, and power that our finite minds cannot truly comprehend. Had He not reveal Himself, we would have no way of knowing Him.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Shepherd's Retreat

We are excited to announce the fruition of a ministry to IFB pastors in our locale (i.e. Southeastern PA).  Please contact us if you are interested in attending “The Shepherd’s Retreat” by calling us at 717-927-9227 ext. 3 or you may email me at pastorbill-at-mtziononline-dot-org (I spelled it out in order to avoid spam).  We certainly look forward to hearing from you.

You can read more about the Shepherd’s Retreat on our blog: http://www.mzbcsr.wordpress.com.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Doctrine and Practice

"This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." (Titus 3:8)

A closer look:
faithful - trustworthy, sure, or true
affirm - thoroughly confirm by word through preaching or speaking
careful - to exercise thought
maintain - practice

Good works stem from good doctrine. Daily reading and studying His Word, listening to the preaching of His Word at church, and sharing Bible principles and verses in conversation exposes us as believers to good doctrine. When sound doctrine is heeded, good works are the end result.