In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End… I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:13, 16).
And all the many Names in between.
But last Thursday during my quiet time, I was impacted afresh with four names for God from just two small verses.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2, NIV
Nothing in Scripture is haphazard or random. The psalmist specifically chose to pen these names of God for a reason. He wanted us to understand something about God’s character and how we should respond to Him. So I looked up the original Hebrew words and their meanings. (Note: This list only includes the names the NIV treats as proper names and not the other descriptions of God found in these verses!) I hope you will be blessed as I was!
1. Elyon – Most High
Elyon means “high, upper, highest.” The term was used of rulers and monarchs. The psalmist used Elyon to signify the exalted majesty and supremacy of God.
Even the absolute greatest ruler in all history or the most majestic thing on earth cannot compare to the exalted nature of God. He is so far above anything we can even contemplate. Some scholars refer to this aspect of God as “Otherness.” God is so beyond all created things that He is “other” than us.
He is Elyon. Our God Most High!
2. Shaddai – Almighty
Shaddai combines two Hebrew words meaning “who” and “self-sufficient.” It is used 48 times in the Old Testament as a title for God and translated as “Almighty” in English. Our Almighty God is completely self-sufficient. He needs nothing outside Himself. He needs nothing from us.
And yet, Shaddai bids us come to Him and rest in the shadow of His protection.
3. Yahweh – LORD
When you see “LORD” in all caps in the OT, it is the English translation of the Hebrew word Yahweh or Jehovah. Yahweh is the personal name of God. The ancient Jews held it such reverence they dared not speak it aloud but referred to is simply as “the Name.”
Yahweh means “the existing one.” Jehovah has no beginning and no end. He has no source or cause. He is the Source and Cause of everything.
He IS. This fact is both simple and unfathomable. It is glorious and fearsome. Yahweh.
4. Elohim – God
Elohim is the plural form of El, which is the basic Hebrew word for God or god. Frequently used in the Bible with singular verb forms, Elohim does not denote multiple Gods, but instead is intended to multiply the intensity of God’s majesty.
Our great Elohim is high and lofty in His majesty. His greatness and His power knows no bounds.
Let us worship our God today:
Elyon, You are high and exalted.
Shaddai, You do not need us, yet you bid us come.
Yahweh, You are the One who IS.
Elohim, You are majestic and glorious.
Would love for you to add your words of praise to our Great God in the comments!