El Roi ~ Sometimes He whispers

In the book of 1 Kings in chapters 17-19 there is a story of a prophet Elijah. Elijah was very bold in his faith at a time when Israel was under great oppression by a king Ahab and his queen Jezebel. Jezebel was one of the most hateful women that ever lived. 

“And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of  Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. He erected and altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” 1 Kings 16:31-33

Ahab and Jezebel were wreaking havoc on Israel. They had set up these altars to Baal. Don’t miss verse 33 of the passage before that says “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel before him.” He was one bad guy and he was angering God. But this story is about Elijah. Elijah was a prophet that the Lord spoke through to Baal to predict a drought. We see Elijah in this story being bold in his faith and speaking out to Ahab. Then we see the Lord drawing him away to “hide” but what He was really doing was drawing him to Himself. In these chapters Elijah was very in tune with God. When God said go hide yourself by a brook, he did and the Lord sustained him there. When God sent him to Zarephath, and dwell there, he did and God worked through him. After three years, God sends him back to Ahab to confront him and God does a mighty work through Elijah on Mount Carmel. Elijah during all of this time kept his eyes on the Lord and even though every circumstance that came his way wasn’t perfect, he had great faith and God used him in a mighty way to show himself to Israel to turn the hearts of the people back to him. But in all of this Ahab and Jezebel were still evil and they were still doing all they could to hunt Elijah down to kill him. 

I paraphrased this story because of time, there is much more to it. It is a very interesting read but this brings us to a point in chapter 19 where Elijah is fleeing Jezebel and Ahab. This man who had stood so boldly for the Lord is now fleeing in fear for his life. He was weary from his ministry and speaking boldly for the Lord and now here he was in hiding and asking the Lord to just take his life. 

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying ‘it is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’” 1 Kings 19:4

Elijah had hit a low point. After years of following the Lord and doing ministry and seeing the Lord answer many prayers for him, he was tired and ready to just give up. But the Lord came and found him there. 

“And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’ And he looked, and behold there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.” 1 Kings 19:5

Elijah was in a low place yet the Lord found him there and he fed him and he gave him drink and he gave him rest. And this happened again. And the Lord sustained him for forty day and forty nights. Elijah had come to a cave to lodge in it and the Lord came to him again and asked him what he was doing? 

“He said, ‘I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:10

Elijah was down and depressed but this brings me to my favorite part of this story. 

“And he said, ‘Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold there came a voice to him.” 1 Kings 19:11-13

How many times do we look for God only in the big things? Elijah looked for Him in the wind, in the earthquake and in the fire but he found Him in the sound of a low whisper. Our God, our El Roi is personal to each of us and sometimes, He just wants to speak to us. He wants to come to us in the sound of a whisper. Elijah had to get alone and had to quiet the noise and had to nourish himself and had to rest to really hear the whisper of the Lord. I know I have to do that sometimes too.  

El Roi ~ Our Good Shepherd

“He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me; you rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

  Psalm 23:3b-4

We will continue with the 23d Psalm and looking at El Roi, our Good Shepherd. Yesterday we noted that the shepherd leads the sheep to food, water and rest and that when the sheep have all of those things that they experience safety, security and restoration. Today we will talk about the ways the shepherd guides the sheep. I used the NIV here because I like the way it states “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Other translations say “He leads me in paths of righteousness” which is also correct, but I think sometimes we have a hard time with looking at ourselves or our paths as righteous, when righteous only means right living. But the world skews our thinking so much that to us that may sound haughty. When the shepherd is out in the wilderness with their sheep, the shepherd has learned the right paths and the wrong paths to take. He is going to guide his sheep along the path that is right for them. One path may look right at the beginning, but the shepherd may know that right around the corner is a big drop off and it would be dangerous for the sheep. When we look to our shepherd, our El Roi, He also will lead us down the right paths. Some job, some school, some path in life may look good to us, but our Shepherd has the benefit of knowing all and if we will allow it, He will guide us down the right path, if for no other reason “for his name’s sake.” When we allow our lives to give God the glory then He will guide us down those right paths simply because it’s His name on the line. I can remember a time when our family was looking to make a move. Things were falling into place so perfectly, we were praying all the while though that the LORD would only allow it if it is what was best for our family. Soon after we prayed those prayers, the job went off the table. We were at first very confused, the job was perfect, there was talk that the company would buy our house and that they would provide us a place to live until we found another. How quickly we forgot our prayer LORD only allow it if it is good for us. Six months later the company had to pull out of the location they were taking us to and many people lost their jobs. How grateful we were then that the LORD had not allowed us to go. I truly feel that the LORD led us down the right path by not allowing it. 

That brings us to “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.” The time that the job didn’t go through was a dark valley. I wish I could tell you I held on and had no fear at all. I have walked through some other dark valleys. Other translations of this verse say “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” A few years ago when I lost my Daddy and my sister within 6 months of each other and a few weeks later learned that one of my best friends had an illness that was terminal, I felt like I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I have said it before, grief is hard, grief upon grief is almost unbearable. Looking back though at that time, I found myself in a position that I was having to walk so closely to the shepherd. And in that I found comfort by His leading and His guiding me. I knew that my walking with Him was not going to bring my people back. I knew I may not get answers as to why this was happening to them but I needed His comfort and His grace on my heart. It was one of the darkest times of my life, because of the loss my heart experienced as well as some other life experiences that happened soon after that, but as long as I stayed close to the shepherd, He was seeing me through. I wish I could tell you I never feared, I can’t. But I can tell you there is a direct relationship to the time I spent with the Shepherd and if there was fear in my heart. If I drifted away from the path, my heart would get anxious and fearful, if I stayed the course and spent time with Him daily, He sustained me, He would guide me and He comforted me. I felt seen by Him, even in the hard valleys of life. 

I’ve known this Psalm for years. I am sure many of you can say the same. But there is a difference in knowing the Psalm and knowing the main character of the Psalm. The LORD is MY Shepherd, I lack nothing, because I know Him and He knows me! I hope you feel seen by Him today too, you can, just spend some time sitting at His feet. Let Him lead you along the right paths. He will surely do it for His name’s sake!  

El Roi – The Good Shepherd

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures. 

He leads me beside still waters. 

He restores my soul.” 

    Psalm 23:1-3a

We know that El in Hebrew means God. Ro’iy in Hebrew means shepherd or looking, seeing or gazing. We have already discovered that El Roi means the God who sees me. This is such a tender name for God and I don’t know about you but studying this name just makes me feel cared for. Throughout scripture there are comparisons made to the shepherd caring for his sheep and the way God cares for us. Today we will look at the first couple of verses of the 23rd Psalm. It is believed that David was already a king when he wrote this Psalm. However, he knew the life of a shepherd, so David was not writing about something he knew nothing about. He knew the way he had cared for his sheep when he was a shepherd and David was making all the comparisons that God cared for him much the same way he had cared for his sheep. 

The sheep that David had cared for needed nothing when they were under the shepherds care. Some translations of this Psalm say “I lack nothing” instead of “I shall not want”. I must ask myself when I read it that way, what do I think I am lacking? Am I looking on the Lord as my shepherd in such a way that if he never answered another prayer for me I can honestly say I lack nothing. Is he enough for me? Am I coming to God daily with my wants, my desires, my requests, and laying them at His feet just to get something from Him, to get answers. Or when I come to Him is that enough even if I don’t get the answers I desire? Is His care for me enough? When you read this Psalm of David it seems to be it was enough. Of course we can argue that David was a king but scripture is also pretty transparent that even though David was a king, his household was far from perfect. 

When David was a shepherd he knew when his sheep needed rest. He would make them to lie down in green pastures and rest. He knew when they were thirsty and he would lead them to the water so they could drink. He knew that leading his sheep to a green pasture where there was still water nearby would make them feel safe and secure. David was looking to God for his own rest and nourishment so that he would feel safe and secure and the safety and security he would receive from God would restore His soul. I love that David penned this Psalm for us. 

When things get anxious for you as they do for all of us because, well that is just the world we live in, where do you go for safety and security? Do we turn to God to let Him restore our soul or do we turn to the world? Do we binge on television and/or Netflix? Or do we spend time with Him. Our Elohim who created us, who knows us inside out, our El Roi who sees us and knows what nourishment our soul needs. I have to admit that there have been plenty of times in my life I have looked at the wrong things when I was under stress and/or had anxiety building. I have looked to food or friends or other things to fill me up. But on those occasions that I bring my stress and my anxiety and my worries and my hurts to God, I will always walk away feeling rested and restored. No, I can’t promise you that your circumstances will change on a dime. But much like Hagar when she returned to Abraham’s household, El Roi will see you through whatever comes if we just keep looking to Him for restoration. 

El Roi ~ The God who sees me

Tucked away in Genesis chapter 16 is a story of a slave girl named Hagar. She is not necessarily one of the key players in Genesis that you hear of. You may or may not know her name right off the bat. Hagar was a slave girl to Sarai. You probably know who Sarai is, she became Sarah and was married to Abram who became Abraham. Well Abram and Sarai had already been promised by God that they would have children but years had already passed and nothing had happened so Sarai decided to take matters into her own hands.  

Sarai decided that since she had not conceived she would give her servant girl, Hagar to her husband and that she would have children through her. Boy that sounds like a good plan doesn’t it? And Abram agrees. So Abram goes in to Hagar and she does conceive. Now realize Hagar was in no position to say no. This was a practice that back in that time would have been totally acceptable. Abram could have stood up and been the spiritual leader of His home and said no. He could have recognized this as a bad plan. But he and Sarai had both lost sight of God’s ability to provide the promise. They had become discouraged with the passing of time and this shows it. They were both acting on their own rather than trusting God to fulfill the promise He had already made to them. 

Now even though Hagar was in no position to say no, we have to remember she was human. She became pregnant and when she did she became haughty and looked on Sarai with contempt. Sarai in turn, possibly out of jealousy, maybe out of her own feelings of “what have I done” dealt harshly with Hagar. So Hagar ran away. Then the most incredible thing happens. 

“The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” Genesis 16:7-8

As Hagar was running away, she was found by the angel of the LORD. The assumption is this was a pre-incarnate presence of Jesus. We know from scripture that no one has ever seen God face to face. So when we see places in the Old Testament and we know that Jesus was with God in the beginning it can make sense that this is Jesus. It’s a lot to take in, I know. 

This angel of the LORD finds her, He comforts her and asks her where she is going. Hagar doesn’t know where she is going, she is a slave girl and probably has no where to go when you think about it. Her response is “I am fleeing from my mistress, Sarai.” Now the Angel of the LORD tells her to return to her mistress, to these circumstances and submit to her. Abram and Sarai had sure made a mess of things with all of this. And I am sure that Hagar was not super excited about this advice. But the angel of the LORD also made her a promise. 

“The angel of the LORD also said to her, ‘I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.’” Genesis 16:10

Hagar realizes as she is getting this counsel from the angel of the LORD, actually from Jesus that if He can find her in the wilderness, then He can see her through these difficult circumstances. The next verse records Hagar’s response and it is so sweet and so tender. 

“So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’” Genesis 16:13

Hagar knew this was not just an angel she had had an encounter with. She had just had an encounter with God, with the pre-incarnate Jesus and He saw her. El Roi is Hebrew for “the God who sees me”. This was what Hagar says as she has received this word from Him, this comfort. She knew that God had found her where she was and He saw her. Even in the mess she was in, He saw her.  Also, I found that Ishmael means “God hears”. She was instructed to name her child Ishmael which would be a reminder to her every time she called his name that God had met her in the wilderness and heard her cry. He saw her in her despair, just like He sees you and me when we are in a difficult situation that may be born out of our own impatience and/or poor choices or may be someone elses. We have El Roi who sees us. Oh what a comfort that is! 

ELOHIM – Jesus

“In the beginnning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-3

I had probably been a Christian for a long time before I realized that Jesus was with God in the beginning of creation. Bear with me here. I had a very limited knowledge of the Bible when I became a Christian. I knew the songs Jesus Loves Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children and a few others as well as a few Bible stories but I hadn’t read the Bible other than a few times I visited church on holidays and with extended family and VBS. I knew Jesus was God’s son so the idea that He was there when the world was created didn’t seem possible to me. But yet that is exactly what John is telling us as he opens his writing in the Gospels. If you go back to Genesis there is support to it as well. 

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” Genesis 1:26

This fully supports that God was not alone when He was creating earth and all its inhabitants. And if you look at what John says everything was made with Jesus in mind. “All things were made through him.” My studying of God, Jesus as Creator led me to Colossians. 

“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17

You can’t study God as creator without thinking of Jesus, the firstborn of all creation. If not for Jesus we would not be here, God’s word says all things were created by him and all things were created through him and for him. God’s purpose in creating us is for Jesus. You know because of Jesus dying on the cross, we can get caught up in thinking of what He did for us. And He did do that for us. But it is really pretty awe-inspiring to realize we were created for Him. Our purposes are for Him, our lives are for  Him, our very existence is for Him.  

God, Elohim is creative. All that we have looked at this week, point to that. Therefore, when you think about it because we were made in his image and in his likeness we are all creative beings. This may be one of my favorite things about God and my relationship with Him. I like to create things. I like to paint, I sew, I like crafting things. And it’s pretty incredible to me that God put that inside of me. I feel closer to God when I am creating. But all of us are creative in one way or another. Even if art or crafting is not your thing, I’ll bet you can stop and think of something that you create. That is one of the ways God set man apart from the other living creatures on the earth. That is one of the ways we were created in His image, to be creative beings as well. You have original thoughts and ideas. Everything that goes through your mind isn’t something you read. No matter your profession, you have to think things through to figure them out. We all of have a place, a purpose, and a calling. The calling that God has put inside of you could be any number of things. Whether your calling is to be an accountant or an artist, a lawyer, a singer, a preacher or a teacher, it was put there by God. He created our mind, and He gives us our desires and our hopes and our dreams. He leaves it up to us to choose how we will use the gifts He gives us. Will we use them to glorify the one who created us or ~ not. We get to choose. 

Prayer: 

“You are Elohim, who made everything out of nothing, created order out of chaos, gave birth to all of nature, and called it good. Enable me to comprehend the vastness of Your glory and learn to live my life in a way that forever magnifies Your holy name.” 

(taken from a prayer in the book I Know His Name by Wendy Blight)

ELOHIM – Created in His Image

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We have talked about how God created the earth and everything in it in six days. And how on the sixth day he created man from dust, and then woman from man. But because of the fall, babies are now born from woman. 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

Childbirth is so amazing and we have already talked about it being one of God’s greatest miracles. But just as miraculous as the birth of a child is the miracle of the diversities and differences in our inward parts. What is also so mind blowing is how God gave each of us a free will. He gave each of us our own mind, we all have thoughts, hopes, wishes and dreams that are ours alone. And we get to choose how we are going to walk out this life. Are we going to walk in His love, grace and mercy or are we going to try to do this all on our own? 

When I look back over my life, there were times in my younger years especially when I tried to do this life on my own. Oh I might say I was a christian, but when it came to my day to day walk I wasn’t consulting God on what I should do with my life. And just to tell you the truth, I could have made a royal mess of it. I now shudder to think where I would be if not for His love, grace and mercy. He saved me from messes I didn’t even know to ask Him to save me from. But even though God gives us that free will to choose, we are all created with a purpose and a calling on our lives.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

This was the call God put on Jeremiah’s life but as that verse in Ephesians says we are all created for good works. 

When God created Adam and Eve they enjoyed close fellowship with God in the garden of Eden. After the fall and sin entering in, Adam and Eve were removed from the garden to work the land and to labor and toil. God still desired close fellowship but there were rituals and fellowship with God was harder to come by. However, when the fall took place and sin entered the picture, the plan was already set in motion to be able to renew us to fellowship with the Father. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins and when we accept Him and ask Him to live in our heart, we can enjoy this fellowship with God again and that is when we learn to walk as His workmanship. 

“assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:21-24

God didn’t create us to be robots or puppets but He created us for fellowship with Him. When you are in relationship with someone isn’t that relationship enhanced and deeper as you talk and get to know each other and each of you bring your own thoughts and ideas to the table. God created us so that we could think for ourselves. But when we have renewed our minds in Jesus, then is when we have put on the new self which is created in the likeness of God and the fellowship is so sweet. I do ask God for his guidance and His grace on my life now. I want to walk in the purposes He has created me for. 

“Elohim, thank you for creating me in Your image and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. In You, I am forgiven and redeemed and a new creation. Help me discover the woman You created me to be.” 

(taken from a prayer in the book I Know His Name by Wendy Blight) 

ELOHIM – Adam and Eve

“For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – he says: I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18 (NIV) 

We already touched on God’s creation of man, Adam, the first man. God formed Adam from dust and breathed life into him and he became a living creature. Then God planted the Garden of Eden as a home for Adam. Just reading the description of Eden brings images to mind that it was a beautiful, lush place. But really, I think even our images in our mind cannot come close to truly imagining the beauty of it. And then God felt Adam needed a helper so He performed the first surgery. 

“So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And from the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23

God created Adam and Eve and He put them in this beautiful garden where they could have lived forever if they had not eaten of that fruit. But they did eat the fruit and that caused the fall and sin entered the world. Yet even though that happened, God still blesses us and still created ways for humanity to continue. Women have pain in childbirth, yes. I went through it a couple of times myself. But the miracle that comes from God creating a baby in the womb of a mother, well it may be one of God’s greatest miracles. 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 

If you have ever gazed upon a newborn baby with their sweet soft skin and tiny fingers and toes you are viewing a miracle of God. The first man came from dirt, the first woman came from man. But God created the miracle of birth and He gave man and woman the great gift of being a part of it. Also look at the diversity that God as creator does through people. I have three sisters and while we have similarities, we also have our own unique looks, and thoughts and feelings. I have two sons and they are alike in some ways but different in so many ways. I have 3 grandchildren, one is still safely tucked in her mother’s womb for just a few more days we hope, but I find myself wondering what she will look like. Will she look like her sister or will she favor her brother more? What will be unique about her? What will be similar?  

That is just the diversities within a family. What of the diversities of people all around us? Today, I want to be intentional of looking at people as the miracle God intended us to be. Look at the differences as miracles, the different colors and shades of our skin, the different colors of eyes and hair. We are all different in size, shape and body type. Our Elohim, the God of creation is an amazing creator to be able to make each and every one of us as individual and unique as we are. Look into faces today and praise the creator of those faces, if you get the opportunity look at a newborn baby and praise Him ~ Elohim! 

ELOHIM – Creator of Heaven and Earth

I have read this first chapter of Genesis more times than I could ever count. But today I am asking God to show it to me with fresh eyes! As I was reading there were a few things I noticed this time, that I’m not sure I’ve ever taken note of before. 

First of all, have you ever thought of the fact that it says in verse 2 the earth was without form and void. It is so hard to imagine it and maybe we aren’t really supposed to be able to. But the bottom line is God, our creator, created the earth out of nothing. Now I am a creative. I love to paint, I’ve always been a little crafty and sometime I can hit it on the mark and sometimes whatever I am doing looks like a hot mess. I am a seamstress and sometimes I do well and sometimes I mess things up. But the thing is, I have to start with something. I can’t just make something of nothing. But God can. That’s what He did, He made the earth of nothing. 

The next thing I noticed was there were some things God just spoke into being and there were some things He made. 

“And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

That was the first day. 

“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. Genesis 1:6-7

That was the second day. 

On the third day: 

“And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so.” Genesis 1:9

“And God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.’ And it was so.” Genesis 1:11

On the fourth day, God spoke into being the lights in the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars. That are the signs for our seasons and they give us light day in and day out. And we found out yesterday he actually numbered those stars when he set them in the sky and calls them out by name. 

Then the fifth day, God created sea creatures and birds and He set them into the sea and the sky and He told them to multiply on the earth and fill the waters. 

And on the sixth day, God made the animals and the livestock and the insects. Have you ever really looked at all the animals and thought of how creative God is to have created the giraffe and the elephant and a dog and a cat. But still on the sixth day ~ 

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1:26

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them…” Genesis 1:27-28

God spoke many things into being, he made many things but God created man in his own image. Wow! And when you flip over to Genesis 2 in verse 7 he actually gives a little detail into how He did it. 

“then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7 

When God made Adam, the very first man, He actually breathed His very breath into Him to bring Him to life.

God created this earth and the sun, moon and stars, the sea creatures, the birds of the air, the livestock, the animals, the ants, the bees and insects and man in a six days. But the one that we get the most detail and that actually got the breath of God breathed into him was man. God spoke some things into being, He made things, but He formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. And He did it in His own image. 

I hope that hits you like it has hit me. It inspires me. It makes me sit in awe of Him and in awe of the desires that He has put inside of me. It makes me understand why when I am creating I actually feel a little closer to God. My Elohim, the God who created me. 

Elohim

I am going to be doing a study on some of the names of God. I have often heard someone pray or teach and they could call on the names of God at just a thought of whatever was the circumstance at the time and I have wished I knew what each name meant and where it was in scripture and could have recall like that. I will be using a little book by Wendy Blight called “I Know His Name” for my study along with God’s word of course, and I will start with studying the names that she has outlined.

This week we will study Elohim, the God who creates us. This is pronounced el-o-heem. It turns out that this is the first name of God mentioned in the Bible. When we read Genesis 1:1 we see God, but in the original Hebrew language the word for God was Elohim. 

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

The word el is a generic word for god. Notice the little g. Therefore it is plural as in God as well as other gods but when you add im to the end of the generic name it makes the word plural. But when Elohim is used in the Bible it is always used with a singular verb. This signifies one God, not many gods. But this one God is a triune God. You know God in three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Our God is unique in that He is a God of unity as well as a God of diversity in His nature. He is the only God who has the name Elohim, He has many attributes and characteristics not just one. 

To quote Wendy in her book: 

“Though the exact meaning of Elohim is not known, the name itself incorporates the idea of strength and power and speaks to the supremacy of God as He reveals Himself though His creation.” 

I think it is fitting that as I start this study I am sitting on my porch watching a beautiful clear sunrise over the lake. While my favorite sunrises have a few clouds in them. On this clear morning I am seeing creation wake up and I can’t help but praise Him who created this place, this earth, this world, that we get to live in temporarily. I have often on vacations to the mountains looked out and said “how can people not worship God who could create all of this?” I have sat on a beach and watched the waves come and go and marveled at the power of God. Have you looked at creation like that lately? I can’t say I do every day, but I want to. I am better about it now because I have the advantage of living in a place that has beautiful sunrises and sunsets by just walking out on my porch. But I can’t say that I have always looked at things that way. When I lived in the city and my neighbors were so close I could hear their cars crank up and hear their voices if they were outside I didn’t always go out and look at creation quite the same way that I do here. I would have to remind myself to go look. Sometimes when I felt so hungry for God I would ask Him to show me something beautiful. And He always did. I would always notice something that I may not have noticed had I not been intentional about asking God to show me. Today when you look at creation, praise the creator of this creation. In the beginning He created these, the heavens and the earth, and He is still painting us beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Tonight when the stars come out go out and look up and know that our God put those stars in place. 

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26

Have you ever thought about that? He puts them out one by one and He actually calls them out by name. Look up and think how pretty those stars but be sure you praise the one who put them in place. Elohim! 

HOLY WEEK – EASTER SUNDAY

Reading: Matt. 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, John 20:1-33

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”Matthew 28:5-6 ESV

On Sunday morning the women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome went to prepare Jesus body for burial. They had laid him in the tomb on Friday but because of sabbath the body had not been properly prepared. As they were going they wondered how they would roll away the stone. But when they arrived the stone was already rolled away. Matthew mentions a great earthquake and the angel sitting on the stone. I cannot imagine walking up to the tomb and seeing the stone rolled away, the angel sitting on top of the stone and the tomb was empty. 

The guards had passed out when all of this happened. The angels appearance was like lightening and his clothing was bright white. Have you ever been blinded by the morning sun? I think this was even brighter than that so that they were having to shield their eyes. 

“But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified, He is not here, for he has risen as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.’” Matthew 28:5-6

Can you imagine that? Being the first people to have heard the news. The most glorious news that He was indeed alive! I hope you are experiencing the risen savior today. The tomb is empty. And because of that we have reason to rejoice and place our hope in Jesus, the resurrected savior! 

He’s Alive!