Editor’s Note: “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” the psalmist declared (Psalms 8:9). To learn more about how excellent He is, we launch our exciting new series, Titles of God in the Bible.
The titles God gives Himself in His Word are one way that He lets us know Who He is. Just as a man or woman may have different titles and functions in life—father, husband, employee; mother, wife, citizen—God refers to Himself by a number of different names in His Word. As our series focuses on many of these names, many discoveries await us! By knowing the names of God and seeing how He provides for His people, we can trust Him fully to supply our every need: “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee…” (Psalms 9:10).
A name is that by which a person or thing is made known—it describes, defines, or declares them. This is certainly true for the names or titles of God used in the Bible. Each name declares or describes a different aspect or characteristic of Him. One of the names used for God in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word El.
The Hebrew word El is translated “God.” Uses of the name El emphasize God as the Omnipotent in all His strength and power. As one of the names of God, the word El denotes the strength and power of Him Who creates. El also conveys the ideas of His omnipotence (being all-powerful) and His omnipresence (being everywhere present). Let’s look in God’s Word at some of the occurrences of the Hebrew word El and see what aspects and characteristics of God are described by this particular name.
El denotes God’s strength—He doeth wonders!
Thou art the God [El] that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
Our God, El, is not just strong, He is mighty in strength. He is mighty in wisdom too.
Behold, God [El] is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.
By His strength, God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.
God [El] brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
As noted in the Book of Exodus, by many mighty miracles, our God, El, demonstrated His strength in action to deliver His people and bring them out of Egypt. God has not changed. He will do the same for His people today, bringing His strength into action to deliver us.
El not only denotes God’s strength but also His power.
In II Samuel, David declared the greatness of the all-powerful, omnipotent God, El.
II Samuel 22:33 and 34:
God [El] is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.
No one in heaven or on earth can rival the mighty hand of our God, El.
O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant [Moses] thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God [El] is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?
El is also the God of our salvation, Who daily loadeth us with benefits.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God [El] of our salvation. Selah.
As one of the names of God, the word El denotes God, the Omnipotent in all His strength and power. He does wonders. He is mighty in both strength and wisdom. He is the God of our salvation, Who daily loads us with benefits. What great confidence we can have as we walk, knowing these great truths about our God, El.
The Hebrew word El is also used in association with or in combination with some of the other names and titles of God or as a suffix or prefix with names and places. The very first occurrence of El is used in association with Elyon, the Most High.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high [Elyon] God [El].
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high [Elyon] God [El], possessor of heaven and earth:
And blessed be the most high [Elyon] God [El], which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Here Melchizedek blessed God, El, Who had given Abram (later called Abraham, the father of all them that believe) victory over his enemies. So in the context of the first occurrence of this word, we see that our God, El, is not only the possessor of heaven and earth (verse 19), but He is also a God Who brings deliverance (verse 20). What a wonderful God we have!…
This is an excerpt from the May/June 2010 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2010 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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