In Biblical times, a male was identified not only by his given name but also by his father's name. For example, Simon bar Jonah meant that Simon was the son of Jonah. Often times, there were many people sharing the same first name so it was important to know exactly which person was being referred to at the time. The use of the father's name helped with that clarification.To the Hebrews, a name was not a label, or just a tool to distinguish one person from another; a person's name was viewed as equivalent to the person himself. A person's name signified their person, worth, character, reputation, authority, will, and ownership.That is why names given at birth were so carefully chosen by the parents. But while a child's name was very important, the Father's name was even more so.
As Christians, it's important for us to know who our Father is and what His various names mean. By understanding the names of God, we can know more about His character and His attributes. When we understand more about God's character and attributes; we can understand more clearly who we really are too! We can truly understand our identity! God wants us to know who He truly is and He wants us to understand His nature. So let's look at the names of God and see what we can learn about our, Abba - Father, which translates "Daddy!"
- El Elyon: this name of God means "God most high" and indicates that God is the creator and possessor of heaven and earth. He is the "head honcho" and is in control of everything! There are no accidents where He is concerned. He orders all of our steps.
- El Shaddai: this name of God indicates that God is Almighty! He is all powerful and all sufficient. (The Hebrew word for this name of God comes from the root word "shad" which means breast. Just like a child is fully satisfied at his mother's breast, so God is all we need for our sufficiency!)
- Yahweh/Jehovah: this name of God means "I AM THAT I AM." God is sovereign and never, ever changes.
- Jehovah Jireh: this name of God means "the Lord who sees to it." He is our provider! He will see to it that all of our needs are met according to His plan for our lives.
- Jehovah Rophi: this name of God means "the Lord who heals you." The root word means to fix or mend. God wants to heal/mend us completely - mind, body, and spirit.
- Jehovah Nissi: this name of God means "our banner of victory." God wins our battles for us!
- Jehovah Shalom: this name of God comes from the Hebrew meaning completeness and finished. It implies a state of rest. God wants us to rest in Him and find our completeness in Him.
- Jehovah Rohi: this name of God comes from the Hebrew word that translates "the Lord my Shepherd." God is our shepherd, the one who guides and protects us just like a sheep herder protects and guides his sheep.
- Immanuel: this name of God means "God with us." God is always with us. He never leaves us unattended.
- Jehovah Shammah: this name of God means "the Lord is there." God is constantly present. His presence will be both in and on his people.
Now that you know your Father's various names, let's take a look at some of His Attributes:
- Omnipresent: God is everywhere at all times. No one can ever escape His presence! (reference 1 Kings 8:27, Psalm 139:7-10, Acts 17:28, and Matthew 18:20)
- Omniscient: God knows everything past, present and future! Nothing surprises Him ever! reference Job 37:16, Isaiah 41:22-23)
- Omnipotent: God is powerful and mighty! The word "omni" means all, and the word "potent" means powerful! So God is ALL POWERFUL! (reference Genesis 17:1, 28:3)
- Immutable: God is unchangeable. For something to change, it has to change for better or worse doesn't it? Since God is perfect, there's no need for Him to change since He can't change to be better and He can't change to be worse, right? He doesn't change, ever! (reference James 1:17, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 1:12)
- Holy: God is perfectly pure. He is separated from all evil and He is distinct from all others in that fact. He is entirely holy. (reference Exodus 3-5, Leviticus 19:2, Psalm 5:4-6)
- Righteous: Everything God does is right. Everything He sets into motion is perfectly moral and just. Because of God's nature, His ways are always perfect. (reference Isaiah 45:21, Zephaniah 3:5, Romans 3:26)
- Truth: God is truth. He cannot lie. (reference John 17:17, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
- Loving: God's character is full of pure, unconditional love. (reference Deuteronomy 7:7-8, Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16)
- Good: Everything God does is good. He is morally excellent! (reference Genesis 1:31, Deuteronomy 8:16, Psalm 107:8)
Your identity is found in your Father. Never forget who you are...a child of the King!