From Tony Evans:
The name of God deserves to be hallowed because God’s name is the sum total of His attributes. In the Bible, a person’s name reflects that person’s character.
If you know your Bible, you know that God has many names. Each name addresses a different aspect of His perfect character, and each one also speaks to any situation we might find ourselves in or any need we might have.
Not all of these names are readily obvious in the English text of the Bible, so let me give you the Hebrew word or words, their translation, and what they mean. Here are some of the names for God in the Bible.
In Genesis 1:1, God is called Elohim. “In the beginning, Elohim …” This is a plural word that emphasizes God’s majesty, power, and glory. Elohim is the mighty Creator God who can speak worlds into existence and meet you in your weakness.
God is also El Elyon, “God Most High.” This name means He’s the God who is high and exalted and can do great things. David wrote, “I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me” (Psalm 57:2). When everything in your life is out of order and disjointed, you need to know El Elyon.
In Psalm 91:1, the psalmist urges us to “abide in the shadow of the Almighty,” El Shaddai, a name for God that speaks of His strength. Even when you have no strength, you have not exhausted your resources because God says, “My name is El Shaddai.”
Another wonderful name for God comes from an unlikely source. Sarah’s Egyptian maid Hagar, who bore Ishmael to Abraham, was thrown out of the house by Sarah. Hagar thought she was finished, but God came to her and promised her a heritage through Ishmael. Hagar responded by calling God El Roi, “God who sees” (Genesis 16:13). Even when you feel like you’re alone and have no hope, God sees you. He hasn’t forgotten you.
God is called El Olam, “the Everlasting God” (Genesis 21:33) who is in no hurry and will take the time to do what is best for us.
There are so many more names for God in the Bible, and each one has a special meaning and holds special hope for us. Let me give you a few more examples.
Jehovah is the most sacred name of God, which speaks of His self-existence. “I AM WHO I AM,” God told Moses (Exodus 3:14). Jehovah needs no assistance. This name was often paired with other words for even more emphasis on part of God’s character.
He is Jehovah-shalom, “the Lord is Peace” (Judges 6:24), the only source of lasting peace. God is also Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord is My Banner” (Exodus 17:15). The banner was raised as a rallying point for an army going into battle. It was a symbol of victory.
We’re talking about the name of God, which Jesus said is to be hallowed. One way to avoid meaningless repetition is to think about the awesome names of the God to whom we pray. There are so many more names.
The Lord is Jehovah-raah, our Shepherd and Provider (Psalm 23:1) and Jehovah-rapha, the Lord our healer (Exodus 15:26), meaning you’re never alone. And when we sin, God is Jehovah-tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6), who covers us with His righteousness. And when we have a need, God is Jehovah-jireh, “the Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14).
This is the God who teaches us to call Him “Our Father.”
May God grow our knowledge of His Character through His Word!
- - Bro. Dave