In her previous book, Living in the Names of God, Judy opens the door to eighteen of the Hebrew names of God as she tells how El Shaddai showed up when her husband’s accident knocked her off her feet. When used in conjunction with that book, this companion Bible Study will take you beyond Judy’s personal experiences into the lives of biblical characters and – even better – into your own life. As you honestly work through the questions, you will find that the God of
Oh-So-Many Names has been intimately involved in your life in ways you never realized.
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* * Book Excerpt * *
His Majesty and You
Living in the Names of God
Is it possible to know God on a first-name basis? Does the God who created the universe really care about me? Could it be true that He loves me even on bad days when I can’t love myself?
God resounds “Yes” to the above questions. More than anything He desires a relationship with us. He desires that we know and love Him as He knows and loves us. He desires to
be intimately involved in our lives. He didn’t create us only to then say, “Now leave Me alone and figure out the rest on your own.”
Pastor Bob Bonner, in his series Facing Life’s Demands, says:
God did not just create you and initiate a relationship with you so then to leave you to your own devices to figure out life. He wants to build a relationship with you whereby you can experience Him throughout your day and in every good activity and troubling time you may face. He wants you to know Him and the reality of His presence in your life more than you want it! Furthermore, when you come to Him, through trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He is going to make sure you get to that point. It may be through His loving discipline or through the school of hard knocks, but love never quits. He wants a relationship with you.
WHY STUDY THE NAMES OF GOD?
Knowing God’s names will help you recognize Him in your everyday experiences. Soon you may catch yourself saying things like:
- Elohim, thank You, for that creative idea.
- Bless You, Jehovah Jireh, for providing what I needed.
- I praise You, Jehovah Shalom, for Your calm as my life spins out of control.
Knowing Him by name gives you the Right Person to thank for the blessings and to trust in the trials.
To know Him is to love Him. And to know Him is to better understand His love for you. Ultimately, knowing He loves you helps you to come to the place where you can say: “I am lovable.”
Knowing Him gives you permission to admit your powerlessness because He promises His power: “Whatever you need, I AM.”
GOD CREATED US FOR CORAM DEO
When asked, “What’s the big idea of the Christian life?” theologian R.C. Sproul’s response was, Coram Deo captures the essence of the Christian life. This phrase literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of or before the face of God. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God. . . .
To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. There is no place so remote that we can escape His penetrating gaze.
What about you? How often do you think about God or sense His presence? Constantly? Several times a day? Once a week? Religious holidays? Rarely? Never?
LIFE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Psalm 46 makes known the relationship God longs to have with each one of us. He longs for us to run to Him when life is a pressure cooker, when we are in over our heads, when our nerves are frayed and fried.
1. Read Psalm 46. According to verse 1, what does God want to be for us?
2. When God becomes that for you, what can you then say (verse 2a)?
3. Verses 2 and 3 describe extreme natural disasters. Sometimes our personal daily disasters feel as big or bigger. List three of your current disasters.
4. Sometimes just the fear of disaster can take us down. List several of your biggest fears.
5. God offers a solution when fear pins us to the mat. His solution includes an action on our part plus a foundational belief so that He can do His part. Read Psalm 46:10. What are we commanded to do? _________________ and _________________.
6. Psalm 46:10 is the heartbeat of the Living in the Names of God study. In the New International Version (NIV) the verse says, “Be still and know that I am God”; the New American Standard Bible (NASB) reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” We are either striving to make life work apart from God or our knowledge of His character enables us to allow Him to be in control of our lives. It’s one or the other; it can’t be
both. As the popular saying goes, “Know God and know peace, or no God and no peace.”
- Give a specific example of knowing God and knowing peace in your life.
- Give an example of no God and no peace in your life.
- Personalize the verse a little more and share how you have succeeded and failed in its application this week.
7. As you learn to know God by His names through these lessons, you will be better able to allow Him to become your refuge and strength (no matter what the test). Practicing His presence will strengthen the habit of being still and knowing He is God. Striving will end when you truly believe this truth: It doesn’t depend on me!
- What or who are you holding on to that is keeping you from God’s refuge and strength?
- Are you willing to hand that over to God as an act of worship?How will you do that right now?
EIGHTEEN NAMES OF GOD
This study includes eighteen Hebrew names of God (there are many more) that have met me at various points of need. These names continue to help me understand:
- Who He is
- Who He wants to be in our lives
- Who we are
- Who we can become in relationship with Him
Each name represents a way God wants us to know Him.
1. Elohim – Mighty Creator
2. El Elyon – The Most High God
3. Jehovah – I AM WHO I AM
4. Jehovah Raah – The Lord My Shepherd
5. Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is There
6. El Roi – The God Who Sees
7. Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is My Banner
8. Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness
9. El Shaddai – The All-Sufficient God
10. El Gibbor – Mighty Warrior
11. Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide
12. Adonai – Lord and Master
13. Adonai Tsuri – The Lord My Rock
14. Jehovah Rapha – The Lord Who Heals
15. Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace
16. Jehovah Mekoddishkem – The Lord Who Sanctifies
17. El Olam – The Everlasting God
18. Go’el – God My Redeemer
In this Living in the Names of God Bible Study, we will explore these Hebrew names of God found in the Old Testament. Each lesson will contain a name with its meaning, a discussion of where it appears in the Bible and an opportunity to explore
what that name means to you personally.
LIFE’S GREATEST GOAL
In his book Knowing God, J.I. Packer conveys the importance of our knowing God, through the following questions and answers:
- What were we made for?
To know God
- What aim should we set for ourselves in life?
To know God
- What is the eternal life that Jesus gives?
Knowledge of God
- What is the best thing in life?
Knowledge of God
- What in man gives God most pleasure?
Knowledge of Himself
1. What’s Packer’s point?
2. Where are you on this grand scale of knowing God? Think about it, then give your honest, personal answer to each of these questions:
- What was I made for?
- What is my aim/goal in life?
- What does Christ’s gift of eternal life mean to me?
- What is the best thing in life?
- What am I doing right now in my life that brings God the most pleasure?
HONING OUR OBSERVATION SKILLS
As I write these lessons, I am aboard a cruise ship homebound from Alaska. This week I have seen God’s handiwork in the endless ocean, the majestic glaciers, a moose swimming across Glacier Bay. My mind has been filled with a worshipful chorus of Elohim, Elohim, Elohim.
Initially I felt camaraderie as I listened to the national park ranger’s lecture about the majestic, timeless glacial formations, even referring to the glaciers by name. Suddenly, however, my reverie was shot out of the water as I realized her worldview included the creation minus the Creator. Then came her remark, “Have you hugged your pond scum today?” Hugged my pond scum? I wanted to leap out of my wheelchair and crawl onto
the stage in the ship’s crowded auditorium and rephrase the question, “Have you hugged Elohim today?”
I pray your awareness of who God is will sharpen with this study as your senses awaken to the multiple facets of God’s presence in the world around you. To that end, in each chapter I provide a section for personal reflection on each of God’s names. I also encourage you to keep a log of the times you are especially aware of Him in the “Hunt” provided at the end of each lesson, like the one shown here.
God Hunt: Treat yourself to a God Hunt.
Look for signs of His presence in Scripture, in
nature, in hymns, in others, in the mirror. . . .
Record how you have seen and enjoyed Him
during the week.
I saw ___________________________
Finally, because music augments our worship of the many aspects of God’s Person, I end each lesson with a short list of songs that highlight each particular name of God. I invite you to add songs you love to the inexhaustible list and then sing to the Lord accompanied by your instrument of choice or in concert with a favorite vocal artist via CD or a music website such as YouTube on the Internet.
A FEW MORE THINGS
This Bible Study is designed so that you may record your thoughts and answers in this book, in a journal or a special file on your computer. Whichever method you choose, be sure to allow growing room so that you can chronicle how God shows up in His mighty names year after year in your life. Since the Hebrew names of God are not clearly represented in English Bibles, you might be wondering how you are supposed to locate them without learning Hebrew and then reading a Hebrew Bible. One excellent resource is Ann Spangler’s The Names of God Bible (NOG), which uses the Hebrew names as they occur. Oh, the joy of seeing the names of God in their scriptural context! I highly recommend purchasing this book to simplify and augment your study: The Names of God Bible, General Editor: Ann Spangler (Baker Publishing Group, 2011).
In addition, there are many good Internet resources. Two that I recommend are Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com), an online searchable Bible in dozens of versions, and Bible Hub (www.biblehub.com), an online parallel Bible with search and study tools.
Now jump in and get started! As you do, know that I am praying that the God whose grandeur requires oh-so-many names will become the Love of your life. And I pray that your study of His names results in a life-transforming, ever-empowering
relationship between you and His Majesty.
Excerpted from Living in the Names of God Bible Study by Judy Squier Copyright © 2014 by Judy Squier. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.