Genesis 1:1 for example “In the beginning (Elohim) God created the heavens and the earth.” Elohim is the Hebrew word for God and is the name for Creator. So right in Genesis 1:1 we have a significant characteristic of God that He is the One true God who created the heavens and the earth.
Let me give you a few others before I pose the question and purpose of this blog.
In Genesis 14:20 “He blessed him and said, And blessed be God Most High.” The Hebrew for God Most High is El Elyon.
In Genesis 15:2 Abram calls God “Lord God” (Adonai Yehovah) meaning the Lord the self-existent one.
In Genesis 16:13 “Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You are the God who sees” (El Roi).
In Genesis 17:1 “I am God Almighty” (El Shaddai) meaning The All-Sufficient One .
In Genesis 21:33 Abraham called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God (El-Olam).
To summarize in just a few verses we can see these wonderful names of God:
- El Elyon
- El Roi
- El Shaddai
In just a few verses God is described as the Creator who is Most High, Ruler over all, Sovereign and in control, Who sees and watches over His creation. He is All Sufficient and Everlasting. In just a few words I want to drop to my knees and worship Him. . . and all of this found right in the first book of the Bible.
I love Psalm 29:2 “Ascribe (give) to the Lord the glory due His name; Worship the Lord in holy array.” David sings, “give to Jehovah the glory due His name.”
Another great verse is Psalm 86:9 “All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before You, Oh Lord and they shall glorify your name.”
There is a pattern developed here of bringing worship and praise to the name of God, the come before Him with reverence or respect. Take a minute and look again at my summary statement on God found in the first 20 chapters of Genesis,
God is described as the Creator who is Most High, Ruler over all, He is Sovereign and in control, He is the One who sees and watches over His creation. He is All Sufficient and Everlasting.
The question I posed to a few people on Facebook this week was, “What are some slang terms you have heard Christians use for God?” Here is a short list of what was sent back to me.
- Big Daddy
- Guy in Charge
- The Big G
- The Man with the Plan
- That guy in the sky
- The Man Upstairs
- The Big Guy
Sad isn’t it…how can you come up with a summary statement that rightfully describes the characteristics of God if we use slang like this to describe God?
I remember a time my daughter tried to grab my attention at a family function. I was talking to someone and she was pulling on me and I was saying, “Just a sec Logan”…her response grabbed my attention really quick when she yelled “MARK SHELDRAKE” can I have a drink. I was furious…what disrespect from a 6 year old to not refer to me as Dad. The first words from my mouth were, “I’m your father, show me some respect and call me Dad.” She was pretty upset and apologized.
But, take this a step further.
In Scripture we see over and over that God is referred to as Father. “Our Father who art in heaven” is something we recite in church…maybe not so much anymore but still it is the example Jesus taught us. He said to go before God with reverence and respect, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”
Yet the terms we use to refer to God must provoke Him to anger. Don’t you think?
Why is it that we continue to use these slang names for God? Is it to make us sound culturally cool or package God in a way that seems attractive to those we’re trying to reach? I see this used a lot when people are speaking to teens. As though saying God is embarrassing or “What if…people hear me talking about God?”
What do you think? Am I in left field on this one? Do you think it’s time we as Christians present God for who He is?
Check out the book called “Lord I Want to Know You.” In this book you can study the Names of God and truly know more about the One who loved you so much He sent His Son to DIE FOR YOU.
Now if that doesn’t deserve respect I don’t know what does!