El Qanna (I AM a Jealous God)–Exodus 20

El Qanna, our God as a jealous God, is, on its face, not a flattering name for God.  In our culture, the idea of jealousy brings up pictures of pettiness and selfishness.  It is the thought of being jealous of someone else’s possessions, success, power or standing.  In the scripture, however, God is not jealous of us, he is jealous for us.  God that sees and knows all, knows the costs and pain that comes from worshiping the created, rather than the creator. From the time of Noah, God saw men worship any and all manners of created things–whether they be things God created–like the sun, or a bull or beauty; or things men created, towers, wealth or power. In all circumstances, God watched as those that walked away from him spiraled down to a life of emptiness and chaos.

In that context, God is extremely Jealous FOR us.  He desires that none would perish.  He wants all to have a full and meaningful life.  Like any  father or husband; God is heartbroken when he sees those whom he loves and gave his only son to save–exchange so great a gift–for selfish, short sighted devotion to things that do not last. God will reach out and protect those that he loves from anyone or thing that would destroy them; but, he can only look on with heartbreak and horror–when they choose to chase after other gods. We each must look at our lives, and choose to serve him as God.  If we will; he will give us an amazing journey.  If we choose not to serve him, however, then–we will experience pain and sadness that will live far beyond our own lives and into the lives of our families for generations.  That is why our God-El Qanna, is jealous for us and will seek to protect us from that end.

God Bless You

You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

El Elyon-(God Most High)–Genesis 14

The study of the names of God ultimately brings one back to the most glorious truth–God is most high.  There is no authority greater.  While it is easy to say, grasping the concept that God literally controls everything is nearly unfathomable. When one approaches God in prayer, there is not an option to speak to a supervisor.  He is the most powerful, the most knowledgeable, the singly most important being in the universe.

When Abraham saved his nephew from the battling kings in the valley of Jordan, he was met by the King of Salem and the king of Sodom. When he met the King of Salem (Melchizedek)-the king was also the high priest of El Elyon–God Most High! In humility, Abraham gave as an offering–1/10th of the treasure he recovered, to say thank you.  Abraham knew the victory was won at the direction, and with the help of the God who was large, and in charge.

Conversely, he was offered treasure by the King of Sodom, and he flatly turned it down. Abraham knew–1. the treasure was not his to give, and 2.  It would come with a price. The latter king had no authority or power–and would later be destroyed–due to his sin and evil. 

This scenario continues to play out in our lives still today.  We face trials and tests and are confronted with the opportunity to trust El Elyon, or, we can trust the world leadership.  Without doubt, It is El Elyon that carries all the authority and power.  We should, as Abraham, humbly bow to the God Most High.  

But we are chased by the world and promised untold riches and power.   Those promises ring very hollow.  The world powers are as unstable as the world itself. They possess no real authority, nor do they have any real power other than that granted by God.  We are, therefore, reminded, like Abraham, to seek God–El Elyon.  Jesus said it best in his Sermon on the Mount, “Seek first the Kingdom of El Elyon and his righteousness; and, all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. If we will seek God first, then, we will be going to the top and receiving all from the only true authority, God Most High!

God Bless You

When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer’s army until he caught up with them at Dan. 15 There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer’s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.

Melchizedek Blesses Abram

17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High,[d] brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
    who has defeated your enemies for you.”

Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

Jehovah Shalom-(I AM is Peace) Judges 6,7

We live in a world of chaos. In the world culture and on the world’s terms, there is little hope, little joy and very little peace.  Such was the time of the Judges, and of Gideon. Gideon was the least likely member, of the least likely family of Israel–to lead an army and win a battle for the people of Israel. Because they failed to follow God, Israel had lost  all their protection, and were in complete confusion.  The Midianites had run them off their lands, stole or ruined their crops and drove them into caves and cliffs to live. 

The people called out to God, he heard them and sent the angel of God to meet Gideon to bring back order in the midst of the chaos. At some point, Gideon realized he was talking to God face-to-face, and thought himself doomed.  God said–be at peace, you will be fine!!!!! In that moment, Gideon built an alter and called it Jehovah Shalom–“I AM” is peace!

The story is great–Gideon led an Army that dwindled from 25,000 to 300 and defeated the 30,000 Midianites without Israel raising a sword. Peace and victory–all at God’s direction and control.

Of the lessons that impact us as a community; Christians should be excited cling to this truth more than most.  We live in a time and world that despises God and all things that point to him. The church is berated, belittled and condemned–as out of touch, and out of step with life. Wars, natural disasters, crime and a sense that there is no hope–continues to dominate our thoughts and spirits. Fortunately, this is when God does his best work.

As with Gideon, God tells us, “Go in peace, for the Lord (Jehovah Shalom) is with you–mighty warrior!” That promise and that name brings order to chaos as well as peace and rest to confusion and hopelessness. Just as God cared for Gideon and his people; God will execute his plan and protect and provide for us! What’s more, He will do so through the least likely means imaginable. God is peace, brings peace and protects peace for His chosen people. Thanks, Father for being Jehovah Shalom!

God Bless You!

Judges 6

The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrahthat belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”…

 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lorddisappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lordface to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Chapter 7

The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others

Jehovah Nissi (I AM the Banner)–Exodus 17:15

It is a great comfort to know that God battles for us. In the midst of the spiritual war we face on a daily basis, we can stand confidently–knowing, that it is God who is at work in and through us to win the battle. God, as our father, acts as our banner of victory against our enemies.  As  the Israelites were marching to freedom, the Amalekites decided to attack and raid God’s people.  Moses, with hands raised to Heaven, saw God defeat the Amalekites and promise their ultimate destruction.  God became the banner of victory for Israel.

Moses built an alter to God at the site of the battle and he called it Jehovah Nissi–God is our banner of victory.  We carry the same banner of victory in our hearts. Jesus’s death and resurrection defeated the hold sin and death had over us and restored our relationship with God.  As we march along on this journey, our very lives display God’s banner of victory.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul reminds us that if we are in Christ, we are new creations, the old is gone and the new has come. Our new lives in Christ remind us of the banner of victory we have through our Lord.  Each day, each prayer, each time we see his hand in our lives; we see God as that banner of victory we wave; knowing, we are a part of the army of God.

God Bless You
Exodus 17

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”

15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[c] the throne of the Lord,[d] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Jehovah Rapha–The God That Heals–Exodus 15, 1Chronicles 7, Matthew 9

As we learn the many names and attributes of our Lord, we realize that the names simply reinforce the fact that God is complete in every way and meets all of our needs. In our lives, it is a great thing that God is a God of healing. Since the fall of man, we lost the ability to be immortal.  Then, after the flood, people’s bodies became more and more frail and limited in life.  From the time of Noah when Methuselah lived almost a thousand years, peoples lives have diminished to the point that they now average 80 years.

In the midst of the reality of our mortality, God reminds us that he is available to heal us.  The  healing of our bodies, our souls and our spirits become a wonderful gift from a wonderful God.  In our lives, we can never underestimate the great healing and restorative power of God.  In James 5, James tells us to pray and anoint the sick, so that God will heal them. 

Jesus, in his ministry to show men the character of God, went village to village healing the sick and raising the dead.  He brought hope to the hopeless  and peace to those living in chaos.  That aspect of Jesus ministry–literally changed the live of many and established Jesus authority as God. (Matthew 9:5).  Our God heals and restores us physically, spiritually and mentally and emotionally–not simply because he can…but, because that is who he is.

God Bless You

Exodus 15

He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

 

1 Chronicles 7

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
 
Matthew 9
 
But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you harbor evil in your hearts? 5Which iseasier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’ 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”…

El-Shaddai (Almighty Sustainer) Genesis 17, Exodus 6

 EL-Shaddai has a two-fold  meaning among the many names of God.  God himself uses this name in his personal references to Abraham and Moses.  The name means “God Almighty”, but, it also carries with it the aspect of sustainer and protector.  When God spoke to Abraham and entered into covenant with him, he said he would make Abraham the father of many nations. In that promise, God spoke of his might; but, also he also spoke of his protection and provision.  

In Exodus, when God called Moses to free Israel, He introduced Himself as the Almighty God that built Israel and promised Canaan, to the Israelites as their land. Once again, his might unquestioned, and his promise to deliver and sustain his people–in focus. God, as he addresses those he has called, not only reminds them of his might, but, he reminds them of his desire and ability to sustain them. Abraham, Moses, Job, Ruth all saw God as the almighty sustainer of life.

So, we also need to revere God’s power and believe in his ability to sustain and lead us on this journey.  His covenant with Abraham includes us, his adopted children.  We walk by faith, knowing the God that built Israel, led them to freedom and gave them the promised land–is equally committed to our deliverance, provision and safe completion of this journey, the amazing journey he has laid out for us!

God Bless You

Genesis 17

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to himand said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Exodus 6

God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty,[a] but by my name the Lord[b] I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant

Jehovah Jireh (I AM Provides)–Genesis 22:14

One of God’s names that brings the most comfort to his chosen is the name Jehovah Jireh (I AM Provides). In one of the most heart rending stories of the Bible, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the alter.  Isaac, the son Abraham waited a century to receive–Abraham’s heir to the kingdom God promised. Now God was calling for Abraham to sacrifice him. Abraham obeyed God, he took Isaac to the alter to carry out the sacrifice–But, when Isaac asked–Abraham told him, “God will provide!” And God did. At the last moment, the angel stopped Abraham and pointed out a ram to sacrifice instead.

God always provides.  It is rarely in the manner or timing that we expect, but, he always brings us through–in his time and in his way.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells his people, “I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” This God, Jehovah Jireh, wants nothing more than to see us, his chosen live an abundant and fulfilling life.  In Luke 11, Jesus reminds us, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish–give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

It is our duty to trust God and allow him to provide–in his time, and in his way.  Then, when he does, we simply acknowledge his provision and continue to follow his plan. Like Abraham, we do not always get to know the when, how or why; we simply get to acknowledge that he is the God “I AM” and that “I AM Provides!”

God Bless You

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”[c]