Have you ever wondered what are the different names of God and their meaning? It is amazing how God is given many names yet he is the same being. To truly appreciate the different names of God and their meanings, you have to experience the situation where calling on that name is the answer. Biblical names of God and their meanings help us understand his character and how he provides for our needs. God does not change. This means that his character and name remain the same from one generation to the next. He is the God of miracles, and everything is possible with him. This is an account of some of the most common names given to God depending on what he represents at the time of reference.
The covenant names of God and their meanings help many people understand and trust him. Most Christians, while praying, pronounce these names because they believe that making reference to God is symbolic and powerful. In case you want to refer to God over a situation that you are going through, then you must know which name to call him. This article breaks down some of the most common names used by Christians in reference to God.
Christian names of God and their meanings
Christians have so many names for God. Each name stands for something. Check out the different names of God and their meanings.
"Elohim" comes from the book of Genesis, which means that God has incredible power and might. This name of God means "strength". God is supreme, and he is the only true God in the world. Even though many people worship false deities, God remains powerful. He is God despite the many false religions that exist. Christians believe that God is the only one on whom we can rely because he is sovereign. He is our creator, therefore, his power is manifested in how he created the universe. All the three persons of the Trinity were involved in the creation of humankind. This is because God said, "'let us' instead of 'let me' make man in our own image and likeness". This implies that the name Elohim was thought to be a family name which proves that there is more than one. Elohim, the all-powerful God is responsible for the existence of everything. By the power of his word, everything came into existence. The Bible is clear about this.
The name Yahweh means “The Lord" or "I Am." This name Yahweh was revealed to Moses when he asked God what name he should give to the Israelites if they asked for the name of the God who sent him to set them free. Jesus also used the title “I Am” during his early ministry. “I Am'' is a proper name that is used to portray a divine being. It comes from a verb "exist." When Moses was told to go and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he became scared because he did not know what he would tell the Israelites when they asked who had sent him. Moses asked God if he could go to the Israelites and tell them that he had been sent by the God of their fathers. God told Moses to respond by saying that “I Am That I Am” had sent him. This is according to the Bible's account in Exodus 3:13-14.
The name Yahweh is a name of authority. It holds great power. God said that “I Am the one true God, follow me.” God never changes. He is still the "Great I Am". God’s loving leadership is the one we can trust, just like Moses did. God has called us for a specific purpose, and he reminds us that he has a good plan for us. This name, "I Am", gives hope to Christians because it represents God in all situations. Whatever you want God to be, then he becomes it. If you want him to be a healer, a provider, a deliverer, a comforter or any other thing that you need, he becomes that for you. This means that you can always call on "I Am" any time.
The name Abba means "Daddy, Father." The name has been considered as the most important name of God because it shows him as a loving father and someone whom people can easily relate to. This name tells us that we can fully trust our God. He cares about us, which means that we can lean on him in time of trouble. The presence of God in our lives makes us feel protected, secured and loved. His constant presence in our lives gives us strength through life’s journey.
Abba is one of the favourite names of our God because it teaches us about the love he has for us as his children. The title gives us the privilege of being called his daughters and sons. Through this name, God provides us with an opportunity to call out on him. He assures us that he will respond to our prayers. In difficult and painful times, we can talk to our heavenly father and know that he will hold us secure because he is for us. This name is referenced in the Bible as quoted below:
“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6).
4. El Elyon
This name means "God most high." This name has been used through the old testament of the Bible. El Elyon reveals that God is above all other deities. Therefore, nothing in our lives is more sacred. Our heavenly God is the highest because he reigns. El Elyon also means, the strongest of the strongest. According to Christianity God is a transcendent God. The verse below shows this.
Colossians 1:16-17, "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: He created all things, and for Him.
God is greater than any force of darkness in the world and is above all the problems that we go through in our lives. In our struggles and battles, we need to understand that God is always in control. God will never lose his might and power even when it is not obvious to us.
5. El Roi
The name El Roi means "The God who sees." God sees us when we are lonely because he is always close. This title tells us that God watches over us and our affairs, and he knows when we are lost. The name El Roi was first revealed to Hagar in the Bible. Hagar was Sarah's handmaiden who became pregnant for Abraham in order to fulfil God’s promise. After the child was given birth to, things became so difficult between Sarah and her, and eventually, Abraham had to send her away to the wilderness on Sarah's request. At this place, she was homeless and unsure of what her destiny would be. An angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar in the wilderness to comfort her, and to inform her of the grace of God. This shows that God sees all.
Genesis 16:13 Hagar called on the name of the Lord which spoke unto her.
Her experience in the wilderness made her believe that God sees us at all times and that God knows our thoughts. While in the desert, God surrounded her with care and grace. The story of Hagar reminds us that God is always close, especially when we feel that no one sees us. Hagar gave this name to God who spoke to her. She claimed that "You are the God who sees me."
6. El Shaddai
El Shaddai is another name of God meaning "God Almighty." This name reminds us that God is the mighty one. He is all-powerful. The name appears seven times in the Bible. Genesis 17:1-2, God appeared to Abraham when he was ninety years old, and told him that he is the almighty God. God asked Abraham to walk with him and that he would make a covenant with Abraham. He promised to multiply Abraham's inheritance by giving him many descendants. God kept his promise to Abraham, meaning that we can find rest and refuge in God and his promises to us.
It is not easy to know whom to trust. Sometimes, we feel uncertain or unsafe. People need to understand that their loved ones are covered and protected by God's grace, especially when they are far away from them. Through this name, God reminds us that he is the one who gives us assurance and security. God knows all, sees all, walks with us daily, covers us from behind and has the power to go before us. Believing in God guarantees us of rest and shelter.
Psalm 91:1 says “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
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7. Yahweh Yireh
The name Yahweh Yireh means "The Lord will provide." The name is an assurance that God will provide all our needs. Yireh represents the place where God sent Abraham to sacrifice his son. In Genesis 22:11-13, Abraham was about to sacrifice his son when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and asked him not to do it. Instead, God provided him with a lamb for the sacrifice, and Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh which means “God is our substitution sacrifice.” God tested Abraham because he wanted to know his faith. In the same way, God tests us to know what we can sacrifice for him. Therefore, God is able, and nothing is ever difficult for him. In most occasions, his timing is different from ours. This sometimes makes us feel that he has not heard our prayers when in truth, he has.
8. Yahweh Nissi
This name means "The Lord is my banner." The name proclaims God's protection, relevance, and leadership. In the Bible, God provided security for the Israelite's against the Amalekites. This means that he gives us relevance and divine protection from the enemies we face in our lives. Moses gave this name to God at the altar he erected to represent the defeat of the Amalekites. God often goes before us, and he is always behind us to give us victory in all that we go through in life. Even in the midst of the battle, the banner of the Lord is raised over us (Psalm 23:5). This is the name of God meaning strength.
9. Jehovah Rapha
The name Jehovah Rapha means "Healer, the Lord who heals you." The name provides us with comfort and hope when we pray to God for healing from illnesses, diseases, and painful circumstances. The name reminds us that God understands when we are in need of healing. He assures us that he will redeem all the broken pieces of our lives and restore us. God can heal miraculously or he can heal over time through medicine. Sometimes, healing does not come at the time we expect because God’s timing is different from ours. In Exodus 15:26, it is implied, that if we listen to him, and do what is right, and pay attention to his commandments, he will not bring on us any of the diseases he brought on the Egyptians.
10. Yahweh Shalom
The name Yahweh Shalom means “The Lord is peace.” The name suggests that God is the only one who can give us peace. Gideon, in the Bible, understood this very well after God showed up strongly when his enemies surrounded him. This made Gideon build an altar for God and he named it "The Lord is peace". This can be found in Judges 6:24. It is only in God that we find sufficiency, security, and serenity.
God has been given many names all over the world. This is sometimes based on personal reasons and experiences. The different names of God and their meanings make sense to those that believe in them. Whichever name you use when praying to God, the bottom line is to know and understand why you refer to your God as such. The names of God given by Christians may be more prominent probably because of the many Christians in the world compared to any other religion. One thing that is clear in most of the names given to God, if not all, is that they are all descriptive of his character. They tend to focus on God being all powerful, holy, all-knowing, and omnipresent. The above names help us to know God more and also begin to understand the love that he has for us.