Psalm 139:1-10 (NIV) — “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely O’ Lord. You hem me — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
The Old Testament has 85 names for God. Each name is designed to describe a different element of who God is or what God does.
For example: ELOHIM, the strong one. The creator God, “In the beginning God created.” Genesis 1:1.
In my opinion, my understanding of Biblical Scripture, Our God, the God of creation, who created us in His image, is a God of relationship, the very motivation of our creation.
When mankind was created, God revealed Himself through name, or title names such as YAHWEH, which many of us call “Jehovah.”
So when we’re reading Scripture, it’s important to know which name, which title name, is being addressed. For clarity, I share this as it was shared with me.
“If you see it written as God, that’s generally ELOHIM, the creator God, creator of Heaven and Earth. If you’re reading your Bible and you see ‘Lord,’ that generally carries the meaning, ADONAI, meaning boss, managing supervisor, the one who’s in charge. Now, if you see Lord spelled out in capital letters ‘LORD,’ that generally is YAHWEH, or covenant keeping, reliable God.”
Let us move on to the New Testament. Matthew 1:23 — “Behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel.” (This is translated as “God with us.”)
This is not a personal name. If we look at Isaiah 7:14, it is a fulfilling of prophecy, not just a name but an understanding of His origin, His purpose. The concept of “God with us” is found early in Scripture: Exodus 25:8 says, “They have them make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell among them.”
For me, there’s a treasure chest of understanding in the Gospel of John. I share from “The Complete Jewish Study Bible” a couple of gems.
John 1:1 — “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. He was with God in the Beginning.”
Also, John 1:14 — “The Word became a human being and lived with us and we saw His Sh’khinah of the Father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
In my English translation of Matthew 2:1 it says, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea.” In my Jewish Study Bible it says of Matthew 2:1, “After Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah.”
Jesus/Yeshua never referred to Himself as Immanuel (God with us). He was given the name Yeshua.
In Luke 1:30-32 — “The Angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid Miryam, for you have found favor with God. Look! You will become pregnant. You will give birth to a Son, and you will name him Yeshua. He will be great; He will be called Son of Ha’Elyon.’”
So, I share all of this to plant a spiritual seed, perhaps to stir study.
If the God of creation, as Scripture says repeatedly, knows us to and in the depths of our being, perhaps we should/could seek to know Him.
Philippians 2:9-11 (JSB) — “Therefore God has raised Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is ADONAI to the glory of God the Father.”