Elohim

Elohim: Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God…”

Derivations

El (strength, prominence, power)

Depicts creative glory, plurality in unity, God-head fullness

For the LORD (Yahweh) your God (Elohim) is God of gods and LORD of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God (El), who is not partial and takes no bribe.  (Deuteronomy 10:17)

Alah (to declare, to swear)

Depicts covenant relationship (Genesis 17:1-8)

Meanings/Usage

Elohim is plural

Presents to us the concept of the Trinity in the opening verse of the Bible.

  • “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth
    • “For in six days the LORD (Yahweh) made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord (Yahweh) blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11)
    • For by Him (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16 and then John 1:1-3)
    • The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

Elohim is a God of power (1 John 4:4, Philippians 4:13)

  • Power to create (Genesis 1)
  • Power to build (Genesis 46:3-4)
  • Power to heal (Numbers 12:13)
  • Power to rule (Psalm 68)

Elohim is a God of Promise (faithfulness) (Deuteronomy 31:6, John 14:1-4, Romans 8:38-39, Philippians 1:6)

  • Promise to Abraham (Genesis 17:4), to Isaac (Genesis 26:1-5) and Jacob (appropriated (see the definition of his name) in Genesis 27:18-29 and renewed in Genesis 28:10-17) “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac.”
    • I am with you – divine presence
    • I will keep you – divine protection
    • I will bring you back to this land – divine promise
    • I will not leave you – divine pledge
    • Until I have done what I promised you – divine guarantee

Alternate meanings for elohim

  • False gods/idols (Exodus 34:17)
  • Men (Psalm 82:6, John 10:34,35)
  • Angels (Psalm 8:5)
  • Judges (Exodus 22:8)

For discussion

  • Elohim establishes Himself as a God of Power through creation. How does it affect your everyday life living with the awareness that you are made in His image? How does that awareness help understand His nature?
  • How does knowing Him as Elohim give us a better understanding of our nature? (Exodus 4:10-11, John 9:2-3)

  

Praying to God by Name

From “Praying the Names of Godby Ann Spangler, published by Zondervan, © 2004 by Ann Spangler

Elohim

Reflect On: Genesis 1:26-28 i

Praise: For His power in creating the heavens and the earth out of nothing

Thanks: That God not only created you, but made you in His own image

Confess: any tendency to forget that every human life, including your own, is sacred.

Ask God: to renew your sense of wonder and gratitude for the things He has made.

Reflect On: Genesis 28:10-22; 35:1-8

Praise God: Because He not only created the world and everyone in it but continues to sustain it through His creative power.

Offer Thanks: For the way God has blessed you with the good things of the earth.

Confess: Any tendency to take God’s earthly blessings for granted.

Ask God: To increase your desire to bless others with the gifts He has given you.

Reflect On: Psalm 102

Praise God: For His unchanging nature – no matter what happens to us or to the world around us, God remains the same.

Offer Thanks: That our Creator is perfect – nothing could be added to or subtracted from Him to improve His nature.

Confess: Any tendency to place God on your own level, as though He is subject to the same laws and limitations of creation as you are.

Ask God: To help you perceive His greatness more fully so that you will stop projecting your own feelings and judgments on Him.

Next: El-Elyon, God Most High