Institute For Creation Research

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  January 29, 2020
The Names of God
“And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” (Genesis 7:16)

Many stirring books have been written on the general subject of the names of God. Most of the names make use of one or two of the three primary names. The first is Elohim, meaning “mighty one.” It is a uni-plural name—plural in form but singular in meaning and verb usage, suggesting the uni-plural nature of the triune Godhead, appearing in most English translations as “God.” It most often is used when worldwide events or attributes are discussed, including creation, judgment, sovereignty, transcendence, and salvation. The second is Jehovah, meaning “the self-existent one,” which appears as “LORD” in English translations. It stresses God’s holiness, nearness, concern for man (especially Israel), hatred of sin, love of sinners, and His revelatory nature and communication. The third is Adonai, a more general term meaning master and used of both men and God. It appears as “Lord” in English Bibles.

For example, the name Elohim, the transcendent, uni-plural Creator God, is appropriately used exclusively in Genesis 1:1–2:4, the account of creation from God’s perspective. Throughout the rest of Genesis 2, the account of creation from man’s perspective, the combination name Jehovah-Elohim is used. Man was at this point without sin, in full accord with his Creator, and experiencing the fullness of His love and communication. The curse, as related in chapter 3, changed things forever, and in chapter 4, Adam and his offspring, painfully aware that their sin has broken God-established relationships, relate better to Jehovah, the Savior. In our text for the day, we see Noah obeying the orders of Elohim, the sovereign judge, to enter the Ark, but Jehovah, the loving Savior, making them secure. JDM

 

Life to the Full

hJanuary 29 | Bible in a Year: Exodus 21-22; Matthew 19

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10

READ JOHN 10:7–15

LISTEN ONLINE

 

The year was 1918, near the end of World War I, and photographer Eric Enstrom was putting together a portfolio of his work. He wanted to include one that communicated a sense of fullness in a time that felt quite empty to so many people. In his now much-loved photo, a bearded old man sits at a table with his head bowed and his hands clasped in prayer. On the surface before him there is only a book, spectacles, a bowl of gruel, a loaf of bread, and a knife. Nothing more, but also nothing less.

Some might say the photograph reveals scarcity. But Enstrom’s point was quite the opposite: Here is a full life, one lived in gratitude, one you and I can experience as well regardless of our circumstances. Jesus announces the good news in John 10: “life . . . to the full” (v. 10). We do a grave disservice to such good news when we equate full with many things. The fullness Jesus speaks of isn’t measured in worldly categories like riches or real estate, but rather a heart, mind, soul, and strength brimming in gratitude that the Good Shepherd gave “his life for the sheep” (v. 11), and cares for us and our daily needs. This is a full life—enjoying relationship with God—that’s possible for every one of us.

By John Blase

REFLECT & PRAY

Good Shepherd, thank You for laying down Your life for me, one of the sheep. And thank You for Your promise to provide nothing less than the daily bread I need, both literally and figuratively.

Would you say that right now you’re living “life to the full”? Why or why not? Have you had a tendency to equate full with many things?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The seven “I am” statements recorded in the gospel of John are Christ’s own descriptions of Himself. They’re metaphors He uses to draw out imagery that describes the implications of His identity. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” (6:35); “the light of the world” (8:12); “the gate” (10:9); “the good shepherd” (10:11); “the resurrection and the life” (11:25-26); “the way and the truth and the life” (14:6); and “the vine” (15:5).

By describing Himself as the gate (10:7), He declares that the sheep will only find safety and pasture when they enter through Him. Then, in related imagery, Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd (v. 11). This is imagery of trust and intimacy. Jesus knows His sheep in a deep and personal way and lays down His life for them in the face of threat. J.R. Hudberg