Jehovah Ori

Recently, we were sitting around the table eating Sushi with some fellow pastors studying doctrine by Kevin J. Conner. This particular day, we were discussing that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and infallible. I know that this may seem basic but in a world that calls good evil and evil good, the integrity of God’s word has been watered down, altered and changed by many.

In our dialogue about the Holy Scriptures, we recognized several truths:
1. Scripture came to us by the revelation of God
2. Inspiration is the process by which the revelation was written down
3. Illumination is the process by which the Holy Spirit enlightens us to understand what was already revealed.

In the end, what this is communicating is that there is no new revelation of God’s Word, but illumination of it. It made us think of the loose way we use terminology that actually matters. This word illumination (comes from the root word illuminate) and speaks of shining light on, providing insight and clarity. All of a sudden, I was reminded that Jesus is the light. He is Jehovah Ori “The Light”. Let’s look into what this name means to us.

 “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?…” (Psalm 27:1) That word “light” is Ori (H0216) from illumination and directly means light. 

Jesus himself makes this statement in John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

When God uses the term “I AM”, He is declaring that He is the fullness of Light itself. There is no darkness in him. Darkness is defined by the absence of light. It can’t overtake the light (John 1:5). It is also a Biblical representation of evil and lack of knowledge. 

The Bible speaks often of things that are done (hidden, plotted and secret things) in darkness but are exposed in light. For example, “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17) OR “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:22). 

This is what I love the most about Jehovah Ori, He is an exposer of darkness. He unravels lies and deception as they can’t hide in the light. It is why it is fundamental that we live in the light. It is a bearer of truth of righteousness. Don’t be deceived, God operates in the light and so should we. 

All this is summed up very well in 1 John 1:5-9:

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Jesus (as the light) bears witness to the truth (John 18:37) and we who follow him recognize it. We are also designed to be lights in this world. As bearers of truth and the light (Christ) we are not to hide that witness of the glory of God but to proclaim it as Jehovah Ori lights our light in this world.

 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Before we finish discussing about Jehovah Ori, there is one more really important attribute that this name provides to us. Light gives us direction. (Psalm 119:105…light unto my path). Ori guides us, shows us the way, and protects us from the hazards of this world. We need the direction of God everyday, and the clarity that the light provides is just that.

As the light of the world, Jehovah will forever be the light even in the world to come (Revelation 21:23).

Let’s pray.

Father God, I thank you that you are the Light of the world. You are the fullness of Light itself. You shine bright and illuminate my way this day. Reveal to me the impurities of my heart as your light shines upon me. Show me the truth this day. Keep me from lies and deception. Shine upon those things that are hidden and done in secret. Evil schemes and plotting that only you can expose. You only are Light. Let my life be a light to others and let me do so with boldness as I reflect your Glory.

Names of God // Jehovah Magen

I had the chance of growing up during one of the most exciting eras for new technology, the creation of video games and consoles. The implementation of PONG in the 70’s, followed by the Atari 2600, Coleco Vision and Intellivision consoles started off the revolution. Then the next era of Nintendo, Sega, NEC SuperGrafx and NeoGeo. Eventually we got to Playstations and Xboxes, and the revolution is now infinite to the world of gaming.

In midst of this revolution was also the personal computer. Starting with the Vic20, into the Commodore 64 and eventually the Amiga the predecessor of the modern computer. Personal computers brought video gaming to whole new level. Can’t even imagine how many hours I played games in my childhood. As the creation of FPS’ with Duke Nukem and Doom appeared on the scene, they competed heavily with an era of RTS games of Dune, Age of Empires and Command & Conquer. 

It was during this time that my fascination with military conquests, armies and war began. It would be fair to say that we developed a mild addiction to AOE. It was a game with many different civilizations and military strategies. Each uniquely designed with different units and armour. It was the armour that was so cool. Particularly the shields that complemented the armour set. The styles and purposes for each type to protect in a different way always peaked my interest. So when I heard one day that God had a name as a shield, I was all over it. So today we gonna look at Jehovah Magen, God my Shield.

Let’s look at two scriptures to bring this out. Psalms 18:1-2 (NKJV) and Psalm 91:4 (NKJV)

“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield (Magen), and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler (Magen);

I choose these two scriptures because they bring out something relevant. One translates the word shield and the other buckler. In the second scripture it actually says shield and buckler separately. Personally, I found this confusing so I looked into it. So when you look up the word Magen, it means “A shield; a protector; also the scaly hide of the crocodile” Scutes (scales on crocs): serve a protective function; body armour against environmental abrasions and predators.

BUCK’LER is a kind of SHIELD, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. 

A buckler differs from a shield in that a shield is carried by straps and worn on the arm whereas the buckler is held in a “fist” grip. Over time, the weapon has changed and developed regardless of whether it was held in the fist or worn on the arm. What can be said is that the buckler was small and more maneuverable as a hand-held shield for deflecting and punching blows then the larger often full body defensive shields. A buckler actual is combination piece that is used offensively as well, as it is an object that assaults your foe.

So really what does this mean, it means that God is not only a full body shield for us but he is also a smaller fist shield used in combat. They both are shields, they both serve a purpose and they are both effective weapons of war. As time has continued we have seen the evolution of bubble shields, these can completely surround us on ever side. Ultimately God is a shield to us on every side and when I pray, I like to envision myself surrounded by this impregnable defense system of the Lord. 

The Bible says Jehovah is a shield to those who walk uprightly (Proverbs 2:7), trust him (2 Samuel 22:31), and fear him (Psalm 115:11). What does this tell us? It reveals that we need to be confident with our trust in God and walk in the fear of the Lord. This is a life of faith, but as we do so we can surely know that our God is going to hedge us in on every side as we go through the storms of life. 

Another attribute of the shield we discussed was that they had an umbo in the middle of them. This was important because as the enemy sends attacks of fiery arrows, the umbo deflects them to the side. The attacks against us end up being useless duds as they fall to our feet. We have to always remember that we are in a war everyday. Sometimes, we can sure up in the fortress, but other times we are on the front lines of the battle and Jehovah Magen being our shield is a strong defense on the battlefield. It should always be remembered that not only does a shield protect, but it allows us to advance as well.

Here is how you can pray the name of Jehovah Magen. Father God, I thank you that you are my shield this day. That I can be confident knowing that you surround me, you protect me when trouble is near. When the onslaught of things come against me, my character, my family, my finances etc., I know that you are hedging me in from the enemy’s attacks. Your word says that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and I know that the weapons the enemy uses this day will deflect off your shield and fall to my feet.

Names of God // Jehovah Go’El

One of the most beloved stories of all time is that of Cinderella. I would imagine that most people can connect with the emotions of this fairy-tale. There are many renditions of this piece of literature over the years, but Ever After, is certainly my Sheri’s absolute favourite. I mean one year for her birthday, she told so many people about this film that she ended up with three copies as gifts. The story of this afterthought in life becoming royalty as the prominent love interest of the prince is overwhelming.

There are many Biblical comparisons to this adventure and many like to equate it to Esther, which certainly bears some similarities, but I think the book of Ruth captures this story of Redemption even better. It is here that we explore another name of God, Jehovah Go’el (Lord my Redeemer).

See in the book of Ruth, we have Naomi who leaves for a foreign land with her husband and two sons who die there. Many years later she returns empty handed with only the loyalty of Ruth, her daughter in-law, coming back with her. These women lost everything. Noami even tells people to start calling her Mara, meaning bitter, for this is how she viewed how the Almighty had dealt with her. Ruth was now a widowed foreigner in a strange land, left to glean leftovers of the fields to survive. A true afterthought in society, not much more than a slave, just like our Cinderella. 

Then the story shifts, Boaz comes into the picture as a foreshadowing of our God. He becomes the outcast’s Go’el. He restores the rights of another and redeems Ruth. She becomes a mother in the line of ancestors of our Saviour, Jesus. Let’s learn more of this name of Jehovah. 

The term Go’el comes from the Hebrew root word lig’ol (meaning to redeem). Go’el is a term that denotes a person who as the nearest blood relative of another is charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another, avenging his wrongs. This goes back to Leviticus 25:48-49 “48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him;”, and Numbers 5:8 “But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for the wrong must go to the Lord for the priest, in addition to the ram of the atonement with which atonement is made for him.”. [Deuteronomy 25:5-6 & Numbers 35:9-30 states additional duties of the go’el.]. Go’el’s not only redeem slaves and enact justices, but in Ruth’s case raised up a seed for her dead family who became an heir. 

Further in Isaiah 47 God references himself as the Redeemer (Go’el) of Israel. This means that he is the next of Kin blood relative with the responsibility to enact justice on those who have wronged you. In addition, it implies that one will be moving onto something greater. As we were all sold into the slavery of sin, the importance of a Go’el becomes ever so much more important. This person (Go’el) has the rights to redeem that person out of slavery. Who better fulfills this then our Saviour at the cross where he paid the price for our freedoms and made us heirs of God. Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”. and Titus 2:14 “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

Our Jehovah is a mighty Redeemer. He brings us freedom and promotion. He lifts up out of the wallows of the pains of life and the bitterness that knocks on our doors. He sees when we are wronged and defenseless. He comes in the fierce protective nature of a father and enacts justice on our behalf. We can count on it, we can take it to the bank that Jehovah won’t decline his responsibility as Go’el in our lives. He instead defends our honour by putting his name on the line for us undeserving peasants, making us of royal blood. Have you ever needed someone to stand up for you? Speak on your behalf when you had no voice, been falsely accused, or your character assassinated? You need to look no further, Jehovah Go’el in here.

Here is how we pray the name of Jehovah Go’el. I thank you Lord that you are my Redeemer this day. That you have set me free from the bondages of sin and everything that I have been captive to in my life. Free from addictions, fear, abuse, anger, unforgiveness…I thank you that you see me in my afflictions and come to my aid. That you stand up for me when no one else does. That you have made me an heir of God. I pray that you will enact justice on my behalf where injustice has prevailed. You are a good God and thank you that you are restoring to me that which was lost and providing restitution for me.

Names of God \\ Jehovah Mephalti

The Bible is full of stories and foreshadowing of deliverance. Some of my favourites are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Daniel in the lion’s den. Samson. Gideon, Ehud and who can forget about Esther. God right from the very beginning of our fall into sin had a plan to deliver us from it at the cross. You know why? Because he is a God of Deliverance. It’s one of his names, it who He is, Jehovah Mephalti.

Jehovah Mephalti is the Lord my Deliverer. As we have been exploring the Psalm 18:2 (2 Samuel 22:2) “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer (Mephalti); My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” Mephalti is one who delivers; releases or rescues; a preserver. David was constantly being pursued by his enemies. BUT the LORD delivered him each and every time. He delivered David from Goliath, Saul, Enemy Kings, Armies and Rebellions.

One can’t talk about deliverance without speaking of Moses. The story starts with fear gripping Pharaoh, so he plotted to afflict them to keep them subdued. Exodus 1:9-11, sets the scene.

“And he (Pharaoh) said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens”

When people are afflicted, oppressed and abused it would be more than fair to say that they cry out! When we cry out to God, we are addressing Him, petitioning Jehovah to intervene. And God does intervene as he communicates this to Moses in Exodus 3:7-8, “And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…”

So God sends Moses to act on his behalf in God’s plan of deliverance. It was important to know that Israel was God’s child and he is a fierce parent when it comes to his children. So after 400 years of affliction, God shows up on the scene with this opening statement to the hardhearted ruler of the Egyptians. Exodus 4:22-23 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”

Now this is a God who means business. We often remember the last plague that came upon the Egyptians without remembering the way God introduced himself and then with mercy gave Pharaoh chance after to chance to comply with letting his son go. This is our Mephalti, our Deliverer, a mighty God who will boldly defend and bring freedom to his children. We all know how the story unfolds, ultimately, God delivers his children and in the process of the deliverance the wealth of their enemy was transferred to them. Further, those who oppressed them were utterly destroyed.

David expresses his gratitude to Jehovah Mephalti in another Pslam (34:17-19)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

All throughout history God has been in the process of Delivering his people, even when the afflictions they suffered were from their disobedience. In Judges 2:16Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out the hand of those who plundered them.” God is surely in the delivering business.

There is one more attribute that I want to bring out about Jehovah Mephalti. Deliverance not only speaks of what you have been saved from but also what has been given to you. Judges 1:2 clearly shows us this “And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up indeed I have delivered the land into his hand.” In this situation, God delivered the promise land to his people. God is more than able to be the Deliverer of goods to you in every situation of your life.

No weapon formed against you will prosper. No trouble, no addiction, no hurt, no person or nation can prevent your deliverance. Christ secured this victory for us at the cross of deliverance. Romans 8:2 “For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin death.” He has delivered us from sin and the power of it. He’s delivered us from the lies of the enemy by revealing to us who we are in Christ as our Deliverer, we are free from fear, anxiety, unworthiness and the bondages of this life.

Let us pray,

I thank you Lord, that you are my Deliverer this day. You set me free from the cares of this world. You give me freedom from sin, bondages and addictions. Give me the strength to walk in your ways as a free soul. I thank you that no weapon formed against me with prosper this day. Thank you that you are delivering me from my enemies and they are falling into their own traps. You truly are Jehovah Mephalti and are leading me into the promised land of destiny for my life.

Names of God | Jehovah Misqabbi

One of the wonderful things about God is that he is woven into everything. Even his names are woven together and overlap with compounding purpose. We spoke of Jehovah Sali and Metshodhathi, our Rock and Fortress. What if we took that Rock and Fortress and combined the two of them? We’d end up with another name for the almighty, Jehovah Misqabbi (Stronghold; Strong Tower).

When I was a child, my father took us on a trip to Israel and we went to a place called Masada. I remember climbing what seemed to be this monstrous mountain and getting a shirt that said “I climbed Masada”. It was a highlight of that trip. Decades later, I returned to Israel with my spouse, and visited this site again. It quickly became one of my favourite places, but his time for other reasons.

Masada was desert fortress stronghold like no other. It was built 1,300 ft above the dead sea in the middle of wasteland, upon a rocky mesa and covered 18 acres. Built by King Herod, Masada literally means strong foundation or support. Herod was an absolute architectural genius. The things that he built were just unreal for his day and age. This place was built upon and into the rock. It had almost 30 store rooms with enough supplies to last 1,000 people for years. He built cisterns right into the mountain side that would collect the natural rain. 40,000 cubic metres of storage, enough for an endless supply of drinking. Conquering this location was no easy feat and eventually the Romans succumbed to using Jewish captives on the forefront to overthrow their enemy.

Strongholds were a place of safety and last stands. The cities and nations would retreat to them as a rallying point when enemy nations came on their conquests.

David is blending many attributes of God together in Psalms 18:2 (2 Samuel 22:2)

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Misqabbi)describing Jehovah as his trusted place of safety and protection in the midst of life’s storms. Like Masada, this imagery reminds me of LOTR, Helm’s Deep. All of middle earth is at war, the enemy came to wipe them out with numbers untold. The people formed their last stand in the rocky fortress, a stronghold whose walls had never been breached. See how the strength of the Rock, the walls, the high ground making it almost impregnable.

This is David’s imagery. I can rest in Jehovah Misqabbi for long seasons of unrest. When battles rage around me and against me, he found peace and serenity within the walls of his God. He speaks of the righteous running into the name of God as a strong tower.

Having a place of safety in world that is not safe, is so foundational to our lives as believers. Luke 21:26 says thatMen’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Fear abounds, disease runs rapid, insecurity and instability surrounds us. There is no doubt that fear is griping people’s hearts, but we can be of good cheer for our God has overcome the world. He is our place of safety and that alone is without measure in my life.

Lets show how we can pray Jehovah Misqabbi…I thank you Lord that you are my Strong Tower this day. That I can find peace and safety within your arms. That you are a hedge of protection round about me. That your defenses will not fail. That you are strength to me, you act as the pillar of fire between my enemies and me. That the foundation of my security and hopes in firmly built upon your rock which is a fortress and stronghold in my life…

Names of God | Jehovah Metshodathi

One of my favourite superheroes is none other than the man of steel, Superman. He is so powerful, yet so vulnerable. In watching some of the media on Superman, we learn of the special place his father prepared for him, the Fortress of Solitude. It was a place of solace, security, revelation and so much more. Often we found Superman in need of refreshing, in need of wisdom and he traveled to the safety of that fortress. King David also had this revelation of what a fortress was. For a man of war, he certainly had his share of interactions of both residing in and conquering fortresses. Beyond the natural realm he also realized that God was a fortress to him.  So let’s explore another name of God, Jehovah Metshodhathi, My Fortress.

Psalms 18:2 (2 Samuel 22:2)

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress (Metshodhathi) and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

David was in thanksgiving while writing this Psalm. He combined multiple attributes of God together in one sweeping statement. Many of these overlap and build upon each other but they also have independent elements of significance.

A few years ago, while on a cruise, we had the opportunity to port at the beautiful city of San Juan. Old San Juan is a smaller city and could be walked around in the course of a day. It’s shoreline was breathtaking, the beautiful colours of the buildings and the highlight of San Juan, the fortresses. Castillo San Cristóbal and El Morro, are fortresses built by Spain to protect against land-based attacks and key military location in the Caribbean spanning over 70 acres. Castillo San Cristóbal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish. Equipped with towers, bunkers and supplies it housed 1000’s for long periods of time. It was truly a sight to be seen. Spending the day walking around it, really gave me a new appreciation for what Jehovah Metshodhathi is to me.

When looking up the word Fortress. I love the dictionary definition by Webster. 1. Any fortified place; a fort; a castle; a strong hold; a place of defense or security.

Fortresses were often built on hills, cliffs and mountain sides. They wanted the high ground for the advantage of military operations.  Fortress walls were tall and often just as wide, sometimes exceeding great lengths of 40+ feet. They were commonly layered so that if one wall was breached that another interior wall would still be there protecting. These were war machines defending territories and solidifying rule.

So when David spoke of God as Metshodhathi, it was a lot and it means a lot to us as well. Have you ever needed to a place to feel secure in the midst of your enemies. In Psalm 23:5 it states, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.” You could certainly be having a feast inside the fortress while your enemies surround your walls.

Communities were protected by fortresses. In time of trouble they would gather within its walls. It was a place of strength for individuals, families and regions. They spoke volumes to those wishing to prey on the innocent. God is revealing his character to us as a Fortress. We can confidently go to him in prayer and ask for his devine help as a fortress in our lives.

Father God I thank you that you are my Metshodhathi, my Fortress. You are my strong safe place in times of uncertainty. When the enemy encircles me, I can run to you for protection. I know that I can sleep in peace within the loving walls of your arms. I pray for your sustaining endurance to uphold me, and provide for me in life’s storms. I thank you that you send forth your arrows from the towers into the enemies camp.

Names of God | Jehovah Sali

We hear slogans all the time about rocks. “Like a Rock” is just one of them. Growing up, I often heard a phrase about the “Rock of Gibraltar.” It was always mentioned as being really solid, wasn’t gonna be destroyed and last throughout the storms of life. I decided to look up what Gibraltar is actually made of and found that it was made of “Monolithic Limestone.” Limestone is a porous sediment that mixes with other sediments and varies in strength accordingly.

Gibraltar is an extension of land on the straight of Gibraltar. This straight is the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. The importance of this location has been critical to the region from either a protecting or conquering position. As a result, Gibraltar is a heavily fortified British air and naval base that guards the Strait of Gibraltar. Since the 18th century, Gibraltar has been a symbol of British naval strength, and it is commonly known as “the Rock.” So It was a combination of strength via location, fortification, rock, defense and towering height that makes this place so formidable.

You know who else is formidable?

You got it! My God, and one of His names is Jehovah Sali, “The Rock.”

There’s a passage of scripture in Psalms 18:2 that makes mention of 6 names of God in itself. That’s a pretty powerful passage. We learned about one of those previously as Jehovah Keren-Yish’I (Horn of my Salvation), so we are going to spend a few discussions breaking down the other names found here, starting with “Sali.”

Let’s read.

Psalms 18:2 (2 Samuel 22:2)

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

This passage in Psalms is actually taken from the life of David in 2nd Samuel. It’s a song of praise and thanksgiving to God by David after a long journey. Many of us know of the great victories of David, like the slaying Goliath and the heathen nations, but the Bible is full of the struggles of David. Almost immediately after his fight with Goliath, he was seen as a threat to the king, Saul. Saul went on to try to kill him. David had to flee his home, and his wife was given to another. He spent years wandering in the wilderness, living in foreign lands, always hunted, always being pursued, always in a place of discomfort. He must’ve asked God many times, Why? What had he done? He must’ve wanted to give up. Maybe he asked if it was vain serving God.

Oh, to be a fly in the wilderness with David. All these questions, but this song speaks to God’s faithfulness in David’s life.

Many years pass while David is living in these conditions. The trials and difficulties continue. I mean, next his entire family is taken from him and his men wanted to kill him. Does it ever end? Eventually, Saul dies and David becomes king. Only half of the kingdom followed him. Another war with Israel occurred. Finally, he rules the whole kingdom. Is there peace? David falls into temptation. David’s son Absalom rebels and takes over kingdom…David flees again. Restored to king. Sheba starts rebellion. You get the picture? This is David’s life. The man who had a heart after God. Chased most of his life by his enemies reflects on his life with these words in 2 Samuel 22:1-2:

“Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said “The Lord is my rock (Sali) and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield
and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

So let’s talk about Jehovah Sali (My Rock).

Webster defines a rock as a mass of stony matter, and figuratively as a place of safety, protection, strength, asylum or a firm immovable foundation. A rock denotes something solid and sure. Ageless, able to weather the storm and still remain. David is saying here that Jehovah Sali is the solid rock upon which he stands. The firm foundation of his life. As Isaiah 28:16 says “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.

Jesus is the Rock, He is the cornerstone on which all else is established. Do you understand the importance of a firm foundation? Do understand what it means to be a cornerstone in a building?

Wait, it gets better. 1 Corinthians 10:4 states “I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 

This story is from Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:8-11 where Jehovah was the Rock that spewed forth water for the people. There are so many things to say about this. This rock was not just firm foundation, it was also a source of life. It was the living waters of God that quenches our thirst with spiritual water. It is a well of life and it refreshes us.

Another passage that reveals something I really like is Psalms 144:1 “Bless the LORD who is my immovable Rock. He gives me strength and skill in battle.”

An immovable Rock! Let’s just say that this Rock (Jehovah Sali) isn’t going anywhere. He will be the foundation for your life, for eternity. God is a rock that is not made of a substance of this earth. He is unbreakable, he isn’t going to wear out and he’s not gonna crack under pressure.

In actuality, David’s revelation of God being his rock goes even deeper then all this.

In 1 Samuel 17:49 “Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.”

Christ was the rock that was in his sling that not only destroyed his enemy, but catapulted him into the beginning of his destiny.  God is our Rock “Jehovah Sali”

Sample Prayers:

I thank you Lord that you are my firm foundation, the rock upon which I stand…

You alone are the strength of my hand and the rock that shatters my enemies…

Life flows from you, my Sali, thank you for the refreshing of your spirit upon me today…

Names of God |El Roi

It’s funny how things happen – and how God can speak to us through seemingly insignificant everyday things.

A box of Mini Wheats showed up on my porch before I even finished praying. Knee-deep into renovations and only days after ripping out our kitchen, we lost our jobs – in the middle of a pandemic. In a moment’s time we were forced to reevaluate our financial situation. I needed to know God would take care of us.

Brian answered the door and while I was still in my room praying this, he quietly slipped the box in the room. I opened my eyes, looking right at the box.

Doesn’t seem to be much, so let me continue…

When I was seven I found Jesus in the upper room of an old church building. An elderly lady talked about this man named Jesus. I knew I wanted to know Him. She led me through a prayer inviting Him into my heart. That night, alone in my room, I prayed. ‘God, if you are who she said you are, our family needs food.’

I went to bed.

In the morning, there was a knock on the door. A sweet couple was standing there with bags in their hands – groceries. BAGS OF GROCERIES.

God was real.

It didn’t end there. When I looked through the bags, I found a box of my favourite cereal. That’s when God showed me that He saw me, He knew me and He would always be there for me.

I want to take you back to a story in the Bible.

Genesis 16. It’s the story of Sarai’s maidservant, Hagar.

God had given Abram a promise of descendants, but his wife Sarai was barren. They were well up there in age, past the childbearing years. So, Sarai had this ‘brilliant’ idea that Abram should sleep with her servant Hagar to bring forth the promise. He followed through with it and Hagar becomes pregnant. When Sarai saw that this happened, she was quite upset and she dealt harshly with Hagar – to the point that Hagar ran away.

When Hagar flees, she comes to a spring of water in the wilderness. It’s here that an angel found her. She recounts to the angel what had happened to her, why she’s on the run. The angel tells her to return to Sarai and submit herself under her hand. He then continued, saying that the Lord would multiply her descendants exceedingly. He tells her that she is pregnant with a boy and his name would be called Ishmael because the LORD had heard her affliction.

Let’s pick up in verse 13.

Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

It’s here that God reveals His heart in a uniquely powerful way. He showed Hagar that He saw her as an individual – and cared about her. He showed her that she wasn’t forgotten or thrown to the side. She was valuable in His eyes.

Fast forward to May 2020.

This everyday, seemingly insignificant gift was a little reminder of that day when God revealed Himself as Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. However, this reiteration of who He is also brought out another element of His character to me – God sees me. He is El Roi. He showed me that even though my life was abruptly altered at the actions of another, He wasn’t limited by those actions.

Even when people make conscious decisions to hurt you, God still sees you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is transcendent, which means that He exists outside of time and space. He knows the EXACT moment that you need what you need. Cry out to Him. Tell Him what happened to you. Expect Him to move on your behalf. He will.

Can I bring it one step further?

There was a bowl and a spoon delivered with the cereal. When I found them, God ever so sweetly revealed to me that He not only sees us and provides for us, He also gives us what we need to ENJOY those provisions – not struggling to make do with less than full provisions.

Here are some prayer starters that you can personalize in your own situation as you pray to God, El Roi, the God who sees.

I thank You that in the midst of my struggles, pain, and life itself, You see me…

As my El Roi, I know that You have not forgotten me…

I’m not an afterthought, but I am on Your mind…

I know that You have seen me this day and provide all that I need…

I thank You that You see beyond my words and You see my heart…

Names of God | Adonai

If there has ever been a time that the spirit of antichrist is evident in the world it is certainly now. The Bible speaks of the increase of these things as the day of the Lord comes closer and closer. Opposition to God is no longer a hidden agenda but an outright open assault. Nonetheless, God’s word always has a timely revelation for every season of life. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Did I just a quote a passage of scripture that had the word “submit” in it? Absolutely. God’s word is full of life and freedom and even through submission is victory over the enemy found. This leads us to another revelation of God through his name, Adonai, which means Lord and Master.

Our story is found in Genesis 15:1-2 “After these things the word of the LORD (Jehovah) came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord (Adonai) God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Little nugget for you, the first LORD is all capitalized, which represents Jehovah (to be discussed on another day). The second Lord is capital “L” and lowercase letters which represents Adonai. This is the same situation as in Exodus 4:10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” In both these situations God is present and the speaker acknowledges God as “Adonai” meaning Lord and Master. Adonai is another way of saying “Owner” of all things. So, when we use the phrase Adonai, we are saying, I submit to you as my Lord, Master and Owner. This is an act of obedience, sacrifice and surrender to another. What I find interesting in both of these passages and the stories that follow, is that the response of Adonai to God from man acted like a password for the unveiling of Jehovah in their lives. The miraculous power of God was released after both of them spoke of their surrender to Him as Master.

In Romans 10:9-10 we see a well known scripture concerning what one does to become a Christian. It reads, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”. This verse very clearly identifies something important that many omit when speaking of Jesus of in their lives. That of Lordship. One doesn’t simply make Jesus their Saviour, without making Him their Lord. All to often, we want a God to save us, we want a Saviour, but we don’t want to surrender to his Lordship. 

Even Jesus surrendered to His heavenly father in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). His prayer is basically saying to the Father, Adonai, I surrender to you all that I am. I submit to you as my Lord, Master and Owner. This is an act of obedience, sacrifice and surrender to another. Jesus took his intimate relationship, love and respect for his Father in ABBA and followed it up with his submission to his Father as Lord all in one. This is essentially exactly what Jesus did. He surrendered his will, mind, emotions, body and spirit to his Father as his Master. We all know the fullness of the release of power of God that followed with the cross.

This surrender to Adonai is precisely what God is looking for from us. He is the good master, He wants the best for you, to provide for you, protect you and see you flourish. Will you surrender to God this day, or be lead by your own desires and yourself on the throne of your heart. I’m going with my Adonai.

Sample Prayer: I thank you that you are my Adonai. I surrender this day my will, my mind and my emotions to you. I give you my finances, gifts and talents for your purpose. I trust you with my life, for you are good. I submit to your lordship this day.

Names of God | Jehovah Keren-Yish’I

Have you ever noticed how often characters in art and media possess horns? They are everywhere. There are the little ones with Sully (Monster’s Inc.), or the Beast (Beauty and the Beast). Then you have Dark, Powerful and Mysterious ones like Maleficient. Some characters have them protrude from their skulls while others are adorned with a helmet reflecting their majesty. Horns all through the centuries and still evident today. Many of my favourite characters in games and movies are dressed with the latest fashion of horns. So why all the fascination with horns? It’s because they are awesome. You know who else is awesome? God. And you guessed it, he has a horn in one of his names. Let’s take a look at Jehovah Keren-Yish’I “Horn of my Salvation”.

To look at this. Let’s start with a horn. Horns are used for fighting, protection, and securing dominance. They are symbols of strength, power, and victory. Often, Scripture’s mention of a “horn” is as a literary symbol representing potency and power. We could stop here and you would already get the point of the significance of the horn, but that is just the beginning.

Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was inspired to prophesy about the physical and spiritual deliverance that Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of David and Son of God, would bring. We see the symbolism of a horn—in this case representing the victorious power of God:

Luke 1:68-69 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,”. The Bible uses many examples of horns as power, like in Psalm 75:10, God says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” In other words, the righteous will prevail, no matter how strong the wicked seem to be. In Jeremiah 48:25, “Moab’s horn is cut off and his arm is broken, says the LORD” means that the strength of Moab is gone.

The next thing of significance was animal horns were also used as receptacles for oil. This is very significant. 1 Samuel 16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve for Saul, when I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen a king for Myself among his sons.”

Oil is a symbol of the anointing of God. Anointing speaks to being set apart or consecrated. God’s grace falls upon the individual who is anointing with oil. The horn is a representing of power and combined with the oil within it is a powerful anointing that is produced. I once heard it described that God is the one who unplugs the oil in the horn during anointing. Such was the case of David’s anointing. God was the one who unplugged Samuel’s horn for the oil to pour out upon David. The horn was the vessel by which the anointing oil was carried.

So as we continue, the Horn of Salvation speaks to the power of God bringing salvation to mankind on multiple levels. Salvation by means of power, strength and victory. This is who God is, Jehovah Keren Yish’I. That being said, we can never capture the multiple facets of who God is, and the Bible speaks of another significant instance of the word horn in the Old Testament as God told Moses to build the altar for sacrifices with four hornlike projections on the four corners of it. (Exodus 27:2; 29:12; Revelation 9:13).

In worship, the horns of the altar were dabbed with blood to purify them and make atonement for sin (Leviticus 8:154:6). How is that for a foreshadowing of Jesus’ atoning blood on the cross for our sins. The horns of the altar speak of the power of God’s salvation. It gets better too, that part of the altar also became a place of refuge, sanctuary and salvation for a fugitive At the time of Solomon, taking hold of the horns of the altar was seen as a way to seek mercy and protection, as both Adonijah and Joab did this (1 Kings 1:50 & 2:28 ).

So here we have it, God reveals to us more of his character in his name Jehovah Keren Yish’I. As we call upon him in our daily prayers, he is sure to bring the powerful salvation we all need in our lives.