Names of God | Jehovah Nissi

As I continue to learn about the names of God and the revelations of what they tell me about His nature, I’m constantly finding myself with deeper understanding of who my Saviour is. Today’s name has really grown on me the past few months. So let’s talk about Jehovah Nissi, the LORD our Banner.

There are a few examples of this name in God’s Word that we can discuss, but I want to start with Exodus 17:8-16:

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner (Jehovah Nissi); 16 for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

A banner is “a flag, military ensign, the principal standard of a prince or state”. They honor champions, and commemorate heroes. They are meant to be seen and not ignored. On the battle field they even have more significance, the banner summons and calls people to it. It is a rallying point. The impact of this never really clicked with me until recently when I watched an old favourite movie of mine, called The Patriot. There’s this epic battle at the end of the movie, the enemy was advancing on them, the front line was faltering. The Flag Bearer fell, and the troops began to retreat.

You see in battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. The battle field is often chaotic, stressful, noisy and even worst filled with smoke and debris. So, I’m watching this movie, and all of a sudden Mel Gibson stops what he is doing, grabs this flag off the ground and starts waving it around. He’s screaming like a mad man with the banner. And then it happened, the troops see it, hope surges, courage rises, passion pushes them forward. In that moment your own heart surged, it like “Let me in the fight”. It’s all over, there was no stopping this army now.

This is what was happening with Moses on top of that hill. The banner of God was being raised with his hands towards heaven. When lifting high, the enemy was routed. When let down, the enemy would advance. So they supported the hands to prevail.

This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point. Jehovah Nissi is always visible on the battlefield because he is above the chaos. I told my son, who likes to play Apex Legends, that even when Bangalore drops their smoke on the field, when we look up above the smoke, it’s still clear.

Another important thing about banners is that they act as an anchor in times of uncertainty. When we are lost, hopeless and confused that banner reminds us that not only is Jehovah present but He is our standard to tell us what is real and what’s not. Jehovah Nissi is solid anchor of truth that can always be depended on.

The battle with Amalek was not just a physical battle but a spiritual one. Jehovah Nissi is our source of power, hope, courage and deliverance. God gave us other examples of Jehovah Nissi in Numbers 21:8-9 when the bronze serpent was lifted up on a pole and those who looked upon it were healed. How much more was that a foreshadowing of John 3:14-15 when Jesus, God Himself, was lifted up on a Cross for the Salvation of the world! Nissi is powerful! God is rallying the troops together in these last days. He’s calling us to pray. The sleeping giants are awakening and his Banner calls us to arise and conquer. It’s a day to advance and take the territory. 

Names of God | Jehovah Tsaba

When I was growing up, I remember hearing about the many different names of God. People would use them in our Christian clichés with regularity, but they never really clicked in my understanding the purpose of what those names were really for. It’s like having knowledge, but without knowing how to apply that knowledge, we lack wisdom.

In the New Testament there are two Greek words that are used to communicate the English of “word”. This is “logos” meaning spoken word, and “rhema” often translated as revealed word or illuminated word. Rhema is the word that is translated in Luke 5:5 “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” It was this revealed word that enlightening Peter to let his net down.

My father attended Rhema Bible Institute when I was a child and later he had a license plate with word “RHEMA” on it. I can remember sitting in the car with my parents and someone reading our license plate and my parent saying “Yes, the Rhema word, get ahold of it”. Not sure why, but that moment always stuck with me. Fast forward to the future now, and those names of God starting coming back to me while in prayer. It started being illuminated to me how God’s character is revealed in his name and that all we need from him is captured in his name. God’s name is powerful, intentional, and provisional for every circumstance we can experience in this life. So today we are going to continue on our journey of prayer and the names of God. This one is one of my favourites (I have a lot of favourites), Jehovah Tsaba.

Jehovah Tsaba (Lord of Hosts or Lord our Warrior)

Our story is found in 1 Samuel 17:42-51

42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts (Jehovah Tsaba), the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 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. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.

I always loved this story, I mean who doesn’t. There is so much to take from it. The Philistine cursed David and disdained him, having full confidence in his abilities and weapons of war to conquer this ruddy shepherd boy. But David was bold and knew who his God was. He identifies all the weapons that his enemy is carrying with him, a sword, a spear and a javelin. They didn’t phase him. He didn’t respond with “Oh ya, I got a slingshot”. He declared what he already knew, that all that he needed was Jehovah Tsaba.

It says “I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts”. He went into battle with the name of God, Tsaba! He didn’t go in with the name of David, or Saul or the name of a nation, but simply Tsaba. His proclamation was that the Leader of the armies of God was with him in battle. It is his strength that carries us in battle. The Lord of the Hosts in the best of the best. The champion of champions. He is the general of the armies of heaven and when you fall this day, all the earth will know He is God. For Tsaba doesn’t save by swords and spears, these are his battles and his name alone brings victory.

What battle are you in? What weapons has your enemy brought to destroy you? Rise up this day and remind your enemy that Jehovah Tsaba is with you, the Lord of the Hosts, the mighty warrior, and by his name you enter battle. Thank you, Jesus, that you are my Tsaba and today I enter battle with your name. You are everything I need as my enemy seeks my destruction…

Names of God | Jehovah Shammah

We are living in an increasingly strange world. In the midst of voluntary and involuntary isolation, we find ourselves often feeling alone. We not only ask where everyone is when we look outside, but also even ask “Where is the Lord?”in all this? I’ve been doing some blogs on the praying through the names of God because each of God’s names reveal to us more of His character. As we know more of His character than we can have more revelation of His nature. This revelation helps us as we pray to the all powerful God. Today we are going to discuss His name of Jehovah Shammah.

With all this Covid-19 taken place all around us, it’s stirred up lots of conversation about end times and the book of Revelations. The Bible does speak about many adventures coming as we get closer to Christ’s return, but the main point of all these things leads us to the return of Jesus. That brings us to the name of God, Jehovah Shammah, which means The Lord is There.

It is originally referenced in Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord Is There (Shammah).” In this passage, it speaks of the New Jerusalem and that the Lord will be there. After all things are said and done, God will establish a new heaven here on earth with the New Jerusalem. This verse in Ezekiel reveals that God’s physical presence will dwell among us in the New Jerusalem. How amazing will that be? You see throughout time, we have seen God be there with us and even live amongst us with the life of Jesus, but now it will be established forever.

Let’s discuss a few times where God was there in our midst in Biblical times. In Genesis 39:2 “The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” And further, Genesis 39:21 “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

In these verses, Joseph was in difficult times as a slave and prisoner. Life was not easy for him but these verses show that God was there in the midst of his adverse situations and it makes a difference. How would Joseph survived the slavery and pit without God being there with him? We don’t always realize he is there but God is there making a difference.

Another way of describing this is with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were thrown into a fiery furnace for not worshipping anyone but Jehovah. What happens, though, is that three men were thrown into the fire but a 4th showed up (the son of God) and was there in the midst of the fire with them walking about. How exciting is that to be in the worst trial of your life, literally thrown into burning blaze to have the son of God walk around with you in the midst of it.

So these were examples of Jehovah Shammah in the Old Testament but now in the new covenant, His presence is constantly with us when Christ accomplished the work of the cross. Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” And in Ephesians 3:17 is just one of many scriptures that reveals Christ resides in us “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith”. Jehovah Shammah feels very much like Immanuel (God is with us), this is because it would be difficult for God to be there and not be with us. So the two are really tied together. I believe there is still yet another revelation of Jehovah Shammah. I’ve shown you one perspective of what Shammah means, and it’s one thing to know that God is with you, but it’s another thing for your enemies to know that God is there by your side.

Let’s read in 1 Samuel 4:5-8

“5 And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before. Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.”

What does this say to our enemies when Jehovah Shammah is there in our midst. What confidence does it give us, to know that daddy God’s presence is there amongst us. Shammah is not only a confidence that God is here but is a reminder to your enemies who they are up against. So just know as you go forth this day that Jehovah Shammah is not only there with you, but that your enemies also know it too, and that’s a scary thing for them. Shammah’s got your back.

Names of God | Elohim

God.

I hear that name all the time. It carries a variety of meanings and certainly is expressed contextually many different ways. My friend was speaking of Thor, god of thunder, as possibly being the most powerful character in the marvel universe. I mean, Thor duel wielding Mjolnir and Stormbreaker is like an unstoppable force. Norse and Greek mythology are full of gods and demi-gods. Brian talks about studying them in high school, venturing through things like Homer’s Odessey. (Fun fact, I never learned Greek Mythology as I went to a Christian high school) Very fascinating stuff, especially how these lores of old have continued to blend into our culture century after century. Yet no matter how many gods are discussed in literature, there is only one with a capital “G”, God.

God is defined by Webster’s dictionary as: The Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the creator, and the sovereign of the universe. Supreme ruler of power, dominion and authority. Superior to all others.

That’s a pretty solid definition right there. Think about how many comic book characters have been created to replicate the magnitude of this being. We have the Beyonder, the Phoenix Force, Living Tribunal, the One-Above-All and yes, even Deadpool. Each and every one continues to fall short of God. Why? It is because as a created being we could never fully describe an indescribable God. So God reveals himself to us in his nearly 1,000 names to help us out a little.

Today, let’s discuss the Hebrew word for God, Elohim.

Elohim אֱלֹהִים ʼĕlôhîym, el-o-heem (God, Judge, Creator)

Genesis 1:1 is the 1st time God reveals himself as Elohim. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” That word for God is Elohim and is used over 2,000 times in the Bible. It is in the plural form and used specifically in reference of the Supreme God. This is how God introduces himself in the Bible as our Creator.

He is Transcendent

As our Creator, Elohim introduces us to a Transcendent God. This means that he exists apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe that he has created. Romans 1:20 states “Since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Revelations 1:8 sums this up “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, says the Lord God who is and was and is to come, the Almighty.” This revelation of God operating outside of time, means he is not limited to time. He is timeless. Time is part of a creation that he transcends.

He is Immanent

The second thing that is revealed of Elohim is that He is Immanent, permanently pervading and sustaining the universe. God, in his immanence, is the source of everything in the universe.

He is Omni-Present

A third attribute of Elohim is that He is omni-present. God is everywhere, Jeremiah 23:23-24 describes this, “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.” Elohim fills the heavens and earth with his presence. God is a omni-present God.

He is a Triune God

The last thing we learn from this introduction to him is that Elohim is a triune God. Elohim is the plural form God, captured as Gods. He follows up his opening statement in Genesis 1:1 with Genesis 1:26-27, “Let Us make man in Our image and Our likeness…in the image of God he created them; male and female.” On a side, I find that passage interesting because it denotes that there is a feminine part of the Godhead that is represented when they created females in their image. Countless scriptures dive into the details of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What does this mean? Quite simply, that there are 3 distinct people in one being known as Elohim. All three of them are God for us. So here they are representing a family which we are a part of.

The God of all that exists reveals himself as the Creator. What a way to introduce yourself. That’s my God, good ol’ Elohim.

Names of God | El Shaddai

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10

Brian and I recently preached on the Names of God. Many people are unaware of the resources and power we have available at our fingertips. All throughout the Bible, God constantly reveals himself and his character.

One of the things that we like to do as a family is to pray together. There are so many important elements to having a regular time of prayer with your family. So, this morning, like many other days, we prayed. My daughter had friends over, so we asked if they would like to be included in this time, which they were good with. Brian presented them with some options of the different names of God that we could use in our prayer time. After realizing that God has about 1000 names that describe his character, the name El Shaddai was selected. Knowing absolutely nothing about what El Shaddai meant, it was chosen as a powerful force that rhymed with “The Jedi”. So we embarked on learning about, El Shaddai the Jedi. It’s strange, right, like anyone ever watches a Star Wars movie in modern culture?  I mean, have you ever seen someone dressed up as stormtrooper, set your alarm for 3am to ride “Rise of the Resistance” or tote a purse with your favourite character, like baby Yoda?

Nonetheless, El Shaddai, was selected as the choice name of God.

Names tell a story and speak the future hope over people. My name means ‘beauty , grace, favour, slender and fair.’ My husband’s name, Brian, means ‘strength, virtue or strong one.’

The fact of the matter is names mean something to people. It’s special and unique to you, no matter who else bears it. They not only influence us, but those around us and their attitudes towards others.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Every time we say a name, we are making a confession over someone’s life. Our identity is attached to it.

In the Bible, a name stood for a person’s reputation, character, desires and future hopes.

The Hebrew word “Shem” translated “name” in the Old Testament literally means “A mark or a brand.” It reveals personality, character and purpose. For example, Nabal, whose name means “fool,” is referenced in 1 Samuel 25:25 “For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” Other examples include, David (beloved), Isaac (laughter), Satan (adversary).

Names are so important to God that he will even change your name to line it up with his destiny for you. Jacob (deceiver) was changed to Israel (God contends) or Abram (Exalted father) to Abraham (Father of a multitude).

When God reveals to us a name about himself, he is describing his character so we can know him better and he can be to us exactly who he is. Prayer is an excellent way for us to develop an intimacy with God. Knowing his names helps in this process.

Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

Jesus is teaching us how to pray in this passage. He starts off by addressing God as our Father. This establishes a relationship with Him. He is our dad and we are his family.

He follows this up with the “hallowed be your name”. Hallowed means consecrated to a sacred use, reverenced, holy. Isaiah 6:3 states that there are angels who just speak of the holiness of God by just repeating over and over “Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord God almighty”.

God takes his name very seriously and so should we. In Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” This literally means empty or without meaning, conveying an idea that something is without substance.

Our culture has developed a disdain and lack of honour for God. This stems from a lack of the Fear of God. Psalms 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O’ Lord; I will walk in Your Truth; Unite my heart to Fear your name.”.  The Fear of the Lord is a foundation stone in the life of a believer as it connects us to the reverence, honour and respect that we have for our Saviour.

You see, everything that we will ever need in life is in God. He is our father and we can go to Him when we pray and He will give us what we need. As we learn about the names of God, we can activate those revelations of him in our daily lives through PRAYER.

Let’s jump back to El Shaddai, which means Lord God Almighty and All-Sufficient One. It’s first referenced in Genesis 17:1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”

These reveal to us not only the supreme eternal nature of God, but that he is also our sufficient source in time of need. This is important, for we need to understand that when we go to the source we will be sustained.

Let me further clarify.

Isaiah 60:16 “You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, And milk the breast (shad) of kings; You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” and Isaiah 66:10-11 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom (shad), that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”

Shaddai comes from the root word shad, which is literally translated breast. These passages are used to describe the supply of nourishment, like a woman to her baby. So when God says He is El Shaddai, He is basically saying I’m the breasty one who supplies the nourishment needed to sustain your life.

What a revelation, God is the complete nourishment that we need to live every day. I’m pretty sure we need God in this capacity daily, so praying to El Shaddai is a great way to start the day off, and that is exactly what we did.

El Shaddai, the Jedi gave us nourishment for the day.