"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Identity 2 - God’s identity revealed to us

Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, June 26, 2023 Under: Reflections

In the last blog post in this series I looked at identity in society and culture. In this post I want to focus on God’s identity revealed to us.

The importance of names

Pause to think:

  • What does your name mean?
  • Is there a particular significance to your name? Did your parents choose it for a specific reason?
In Biblical culture, names (both place names and people names) were very important - you can pick up on some of that from the prominence of genealogies. Biblical names are often really significant and tell us something about the biblical character or the role that they play in the history of the people of God. (Like Jacob the grabbing deceiver and Esau the hairy!)
Just as human names are significant, the way that God refers to himself and reveals himself to his people tells us about his character, his plans and purposes.

Names of God in the Old Testament

Questions for discussion:

  • Can you think of some ways that God is described in the Old Testament?
  • What does that reveal about his character?
Here’s a whistle-stop tour of some of the names of God and what they reveal about his character. I encourage you to use this list to do your own exploration.

  • El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty, The All Sufficient One, The God of the Mountains). Genesis 17: 1 - 3; 48: 3; 49; 25; Genesis 35: 11; Psalm 90: 2.
    God is the all-sufficient source of all our blessings. He is all powerful and nothing is too big for him to handle.
  • Immanuel (God With Us). Isaiah 7: 14; 8: 8 - 10; Matt 1: 23.
    God is not removed from his creation. He delights in making himself known to us.
  • El Elyon (The Most High God)
  • Adonai (Lord, Master). Psalm 8; Isaiah 40: 3 - 5; Ezekiel 16: 8; Hab 3: 19
    God is the total authority.
  • Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah, “I AM”). Exodus 3: 14; Exodus 6: 2 - 4; Exodus 34: 5- 7; Psalm 102.
    God never changes. His promises never fail. When we are faithless, he is faithful. We need to obey him.
  • Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
  • Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord Who Heals). Exodus 15: 25 - 27; Psalm 103: 3; Psalm 147: 3; 1 Peter 2: 24.
    God has provided the final cure for spiritual, emotional and physical sickness in Jesus Christ.
  • Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness). Jer 23: 5 - 6; 33: 16; Ezekiel 36: 26 - 27; 2 Cor 5: 21.
    Jesus is the king who would come from David’s line and is the one who imparts his righteousness to us.
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  • Jehovah Rohi (The Lord is My Shepherd). Psalm 23: 1 - 3; Isaiah 53: 6; John 10: 14 - 18; Heb 13: 20; Rev 7: 17)
    The Lord protects, directs, leads, provides and cares for his people. He is a strong and patient shepherd.
  • El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  • Elohim (The All-powerful one, Creator). Genesis 1: 1 - 3; Deut 10: 17; Psalm 68; Mark 13: 19
    God knows all, creates all and is everywhere at all times.
  • El Roi (The God Who Sees Me). Genesis 16: 11 - 14; Psalm 139: 7 - 12.
    Nothing escapes our Father’s awareness and care. He knows us and our troubles.
  • Qanna (Jealous)
  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  • Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts) 
We could camp out on any one of these for ages.

So who is God?

God is the creator and sustainer of the whole universe - he is all powerful. He wants to be known to his people. He is the God who reveals himself. He is the Father “from whom every family on earth derives its name”. Eph 3: 14 - 15. He is the true north - the ultimate reality.

Names of Jesus

Again, there are a number of ways that the Bible refers to Jesus, which help us to understand his identity, character, mission and relationship with us.

  • Almighty (Rev 1: 8)
    Jesus is the all-powerful Lord. Nothing is impossible for him.
  • Messiah (Dan 9: 25; John 1: 41; 4: 25)
    Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, especially appointed by God for his plan and purpose.
  • Redeemer (Job 19: 25; 1 Tim 2: 6; 1 Cor 1: 30)
    Christ’s death is the payment that redeems us from the debt we owe to God’s law, ransoming our lives and guaranteeing us a place in his family.
  • Saviour (Luke 1: 47 - 2: 11; John 4: 42; 1 John 4: 14)
    Christ is the saviour of the world and came to deliver us from the power of death. He seeks and saves the lost.
  • Son of God (Luke 1: 35; Heb 4: 14)
    Christ is the only ‘natural’ Son of God in that he is fully divine. We become God’s children by adoption and inherit all creation with Christ.
  • Bright Morning Star (Rev 22; 16)
    Jesus is the Light of the World and we won’t lose our way in his light.
I find love the ‘I Am’ statements in John’s gospel:

What does this tell us about who Jesus is?

He is one with the Father. If we have seen him, we have seen the Father. Jesus is Emmanuel - God with us. He’s the promised Messiah that the prophets spoke about who would come to bring salvation from sin through his death on the cross and resurrection to life. He is the only way to life and we can truly have life to the full in him.

So while our cultural story may be that we’re just a clump of atoms drifting pointlessly towards oblivion on an insignificant planet, God’s story is very different. It starts with who he is and defines who we are, which is what we’ll be looking at in the next blog post.

Pause to think:

  • Choose one of the names for God or Jesus to meditate on this week.
  • Look up the passages where this identification occurs and see what it reveals about who God is and how we can relate to him.

In : Reflections 

Tags: "names of god" identity 


"loving god' commandment relationship 40th activity acts addiction adoption adultery advent aesop agapé android animation anxiety apologetics app apps argument aroma atheism audio bear ben folds bible bible characters bible narrative bible study bible trading cards big picture birthday blog body of christ book book review books busyness cat celebration celibacy celtic change charity chart child children christ christendom christmas chronicles church church history climate change coastguard colouring comedy commentary communications communion community compassion conference consumerism contemplation context conversation coronavirus covenant covid-19 creation creation care creativity cross crucifixtion cryptic culture cwtch daily prayer data day of the lord death debate devotional diagram dictionary digital disagreement disciples discipleship discipline discussion documentary easter ecclesiastes economics education effort elder brother emotion encouragement enemies environment environmentalism ethics evangelism event evidence ezekiel fable facebook fact check fair trade faith faitheism fake news father fear feast feeling fellowship feminism fiction film fireseeds flesh flourishing food foodbank forgiveness free freedom freshers fun fundraiser funny galatians game gay gay wedding genealogies generosity gifts giving god god's presence good good news gospel gospreflection grace gratitude great commission green growth guitar hagar healing health heart heaven hebrews history hoarding holy biscuit holy spirit home homosexuality honesty hope hopelessness hospitality house hub humanism humour hymn identity in individualism infographic infographics inheritance insurance internet interview interviews intimacy ios jesus joel joke jonah joseph joy justice kindness kingdom kingdom of god lament law leaflet lectio divina legacy lennox lesbian levite lgbtq liberty library literal literature liturgy living out lockdown lord’s love lust magazine map mark mark's materialism matthew maturity meal meditation meditations memory mental health ministry mission missionaries moody moral morality move murray music names of god nation new creation new year newcomers news non-fiction north east obsession old testament online outreach pain palm sunday parable passover patience peace pentecost persecution perseverance perspective philosophy photo photography piano picture this thought podcast poem poetry political correctness pool night possessions post-christendom poverty power praise prayer prayer requests prayer walk preaching presentation presents priest princess anne priorities prodigal son productivity project prophecy protection provision psalm publicity puzzle questions quiz quotes reading rebellion reconciliation redemption reference reflection relationship relationships relativism religion remembrance repentance rescue resource resources rest restoration resurrection retreat review reviews riches right and wrong royalty rules rush sabbath sacrifice same-sex attraction sarah scholarship science screens scripture scripture engagement secularism seed self esteem selfishness sermon sermon on the mount sex sexuality shalom sharing faith shopping showcase significance silence simplicity sin slavery smell social social action social media society software solitude song songs sonship soularium sources speaking spiritual gifts spirituality sproul spurgeon stations of the cross stats stewardship stone story stott student student life students study suffering supper support support discovery talk tech technology temple tft thank you thanksgiving theology time toby tools top trumps trading cards training transformation translation treasure treasure hunt trivia true freedom trust truth unity update utilities value video vine visual waiting waiting for god walk war wealth website websites wesley witnessing women words world worldview worry worship worth writing wrong wycliffe youtube ywam

Living Out is registered UK Charity no. 1165572 | The Baptist Union is Charity no. 249635