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Names of God: Elohim, Jehovah Jireh, and El-Roi

The names of God communicate His character, call us to worship, and command our awe of Him. The Hebrews used various titles for God because each describes a different part of His character. Genesis introduces us to 3 names of God, which hold personal meanings for all believers. Each one reminds us that we serve a great and mighty God who is also deeply personal and present in every aspect of our lives.

 

Elohim – God of Creation

In Genesis 1:1, we find the first name of God: Elohim. Elohim means “God of Creation” and describes the all-powerful nature of God, who is self-existing outside of time and space. This name is used over 2500 times to describe the sovereign God of all creation.

 

El is the singular word for God in the Hebrew. The plural of El, Elohim, implies the triune nature of God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In Psalm 82:1, we discover God created other elohim to bear His image here on earth. They were the high-ranking beings judging and ruling alongside God. 

 

Satan was created as an elohim to bear God’s image and spread His light on the earth. His rebellion caused darkness to consume the world, leaving it empty and void. This is why in Genesis 1:2-5 God spoke light into existence and separated the light from the darkness. Elohim, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, desired for us to walk in the light and for the light to reflect His glory on earth.

 

The names of God reveal that He made you to know you and to bear His image on earth.

Genesis 1:26 tells us that God made humans to reflect His image. Our triune makeup—body, soul, spirit—reflects the Trinity. Because of sin, we are born spiritually dead and separated from our Creator. That is why Jesus tells us we must be born again. When we place our faith in Jesus, He bridges the gap for us to have a relationship with God and fills us with His Holy Spirit to spread His light on earth. 

 

Portrait of a woman smiling in front of a busy street.

 

Jehovah Jireh – The Lord Will Provide

Genesis 22 introduces us to Jehovah Jireh, which means “God Provides.” Through the story of Abraham and Isaac, God paints a picture of His provision for our salvation in Christ’s death and resurrection. Abraham pictures God the Father, and Isaac portrays Jesus the Son. Although Abraham did not understand why God was testing him or how He would resurrect his son, he trusted God’s provision.

 

Several symbols in the story parallel God’s relationship with Jesus. Abraham took two men with him to sacrifice his son, and Christ was crucified between two criminals. The ram which took Isaac’s place was caught in a thicket of thorns. Jesus wore a crown of thorns on the cross. It took Abraham 3 days to reach the mountain where he would sacrifice his son. Christ was buried in a tomb for three days but rose on the third day.

 

The names of God teach us that true worship is always about sacrifice. 

When the group reached their destination, Abraham told his men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will return to you” (Genesis 22:5). Worship in this situation meant sacrifice. Abraham believed his obedience in sacrificing his son honored the Lord and willingly obeyed because he trusted Him.

 

If God promises to provide, He will. Promises delayed are not promises denied. Abraham and Sarah waited for years to have a son, and then God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. For three days, Isaac was as good as dead to his father. But Abraham passed the test through his obedience and genuine faith, so God spared Isaac. God is Jehovah Jireh because He provided a Savior. He became a Man to die as our sacrificial Lamb.

 

El-Roi – The God Who Sees

Before Abraham and Sarah welcomed Isaac, they were known as Abram and Sarai. When Sarai passed the age of childbearing, she grew impatient because the Lord had not given her a child. She decided to take matters into her own hands by giving her maidservant, Hagar, to her husband. 

When Hagar became pregnant, the resentment and conflict between the women turned Abram and Sarai’s peaceful dwelling into a place of contention and strife. Eventually, Hagar ran away because she could not stand the way Sarai treated her. The Angel of the Lord found Hagar in the desert, commanded her to return to her mistress, and promised to make her descendants numerous through her son. Genesis 16:13 recounts Hagar’s response to the Lord: “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?’”

 

The names of God remind us that He sees and knows our hearts.

Sarai’s choices and consequences demonstrated what happens when we try to make God’s plan happen in our time. If He makes a promise to us, we can trust Him to fulfill it. We must believe in His faithfulness and delight in Him while waiting. 

El-Roi saw Hagar in distress and sent His angel to comfort her. Hagar found love and freedom in the presence of the Lord, but she had to trust Him to provide for her and Ishmael. God is just; He will not leave His people to suffer. The Lord was present in Hagar’s life even when she couldn’t see or feel it. 

 

Takeaway

Studying the names of God helps us know Him intimately so we can worship Him fully. The God of the Old Testament, whom the Hebrews worshipped, is the same God we worship today. Are you ready to dive deeper into your relationship with God? Get your copy of our FREE Names of God devotional to further your knowledge of His character.