The names of God in the Bible reveal how the Hebrews saw Him. In Psalms, we are introduced to 3 names of God, reminding us that we serve a personal and mighty God. Through David and other psalmists, we learn to praise and thank the Lord for who He is to us.
Jehovah Rohi – The Lord My Shepherd
Psalm 23 introduces one of the best-known names of God in the Bible. David calls the Lord “Jehovah Rohi,” indicating that he relies on God as a sheep depends on his shepherd. He paints a beautiful word picture describing how the Lord leads him beside quiet waters, refreshes his soul, and guides him along the right paths. He recounts how God's rod and staff comfort and guide him through the valleys of life. Because of God's presence, he knows he has no reason to fear evil.
The analogy comparing God to a shepherd appears quite frequently in Scripture. In Jewish culture, a shepherd was the picture of guidance, protection, and provision. Calling God their Shepherd indicated He was a powerful Protector, tender Caregiver, and undefeatable Leader. In Psalm 28:9, David humbly invites God to shepherd his people. In John 10:11-18, Jesus calls Himself the good shepherd. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him, and He protects and cares for them.
Again, in Matthew 18:12-14, Jesus compares the Father to a shepherd. He tells the parable of the wandering sheep, in which a man who owns a hundred sheep leaves the flock to go after one who wanders away. In the same way, God does not want anyone to perish, and He will pursue His people. Being a shepherd was a dirty, lowly job. It is incredibly humble for God to take on the title “Shepherd” because this was not necessarily an honoring name.
The names of God in the Bible show that He humbles Himself to protect and provide for His people.
As our Shepherd, God knows every intimate detail about us. David knew he belonged to the Lord and found his worth and identity in Him. He depended entirely on the Lord to guide, protect, and provide for all his needs. His heart cry was to desire only the Lord and the things of the Lord. God wants us to rely entirely on Him and stop seeking fulfillment and guidance in other things. Let Him be your shepherd today so you can experience the same peace David did as he wrote this psalm.
Jehovah Hoseenu – The Lord, Our Maker
The names of God in the Bible reveal more than just God's character—they show how and why we should praise Him. Psalm 95 is an invitation of worship and obedience for believers to sing, praise, and thank God for His goodness and who He is. God is the God above all gods, the King of all creation. He is our God, and we are the sheep of His pasture. We should regularly worship God in communion with other believers because we are not meant to live out our faith alone.
The names of God in the Bible call us to worship joyfully.
As His creation, we bear His image on earth, so our lives should reflect His love and light to those around us. Bowing down in worship communicates reverence and respect for the Lord and His status as our Maker. Your worship brings Him joy when you lift your voice in song, praise, and thankfulness from a pure and genuine heart. We owe Him worship simply because He created us.
As His children, we can boldly approach Him with our requests. But we must also recognize Him for who He is and His power over all creation. The psalm warns us at the end not to harden our hearts and wander from His ways. The Israelites forgot what He did for them and how He provided for them in Egypt, so He made them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Although God is caring, tender, and merciful, He is also just, powerful, and almighty.
El Shaddai – The Almighty God
Psalm 97 reveals the nature of our almighty King. He is an active ruler who is always working in the lives of His people and does not leave us to ourselves. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. He is a mighty God and the only one worthy of our praise. The clouds and thick darkness described surrounding Him indicate the mystery and awe of His character.
The names of God in the Bible command our awe and reverence.
The psalmist says that the mountains melt like wax before the Lord, and the heavens proclaim His righteousness so all people see His glory (see v. 5-6). This theme continues in Romans 1:20:
“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
God leaves His mark on everything He creates so that it points back to Him. As His image-bearers, we reflect His light, joy, and love to those around us.
The joy of the Lord extends to the ends of the earth because He reigns over all creation. Psalm 97 promises that He guards the lives of His faithful ones, and His light and joy shine on the righteous and upright in heart. Rejoicing and praising Him for His almighty character is how we combat the fears and doubts that hinder us from experiencing joy and freedom.
The names of God in the Bible show us that He is a humble, righteous creator who deserves all our honor, praise, and glory. The psalms give us a format for worshiping God for His character. Do you want to learn how to use the Psalms to pray and praise the Lord? Get a copy of our FREE Names devotional to further your knowledge of His character, and find guided prayers to accompany each name. names of God in the Bible