Names of God; part 44. Elohim in the Shema of Israel.

Class Outline:

Names of God; part 44. Elohim in the Shema of Israel.


Yavah our Elohim is one.


DEU 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!"


You have heard this as Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheynu, Adonai echav. This is the Shema, the central prayer of the Jews. Around 300 BC the rabbis decided that the name was too holy to pronounce and from then on the Jews did not pronounce Yavah and inserted Adonai instead.


The word echav is interesting.


Echav (one) is a word universally used when a thing is in view which is compounded out of unified parts: 'evening and morning, one day,' or 'the two shall be one flesh."


Echav can imply a unity in diversity. Other examples are the Tabernacle, which was constructed out of many parts and was called one Tabernacle.


EXO 26:11 And you shall make fifty clasps of bronze, and you shall put the clasps into the loops and join the tent together, that it may be a unit [echav = one].


Ezekiel was to carry two sticks, one with the name of Judah on it and the other with Ephraim on it, which was the name used for the northern kingdom of Israel. When the sons of Israel would ask him about the sticks, he was to declare:


EZE 37:19 'Thus says the Lord God, "Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one [echav] in My hand."'


Two things can be one, many things can be one, and the Trinity is one. Echav as well as Elohim refers to the Trinity.


DEU 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!"


Echav refers to the Trinity as well as the fact that there is no other God but Yavah Elohim. Yavah is always singular and Elohim plural, but He is nevertheless One.


The Hebrew has another word for absolute indivisible unity and it is telling that it is not used here. Echav is a better word to depict the Trinity.


The Shema doesn't end with verse four. In the next sentence was the command to love Yavah Elohim with your entire person.


DEU 6:5 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."


Interestingly, the Jews did not have a word for the mind or the brain. Certainly they knew there was a brain, but for them life, desire, wisdom, power, and evil came from the heart. Since the word of God is inspired by God then God also uses the heart as the seat of life.


They knew that the heart was an important organ. It is recorded that Nabal, husband of Abigail, died of a heart attack.


In the Bible you know and understand with your heart. In the book of Proverbs, wisdom dwells in your heart. It is in the heart that you discern between truth and error. According to the Bible, it is also the place where you feel emotions. You feel pain in your heart, and in fact, the phrase "broken heart" comes from the Bible. You also have fear in your heart and when you are distressed or depressed it is in the heart. The heart is also the place where you feel joy. The heart is where you make choices based on your desires.


PRO 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,

For from it flow the springs of life.


Jeremiah, who witnessed Judah throw themselves headlong into idol worship, to the point of child sacrifice in the worship of Molech, came to the conclusion through the Spirit of God that the heart of man was desperately wicked and impossible to understand.


JER 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else

And is desperately sick;

Who can understand it?"


But Jeremiah also gave the solution to our sick hearts in this same passage, a passage we know well.


JER 17:5 Thus says the Lord,

"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind

And makes flesh his strength,

And whose heart turns away from the Lord.


JER 17:6 "For he will be like a bush in the desert

And will not see when prosperity comes,

But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,

A land of salt without inhabitant.


When man without God says that he has a cure for your sick heart he is deceived and lying.


JER 17:7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust is the Lord.


JER 17:8 "For he will be like a tree planted by the water,

That extends its roots by a stream

And will not fear when the heat comes;

But its leaves will be green,

And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit.


God told Israel in the beginning, through Moses, that the only hope for the human heart was its circumcision; an unlikely procedure, but one in which the flesh must be removed and the heart regenerated.


This is promised to them in the New Covenant, and something that is done by God the Holy Spirit to all Christians at the moment of salvation.


DEU 30:4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.


DEU 30:5 And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.


This happens in the Millennium.


DEU 30:6 Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.


Circumcision of the heart has been done to every church age believer.


COL 2:9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,


COL 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;


COL 2:11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;


COL 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.


COL 2:13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,


COL 2:14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.


COL 2:15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.


David, after his incredible sin with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah called upon God for a clean heart.


PSA 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.


PSA 51:11 Do not cast me away from Thy presence,

And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.


PSA 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation,

And sustain me with a willing spirit.


PSA 51:13 Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways,

And sinners will be converted to Thee.


The New Covenant promises Israel a new heart and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which will be fulfilled in the Millennium.


EZE 36:24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.


EZE 36:25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.


EZE 36:26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.


EZE 36:27 "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.


EZE 36:28 "And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.


Every church age believer is a new creature and this means a new heart.


GAL 6:15

For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.


DEU 6:4 "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!"


DEU 6:5 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."


"All of your heart" means pure and singular devotion; to devote to God our whole body, mind, feelings, and desires; our future and our failures.


God demands that we do not split our loyalties between Him and anyone else, including ourselves. We must lose our lives in order to find the life that God has graciously given us.  


Peter wished to save his idea of what the Messiah should be, but his idea was wrong in that he only pictured a triumphant Savior who was without suffering. He had to lose this idea.


MAR 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.


MAR 8:32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.


MAR 8:33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and  said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's." 


MAR 8:34 And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.


Quoted on its own, verse 34 almost sounds ascetic. Am I to deny myself comforts or necessities? The denial here is denying a lie, which is wrapped up in man's interests.


The disciple must deny the lies that are within him, which are the interest of man. The heart set upon the flesh is set upon the lie, and it becomes a wasteland, devoid of life.


MAR 8:35 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it.


MAR 8:36 "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?


MAR 8:37 "For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


MAR 8:38 "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."


Peter was ashamed of a suffering Lord. He sincerely loved the Lord and was extremely proud of the Lord, and so to see the Lord suffer at the hands of weak, godless men and die on a Roman cross was to him unbearable. That all changed after the resurrection of the Lord, and rightly so. We have the benefit of the knowledge that the Lord died and resurrected. There was never a time for us when we knew that He died and but didn't know that He was resurrected. The resurrection is the proof of victory and the finished work of Christ in justifying men.