Title: Names of God; part 45. Elohim in the Shema of Israel.
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.
Still, all of us come into the family of God at salvation with hearts that are filled with many lies and human interests. These must be denied and our life for and with Him must be fully embraced. We must lay hold of the cross that has been given to us and follow Jesus in the plan that He has given us.
That is the Shema. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might. This command sums up the whole Law. And, now for us in the church, this love has moved far past the shadow of the Law and onto the reality of the love of Christ and now we are all under the law of Christ, the law of the Spirit of life, which is the very love of Christ.
I read this in an article in the latest Friends of Israel magazine: "When you love someone with all your heart, serving, obeying, and sacrificing for him or her is a joy and not a hassle. It is a pleasure, not a burden. When we truly love the Lord, obeying Him is not an oppressive yoke but a joyful path to freedom…. Obedience is a choice and an opportunity to joyously express our love for God."
God gives us all we need to love Him. Our stubborn natures, our sinful desires, our ignorant wants all cloud the eyes of our hearts and we fail to see God and His love for us. Of course, God knows all about this problem within each of us. He knows each of us so individually that He knows just how to enlighten the eyes of each one. What is done in the life of one Christian is not the same as what is done in the life of another, but the end goal is the same - to love the Lord with all of our heart. Make no mistake, it is God who is leading you to greater faith in Him and deeper love of Him.
Luther stated in reference to Psa 6: "In order, therefore, that God might dispense His strength and consolation and communicate it to us, he withdraws all other consolation and makes the soul deeply sorrowful, crying, and longing for His comfort. Thus all God's chastisements are graciously designed to be a blessed comfort."
What comes to us with a new heart is a new command, "Love one another as I have loved you."
The Lord's love is the reality of divine love whereas the OT saint had a shadow of that love. The love of the OT saint was powerful. By faith men and women like Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Deborah, David, etc. faced fantastic opposition from the world. Now, with the love of Christ, our love for God and for one another is unfathomably strong and it can face anything.
Like Yavah, Elohim is often used appositionally, being put side by side with a description of God, forming a epithet, a descriptive title.
Elohim as Creator.
ISA 45:18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens
(He is the God [Elohim] who formed the earth and made it,
He established it and did not create it a waste place,
But formed it to be inhabited),
"I am the Lord, and there is none else."
Elohim as Ruler.
Abraham requested that his head servant go to Haran and find a wife for Isaac.
GEN 24:7 "The Lord, the God [Elohim] of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, 'To your descendants I will give this land,'"
Elohim as Judge.
PSA 50:1 The Mighty One [Elohim], God [El], the Lord, has spoken,
And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
PSA 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God [Elohim] has shone forth.
PSA 50:3 May our God [Elohim] come and not keep silence;
Fire devours before Him,
And it is very tempestuous around Him.
PSA 50:4 He summons the heavens above,
And the earth, to judge His people:
PSA 50:5 "Gather My godly ones to Me,
Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
PSA 50:6 And the heavens declare His righteousness,
For God [Elohim] Himself is judge.
Elohim is Savior. This is a part of the liturgical song given by David to Asaph to sing when the ark was placed on Zion.
1CH 16:33 Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord; For He is coming to judge the earth.
1CH 16:34 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
1CH 16:35 Then say, "Save us, O God [Elohim] of our salvation,
And gather us and deliver us from the nations,
To give thanks to Thy holy name,
And glory in Thy praise."
1CH 16:36 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
Then all the people said, "Amen," and praised the Lord.
Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
EXO 3:13 Then Moses said to God [Elohim], "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God [Elohim] of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"
EXO 3:14 And God [Elohim] said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
EXO 3:15 And God [Elohim], furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The Lord, the God [Elohim] of your fathers, the God [Elohim] of Abraham, the God [Elohim] of Isaac, and the God [Elohim] of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
There are hundreds of epithets of Elohim. The name often depicts Him as Ruler, Creator, and Judge.
Finally we look at the name Adonai. This name of deity appears in the OT with great frequency and expresses sovereign dominion and possession.
Adonai means Lord or Master. It often depicts sovereign dominion and possession.
Adonai is used for God and for man. When used for man it is not capitalized. It can refer to a man as lord, master, husband.
When used of God it is used alone and in conjunction with Yavah.
In the New Testament the names of God are centered around Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The writers of the Greek NT use theos for God and kurios for Lord. The name Iesous is given to the incarnate Son of God who is so named ho kurios Iesous Christos, the Lord Jesus Christ.
ho Kurios Iesous Christos - Christos is His title as prophet, priest, and king or the Messiah promised. Lord (Kurios) referring to His deity, and Jesus (Iesous) referring to His humanity.
The Father has the names, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies, God of all comfort, Father of lights, etc.
The Spirit is only known as the Spirit and with upward of twenty descriptive titles such as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ.
These will be more fully considered when we study the doctrine of the Trinity.
There is one other name in the Old Testament that I would like to look upon and it is the name Hakadosh, which means "The Holy One."
Hakadosh = the Holy One. Yavah is distinct, unique, sacred, and set apart from all that is not perfectly righteous, just, and virtuous.
1SA 6:19 And He struck down some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck down of all the people, 50,070 men, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter.
1SA 6:20 And the men of Beth-shemesh said, "Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy [hakadosh] God [Elohim]? And to whom shall He go up from us?"
1SA 6:21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, "The Philistines have brought back the ark of the Lord; come down and take it up to you."
It is used as "the Holy One of Israel" and "Yavah, my Holy God." Significant to a study on the Trinity, Isaiah describes the Seraphim calling out to one another and describing God as Holy, holy, holy.
ISA 6:1 In the year of King, Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.
ISA 6:2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
ISA 6:3 And one called out to another and said,
"Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory."
Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh Yavah tsbaoth [tsev-ah-oat].
Ma-alo kaal ha-arets kah-bowdow
God is not a man or like man. His ways are higher than our ways. We cannot come to him on human terms or in human ways. We can only come to Him through the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is holy.
Our predestination, or plan for our lives, is holy as He is, and it cannot be tainted or altered with human ways or ideas of what we think would be best for us. He knows best and we must follow Him in reverence, no matter how hard that becomes, for He alone is holy.