Getting to Know God by Name looks at several of the names by which God is addressed in the Old Testament. This first in the series looks at those names involving El.
Elohim (pronounced “El oh heem”) is the third word in the Hebrew Bible and is used (or a form of it) over 2600 times to refer to either the true living God or false gods. One of the oddest things about the word Elohim is that it is a plural word. It might seem like an odd choice for Moses to use throughout Genesis to introduce his people to the one true God. It seems especially unusual when he literally writes “Yahweh(The self existent one) our Elohim(gods) is one Yahweh (self existent one)”. There is definitely something unusual about this.
When we add Genesis 1:26 into the mix it gets stranger, but becomes clearer at the same time. “Then God (Elohim, the gods) said, ‘Let us (notice this is plural) make man in our (notice this is plural) image, after our (notice this is plural) likeness...’” So we have one Lord (singular) who somehow is also Gods (plural). If we explored some other scriptures we would find the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all self existent (Yahweh) and God/Gods (Elohim). How can three be one? Our human minds may never fully understand. It seems like every analogy we try to use falls toward some false belief. We have a tendency to either try to make Father, Son and Spirit three separate Gods, or we try to fuse them together so that they are three different parts of a single God, or we might even go to the point of just three different manifestations of one God. None of these directions is what the Bible teaches.
Elohim is applied to the three combined and also applies to each one as well. Even though it is Greek and not Hebrew John perhaps explains it best when he says the word (Jesus, the son) was with God and he also was God. You have God with God being God. Jesus certainly recognizes the distinction between him and the Father and the Spirit, but he also says I and my Father are one. Each is distinct and yet still one. It is mind-boggling, but one thing we can be sure of is that Christ is also Elohim.
Articles from our bulletin. Mostly written by James Pasley, our preacher and Sunday's Sermons.