Thursday, April 10, 2014

God, Mighty Creator

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:1

Elohim, the Hebrew word for God, appears in the very first sentence in the Bible.

He is the one who began it all.

He created the heavens and the earth and separated light from darkness, the water from the dry land, and the night from day.

Christ Holds It All Together

15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

Colossians 1:15-18

The Message (MSG)
“This ancient name for God contains the idea of God’s creative power as well as his authority and sovereignty”, Ann Spangler in The Names of God.

Elohim is the plural form of El or Eloah, a name for God that the Hebrews borrowed from the Canaanites, and also one of the oldest designations for divinity in the world.

The word El can refer either to the true God or to pagan gods and it is used more than 200 times in the Hebrew Bible.

But the word Elohim is used more than 2500 times in the Hebrew Bible.

24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?

Acts 17:24-29

The Message (MSG)
According to Ann Spangler “Its plural form is used not to indicate a belief in many gods but to emphasize the majesty of the one true God. He is the God of gods, the highest of all”.

If Elohim be regarded as derived from El, its original meaning would be "the strong one" or "the foremost one", "to be in front" or "the mighty one", "to be mighty" (On Genesis, I, 1).

Or, finally "He after whom one strives", "Who is the goal of all human aspiration and endeavour", "to whom one has recourse in distress or when one is in need of guidance", "to who one attaches oneself closely”.

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23 But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25 So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

Romans 1:18-25

The Message (MSG)
The name Elohim is unique to Hebraic thinking and it occurs only in Hebrew and in no other ancient Semitic language.

The masculine plural ending does not mean gods when it used to referring to the true God of Israel because the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and adjectives and pronouns in the singular.

But if we consider the Trinity, the form does allow for the plurality within the Godhead.

3-7 God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,” but in this other text he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation:

Today, please listen,
    don’t turn a deaf ear . . .

Hebrews 4:3-7

The Message (MSG)
In the traditional Jewish view, Elohim is used as the Name of God as the Creator and the Judge of the universe.

What can you observe about God from the world He made?

What kind of person is the God, Mighty Creator you can read about in the Genesis?


  1. I'm reading "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" with a group of women right now. Have you read that one too?

    1. No, I have not Meredith. But it sounds like an interesting book. I think I need to add it to my "to read" list. Thank you!

  2. Very interesting food for thought. i think that sometimes there are no clear answers.

  3. So Beautiful Amazing What God Created Isn't It!!

  4. Those are some great words. Awesome pictures as always.

    Michelle F.

  5. I admire your faith and commitment to it. My mother in law is quite the same, you two would make a great pair.

  6. I never knew so much about the name Elohim. Thanks for the lesson!

  7. As always, your pictures are beautiful and your words informational and inspiring.

  8. Your pictures are incredible! That shot of the turkey is gorgeous.

  9. Great photos and great info. I never knew half of it!

  10. Not turning the deaf ear is a good reminder. Sometimes we hear a brief word and then forget about it so easily.
    Or I do, anyway, which I'm trying to eradicate. :)

    That pic w/the fish in the water is neat.

  11. I love that photo with the fish. So nice! Amber N

  12. We serve an AWESOME God! I enjoy reading your posts Joannan! I just had to share on my FB page! Blessings! Marcy

    1. Thank you, Marcy! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the post. God bless you!

  13. Awesome pictures and such a beautiful message as usual! Love looking at the pictures of your country!

  14. Your faith is very inspiring, and it's so interesting to think about the different names and meanings.

  15. I find this blog an inspiration and very religious. Thank you very much for scattering the word of God just like a missionary online. God bless you