What is your name? This single question has laid the foundations for countless relationships to form. It is relevant no matter the place, culture, or time period in which it is asked. It is the question that allows communication to begin, conversation to flow, and connection to build. Once someone’s name is known, every other fact learned about them is attached back to their name. Brad is a proud grandfather. Deb is a compassionate mother. Susan is a hard worker. Names define us and hold in themselves the defining qualities of who we are. And the names of God are no different.
Many people begin their relationship with God by asking, “God, who are you?” Thankfully, we can find the answer to that question in Scripture. God reveals His character, attributes, plans, purposes, and holiness to us through His Word—the Bible. He has most clearly revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus, who walked on the earth as fully man and fully God. But God also reveals Himself to us through other means. One of those means is the names He is called in Scripture. Scripture includes hundreds of names for God. This book contains in-depth descriptions of fifty of the most-used names of God in Scripture. Some names are ascribed to God the Father, some to Jesus the Son, and some to the Holy Spirit. Each one reveals a unique facet of who our triune God is and how He works.
Below is just one name of God, taken from our new The Names of God coffee table book.
El-Roi (The God Who Sees Me)
In a world where our lives can be on full display through social media, ironically, many of us have never felt more alone, desperate, and unseen. The face we give to the world is a mere facade of the spiritual and emotional people we are on the inside. We show people what we want them to see and yet wish they knew the “real” us. At the end of the day, no matter how many likes or shares we receive, we still feel unseen and unknown.
We are not the first ones to feel this way. In Genesis 16, Sarai, the long-barren wife of Abram, gave her Egyptian servant Hagar to Abram in order to provide him with an heir. Hagar conceived, and despite the fact it had been Sarai’s idea, Sarai began to deal harshly with her. Hagar fled into the wilderness—likely feeling alone, abandoned, and forgotten—until the angel of the Lord found her. The angel of the Lord told her to return to her mistress and submit. He also promised her offspring would be multiplied, and she would bear a son named Ishmael. Hagar said to the Lord in Genesis 16:13, “You are El-roi . . . In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?”
Even in her lowly and cast-off position, God saw Hagar. He cared about her and her child. He cared about the despair and abandonment she felt. God saw Hagar for who she really was, blessed her with a promise of her own, and protected her from the contempt of her master. Even on our darkest days, God sees us and meets us right where we are. When your heart is breaking over the way you were treated, or when the hole you tried to fill with something other than God feels ten times bigger, God sees you. God knows the very number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). He knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). There is nothing too big for Him to handle and no small thing He does not see (Proverbs 15:3).
God’s promise to Hagar is one of many in a very long list of promises He has kept. This seemingly unknown Egyptian servant was thrust into the grand narrative of Scripture as her child became the father of his own nation. Even on her darkest day, God saw her and did not leave her alone in her pain or despair. He does not leave us alone either. God sees the hole in each of our hearts that only He can fill. His divine plan from the beginning was to send Jesus to fill that hole. Whatever you may be facing, Jesus sees you, Jesus died for you, Jesus redeems you, and one day, you will dwell with Jesus forever in the new heaven and new earth.
On those days when you feel forgotten or like no one knows the real you, remember that the God who made you understands you better than anyone. God created every part of you. God sees you more clearly than you see yourself. If you find yourself feeling alone, remember the words of Deuteronomy 31:8, which say, “The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” You can praise Him, for He is El-Roi—the God who sees you.
There are many ways in which you can use this book. Perhaps it will serve as a helpful study resource during times of Bible reading and prayer, or maybe it will sit on your bedside table, readily available for the moments you need to be encouraged and reminded of the truth. However you decide to use this book, knowing, studying, and meditating on the names of God will help you grow, not only in your knowledge of God but in your personal relationship with Him. This is because the more we know God, the more we love Him. And what better way to get to know Him than by exploring His names—the very names revealed in Scripture. May you know God more truly and love Him more deeply each time you open this resource to explore His names.
Learn more about The Names of God
The above is an excerpt from our new The Names of God coffee table book. The Names of God can be used as a helpful study resource during Bible study and prayer or you can place it on your coffee table for others to peruse through to be encouraged and reminded of the truth. However you use this book, knowing, studying, and meditating on the names of God will help you grow in your knowledge of and your personal relationship with Him. This is because the more you know God, the more you love Him. No matter where you are currently at in your walk with Him, may you know God more truly and love Him more deeply as you seek to know Him more.
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