God’s names speak to his character
Part 2 of an Interview with Sheryl Giesbrecht,
Author of Experiencing God Through His Names
Understanding that each of God’s names reveals something about His character opens our spiritual eyes to see His perfect purposes and to recognize His commitment to us. If we can grasp the meanings of His names, we can know God more intimately. In Experiencing God Through His Names, Sheryl Giesbrecht not only covers some of the well-known titles, such as Father, Ancient of Days and “El Shaddai,” but some of the lesser-used designations, including “El Bethel,” “Jehovah Sabaoth” and “Jehovah Maozi.”
Experiencing God Through His Names invites readers to interact with God about the truth behind His names by studying one each day for 31 days.
Q: Why is it so important for believers to know God’s various names?
Believers must know God’s names to understand His character, faithfulness, love and provision better. When we grasp the impact of God’s love and sensitivity by studying His nature in this way, we can apply this truth to all areas of our lives — parenting, marriage, marketplace and personal communication.
Q: How can meditating on each of the characteristics of God deepen a believer’s walk with Him?
A believer’s walk with God is strengthened by meditating on God’s characteristics because God wants us to know Him better. God does not hide from us, yet He waits for us to seek Him. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” At the times we do not know what to do next, if we doubt God cares or wants to help, we must remind ourselves in prayer from Psalm 9:10: “Those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
Q: Sometimes the problems of life seem bigger than we can handle, and we can’t see a solution. How can believers put these “giants” into perspective?
In our study of God by examining His names, we are exposed to a personal view of God as we get acquainted with Him. This brings us to a close encounter of a sacred kind with Him as we never have experienced before. A few examples are:
- He is our “Elohim” (Creator). God made man and woman in His image. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
- He is “Jehovah Sabaoth” (the Lord of Heaven’s armies). As a victorious warrior and leader of the heavenly host, He is a sure victor to win the battles raging in our lives (I Samuel 17:45).
- He is the King, “Jehovah Hamelech,” righteous ruler over all mankind. Even in situations that seem chaotic, His plan is fulfilled as we look forward to His coming kingdom (Revelation 21:1-4).
God is greater than our problems. We can remind ourselves of this when we affirm God’s supremacy, authority and power. We commit ourselves to surrender our issues to His will be done. Our “giants” then take their proper place, minimized to manageable proportions under the shadow of God’s presence, power and purpose.
Q: One of the names you focus on is “Jehovah Maozi,” meaning rock or fortress. How has God been a very real fortress for you during difficult circumstances?
Once a stage four cancer patient, after six months I was finally finished with my final chemotherapy treatment. A few days later, I entered our Sunday school class and was met with concerned friends’ unkind comments. I wanted to run away physically from the pain of their harsh words. I thought of the name of God, “Jehovah Maozi” (Fortress), and prayed, “Help, Lord.” I remembered a song I taught my own children: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe.” “Jehovah Maozi” provided a safe haven for me that day; I found emotional relief and spiritual strength in the protection of His peace and comfort during my time of immediate need.