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elohim

elohim

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elohim.

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a.k.a.
Elohim
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 45:18; Exodus 15:11; Philippians 2:9; Psalm 33:8
01/12/2020

MAIN POINT

God’s name Elohim reveals that He is the awesome Creator of everything.

INTRODUCTION

As your group time begins, use this section to introduce the topic of discussion.

  1. What words come to mind when you hear the names, Mark Zuckerberg, Mother Teresa, Meghan Markle, and Michael Jordan?
  2. When considering God’s name(s), what adjectives come to mind?

Names have great meaning in our hearts and minds, stirring up specific thoughts and emotions. Names are words we define not simply based on strict translations of their meanings, but also based on their connotations, as we see with Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Jordan. Names tell us something about the people to whom they belong. Names call to mind someone’s character, accomplishments, etc. If ever there was a name that held great meaning, a name that might tell us something truly important, surely it’s God’s.

The ancient Israelites believed that a person’s nature was tied up in his name. Today, we will look at how God has revealed Himself to us through the name Elohim.

UNDERSTANDING

Unpack the biblical text to discover what the Scripture says or means about a particular topic.

Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 1:1 and Isaiah 45:18.

  1. What do we learn about God in these verses?
  2. The word for “God” in these verses is the Hebrew word “Elohim,” a plural noun. Why is it important to note that “Elohim” is plural?

For all eternity, God has existed as one Spirit in three persons. God is triune—He is one and yet also a perfect plurality of majesty, honor, and fullness. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit have existed for all eternity and together created the world out of nothing. Elohim is not the chief or even the best among many gods, He is the one living and true God and everything that exists was created by Him and for His glory.

  1. Why is it important for us to understand that God created all things?

The name “Elohim” refers to God’s nature as the powerful Creator. The name Elohim is used 2,570 times in the Old Testament and is plural because God is triune in nature (Matt. 3:16-17). In this week’s message, we learned that Elohim is, from the beginning, the God of all gods and the Lord of all Lords.

For us to understand God we must elevate him to his rightful place.

Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 15:11 and Philippians 2:9.

  1. When you read about Elohim, the awesome God! Our response should draw us to worship Him. How will you responde in worship this week? What might that look like?
  2. In our lives and church today, is God viewed as glorious in holiness? Revered with praises? Performing wonders? Explain.

Our worship begins and ends with who God is. In Exodus 15, Israel was compelled to think about who God is because He exerted His power and love on their behalf. They would have done well to keep thinking about who God is, instead of letting their circumstances dictate their worship (see Exodus 16:1-3; 32:1). The fact is, regardless of what we perceive God is or is not doing on our behalf, He is worthy of our praise. He is Elohim, there is no one like Him; He has no equal.

  1. How does Philippians 2:9 answer the question asked in Exodus 15:11?
  2. Read Philippians 2:6-8. Why does Jesus have the name that is above every name (v. 9)?

Not only is Jesus’ name elevated to the level of God’s name [e.g., Elohim], but also in Philippians 2:11 Paul alludes to Isaiah 45:23, a passage that teaches that “every knee will bow” and “every tongue will swear allegiance” to Him.

Ask a volunteer to read Psalm 33:8 and Acts 2:42-43

  1. As we take the step towards God’s glorious standard we experince His “signs and wonders”. Describe where God perfomred a “sign and wonder” real life change in you?
  2. What are some reasons people who experience the awe of God might begin to lose that awe over time, they forget what He had done? How can we prevent that from happening?

Creation is meant to bow daily in submission to its Creator. As we put God in His rightful place, we begin to understand Him. When we understand who God declares himself to be we find ourselves in awe of Him.

APPLICATION

Help your group identify how the truths from the Scripture passage apply directly to their lives.

  1. What are some signs a person is putting Elohim in His rightful place? What are some signs to indicate we’re not putting Elohim in His rightful place?
  2. How might knowing the meaning behind the various names of God change the way you approach Him in worship?
  3. What would change in your life if you were to truly stand in awe of Elohim this week?

PRAYER

Thank God for revealing Himself to us in His Word. Thank Him for being the God of all gods and the Lord of all lords. Ask Him to help you grow in your awe of Him. Pray that as God grows your awe, He would use you to encourage others and point them toward Christ.

COMMENTARY

Genesis 1:1-2

1:1. The opening statement about creation in Genesis 1:1 is not only a heading or summary of everything that is unfolded in the subsequent verses but also a declaration of God’s first actions by which He called the universe into existence. The verse’s sheer simplicity yields a dramatic impact. The when, who, and what of creation are identified in Genesis 1:1.

God established for absolutely everything a beginning of its succeeding existence. This concept is reflective of the biblical writer’s attempt to communicate the wealth of knowledge regarding the origin of the world that had been worked out and taught among God’s people. The reference to God in Genesis 1:1 is an effort to make a general statement about God’s creative work. The biblical writer provided the opportunity to integrate faith and natural science in such a way as to make it possible to talk about God and his activity in the known world. Regarding the universe, the heavens and the earth, there could have been only one beginning, with God being its Source.

The actions identified in Genesis 1:1 have no comparison in man’s experience. Only God can “create.” Two ideas stem from God’s creative ability. First, God created without effort. God simply spoke and the elements of the universe came into being. Second, God created the materials of the universe from nothing, creation “ex nihilo.”

Isaiah 45:8

The claim that God did not create the world to be uninhabited (empty) may be a polemic against an ancient Near Eastern myth, according to which human beings were created only after the minor gods went on strike from digging irrigation canals and thus needed a workforce.

Philippians 2:9-11

2:9-11. God is described as acting in verses 9-11. Again, two verbs organize the thought. First, God highly exalted Him suggests that God gave Jesus a new position, although some take it as superlative (“to the highest”). Second, God gave Him the name. This name that is above every name is Lord. Every knee will bow and every tongue should confess state one result of God’s exaltation (vv. 10-11). The posture and the confession imply submissive reverence. “Every” includes spatial dimensions: heaven… earth and under the earth. Together they indicate the living and the dead (blessed and condemned). All bring glory to God. This teaches that Jesus mediates between God and humans. He is the focus of worship and the administrator of God’s will on earth.

Exodus 15:11

Moses saw the attributes of God in his acts. He asked, Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Moses was so enraptured with beautiful notions of God’s greatness that the “grandeur of the subject transcends the power of words” (Calvin, 259).

Psalm 33:8

By right of creation, Yahweh is the God of all mankind; therefore, everyone should fear Him. This is in fact the ultimate goal of the kingdom of God.

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