“The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”  Psalms 9:9-10

“The King and I” is a Rogers and Hammerstein musical that opened in 1951 to much critical acclaim.  It is based on the real life account of an American woman in the 1800’s who is commissioned to be a governess for the King of Siam in Bangkok.  Their relationship is a tense one, but they each have a love for each other that they are reluctant to admit.  The musical ran for over three years, a record at the time, and won numerous Tony awards.  When the film came out, it was a huge success, with Yul Brenner winning the Best Actor Oscar.  One song in the musical, “Getting To Know You”, is one that Anna, the governess, sings as her relationship warms up with the children.  It has become a standard in the “Great American Songbook” and is a frequently covered tune.
It is significant that the verses above point out that there are benefits for those who “know Your name.”  In getting to know God, it is important that we know His names.  As we get to know His names, we get to know His character.  As we get to know His character, then we deepen our faith and our relationship with Him.
He is first called Elohim in Genesis 1:1, and that name is exclusively used throughout the chapter, and prominently throughout the Old Testament.  It is Elohim who speaks into nothing and creates everything, and from a chaos, He created the cosmos.  Elohim can actually be plural when in Genesis 1, God is quoted as saying, “Let Us create man in Our own image.”  We can also see Elohim promising Noah that that He would never destroy the world with a flood again in Genesis 9.  Elohim is a name that is correlated with power, promises, and plurality (or the trinity).
It is interesting to note that the name Jehovah simply means, “I am.”  Exodus 6:3 says that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew God, “but by My name, Lord(Jehovah), I did not make Myself known to them.”  Each of them addressed God as Jehovah, but this verse means that the true essence and meaning of Jehovah was not revealed to them.  When He reveals to us that this name means “I am”, we are being taught that He exists because He exists.  That sounds weird, until you understand that God does not rely on any being for His existence.  He is eternal.  And within the limitations of human language He is revealing this to us.

In Genesis 15:2, Abraham called God Lord.  The Hebrew for this word is Adonai, which is the plural of Adon, also used in the Hebrew to address God.  Various ways that these words have been used are Lord, Lord of Lords, Father and Master.  It has been said that before God can be our savior, He must first be Lord.  This implies that he is master of our whole being.  The term being used as Father intends to put an image in our minds of a rather kind, loving parental figure.  Of course, Master would represent a person who has control of it all.
El Shaddai, used just under 50 times in the Old Testament, means “all sufficient one.”  This tells us that He is the great provider, which points to Jehovah Jireh, meaning “The Lord will provide.”  Jesus tells us that even though the birds don’t work to grow food, then are not starving, and if we are the special creation of God, how much more will He provide for us.  Just as verse 10 says, He has “not forsaken those who seek You.”
If we will seek His name, get to know His character and essence, and trust in Him, then He has told us that He will be our stronghold and He will never let us down!  What an incentive to get to know His name!


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