In God’s Name

Shalom, David here.  A great post by Rob about the Open Heart Challenge.  It’s happening right now on Facebook! Some very creative things happenining,  click here to have a look.

I think I may have mentioned before that I am a huge fan of Amy Grant.  I know that Christian music has moved on, but I have always liked Amy’s music.  I spoke at a leadership event a few weeks back and I did a quick poll of who was a fan of Amy Grant.  Out of the 100+ people there, there were a grand total of  two fans, me and one other bloke.  We had a great conversation afterwards about our favourite songs, and whether Amy has lost too much weight and needs to eat some more cake.

Anyway, one of Amy’s songs, El Shaddai has always struck a chord we me (pun intended).  I learnt the chords and all the words and can still play it on my guitar.  It’s a fairly tricky song to play but great to perform to an audience. 

Hearing this song was the first time I realised there are a whole lot of different names for God in the Hebrew language. Each name describes a different characteristic of God. El Shaddai is conventionally translated as God Almighty.

Wikipedia had this to say about the origin and meaning of El Shaddai:

The term may mean “God of the mountains,” referring to the Mesopotamian divine mountain. The term was one of the patriarchal names for the tribal god of the Mesopotamians. In Exodus 6:3, El Shaddai is identified explicitly with the God of Abraham and with YHWH (Yahweh).

I was reflecting on the different names of God, and how I use the word ‘God’ far too generically.  I think I might try a different approach and think about the character of God I need to focus on when I pray and worship.  What about you? Do you think the term ‘God’ is far too overused?  Let me really stick my neck out on the line.  Do you think the word ‘God’ has become a cliché?

Here’s my thoughts on the names of God wrapped up in a poem, from the heart, about surrender:

At Your Feet

At Your feet we fall
El Elyona, Lord of all
Restore us, by Your love
As we look to Your light above
          Forgive us Lord
          As at Your feet we fall

On Calvary’s hill
El Shaddai, we exalt You still
Guide us, with Your hand
Help us seek then understand
         Forgive us Lord
         As at Your feet we fall

On Your cross of strife
We surrender our broken lives
Convict us, of our doubt
Turn out faith inside out
         Forgive us Lord
         As at Your feet we fall.

We give our all to You
Lord, mould our hearts anew
Align us, to Your will
May we learn to seek You still
        Forgive us Lord
        As at Your feet we fall

If you’re interested in finding out more about some different names of God, this YouTube clip is a really great reflective introduction

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