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Elohim

January 23, 2016

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Genesis 1:1

 

Elohim (ello-HEEM) is the plural form of El or Eloah, one of the oldest designations for divinity in the world. The Hebrews borrowed the term El from the Canaanites. It can refer either to the true God or to pagan gods. Though El is used more than 200 times in the Hebrew Bible, Elohim is used more than 2,500 times. Its plural form is used not to indicate a belief in many gods but to emphasize the majesty of the one true God. He is the God of gods, the highest of all. Christians may recognize in this plural form a hint of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Elohim occurs thirty-two times in the first chapter of Genesis. After that the name Yahweh appears as well and is often paired with Elohim and, in the NIV, the two together are translated “the LORD God”. (Ann Spangler, Praying the Names of God: A Daily Guide, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004, p.17)

 

It is amazing to me that God created everything with the word of His mouth. He spoke it into being. Only Elohim could do that. As we read in Genesis 1, God declares what He has made is good, and even very good when it comes to creating human life. When we are paying attention, we will see that there is beauty everywhere in God’s creation. Take time this week to notice His beautiful creation. This winter I started noticing how beautiful trees without leaves are. I never even paid attention before. What in creation do you find beautiful?

 

We are created in the image of God. Our children are created in the image of God. What He has made is very good. And we don’t get to second guess it. Not for ourselves and not for our children. Rather, we give Elohim our praise:

 

Lord, I worship You as the Creator of heaven and earth. All things were made by You and everything You created is good. I praise You for all of Your beautiful creation. You placed the earth on its foundation so that it can never be moved (Psalm 104:5). Your right hand stretched out the heavens (Isaiah 48:13). Thank You that You have blessed us with light and dark, sun and rain, food and water, land and sea, trees and flowers, days and seasons. “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness, You have founded them” (Psalm 89:11).

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6 NIV). I know that “both men and women come from God their Creator” (1 Corinthians 11:12 TLB). “How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24 NIV).

 

O Lord, thank You that You created me and gave me life. “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13). I praise You, “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:14). I praise You for every breath I take and thank You that I was created for good things. Help me to be renewed in the image of You, my Creator (Colossians 3:10 NIV). I know You made me to be so much more than I am now and that You will help me become all You created me to be.

 

I praise You for the people You have created, each one unique and valuable and carrying in their spiritual DNA a purpose that is distinctive and priceless as well. I am grateful for the potential for good that You have placed within each one. Help me to value others as Your creation and see them the way You do. Thank You, Jesus, that You are “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11). I worship You as my Creator and I praise You for all that You have created. (Stormie Omartin, The Prayer That Changes Everything: The Hidden Power of Praising God, Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2004, p.41-42) NOTE: all unmarked Scripture references are from the NKJV

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