Get to Know God’s Character Through His Names
God has given Himself names throughout the Word that express different aspects of His character. God’s Names are eternal and are what God is and always will be. He is eternally unchangeable. Each name He gave Himself reveals an aspect or aspects of His character.
Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
God’s Seven-fold Redemptive Name
Exodus 3:13-15 – And Moses said to God, behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, what is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you! God said also to Moses, this shall you say to the Israelites: the Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations.
To know the name of God is to witness the manifestation of those attributes and apprehend that character which the name denotes. The name signifies the active presence of the person in the fullness of the revealed character.
- Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is Present (Ezekiel 48:35).
- Jehovah Raah – The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23:1).
- Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is my peace (Judges 6:23-24).
- Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will provide (Genesis 22:8).
- Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our victory (Exodus 17:15).
- Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).
- Jehovah Rapha – The Lord our Healer (Exodus 15:26).
The Lord Our Shepherd
The simple truth revealed in the words, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” I am the Good Shepherd” express the love of our Father and the reasons for our trusting Him very clearly and beautifully. (John 10:11)
What is a shepherd? A shepherd is one employed to tend, feed, guide and guard the sheep. (Psalm 23)
In giving Himself the Name “Shepherd,” He is assuming all of the duties belonging to that office. Believe His own description of Himself and take Him at His Word.
You may think you are so weak and foolish and ignorant that you are not worthy of His care. But realize that sheep are always weak, helpless, and unable to take care of themselves, and it is for this very reason that they are compelled to have a shepherd to care for them.
The welfare and safety of sheep do not depend on their own strength or wisdom or on anything in themselves but entirely upon the care of their shepherd.
Our faith is to be in HIM as our shepherd not in our own weaknesses and inabilities.
One thing can hinder our Shepherd from taking care of us as He desires, and that is if we do not trust Him, or if we take ourselves out of His care and try to take care of ourselves.
Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd (John 10). Therefore, none of the characteristics mentioned of an evil shepherd can be true of Him (Ezekiel 34:11-16, 22-31).
- V. 2 – They fed themselves rather than the flock.
- V. 4 – They didn’t heal the sick and strengthen the sickly.
- V. 4 – They didn’t bind up the broken.
- V. 4 – They didn’t bring back the scattered or seek for the lost.
- V. 4 – They ruled with force and severity.
- V. 5-6 – The sheep were scattered for lack of a shepherd and became food for every beast of the filed. They wandered with one to search for them.
Matthew 9:35-10:1 – Jesus cared about the people who were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. He told His disciples to pray for them.
2 Peter 2:24 – We used to be like this also but have returned to the Shepherd of our souls.
One thing can hinder Him in His care for us – our not trusting Him. (Psalm 28:7).
Jesus in Nazareth – He couldn’t help them because of their unbelief. Unbelief is wrong belief. This is why we must renew our minds to the Word of God. (Mark 6:1-6)
We can put ourselves outside the realm of His help by not knowing or not believing in all that He is and all that He has provided and promised to do. It takes faith to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
Other Names/Attributes God Gave Himself
Ephesians 3:14-15 – …I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
God actually calls Himself our Father. He is the model Father. God’s picture of a good Father is not the opposite of ours. We were made after His image. Every family on earth derives its name from Him.
John 17:25-26 – O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
Jesus made His Name known to us and will continue to make it known. He made know the name of God as “Father”.
1 John 3:1 – See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so, we are!
Psalm 103:13-14 – As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear]. For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.
Matthew 7:11 – If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
God our Father is better than the best of human parents. God will always act far better than a good Father would.
Mathew 6:25-33 – God as our Father provides our needs. He wants us to trust in Him and not be afraid.
One thing that Jesus severely corrected His disciples for was not trusting in God, not having faith in His care and in His Word. He spoke harder against us not believing than He did against sin.
Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. To please God, you must not only believe that He exists but that He is good, will take care of you and will reward you.
2 Corinthians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement).
God is the Father of mercy and sympathy and the source of every comfort.
God Is Good
God IS good. Goodness is an integral part of God’s character. It isn’t just something He does; it is something He is. His being is goodness. His essence is goodness. Our God is good, and His mercy endures forever.
Good is good, and bad is bad. Good doesn’t mean good disguised as bad. Good means good. God is not tricky or mysterious.
Good – That which is morally right; righteousness, benefit or advantage to someone or something.
God will always treat you in the best possible way. He will always bless you as much as He can. Your benefit is always in His mind.
Don’t accuse God of doing what you would think of as evil in others and then say that God is good (but be confused about what that means).
In the natural, a man who breaks his promise is considered dishonorable and untrustworthy. Yet many Christians expect God to break His clearly stated promises.
They think He puts His sovereignty above His Word. But God cannot lie and is therefore not sovereign above His promises (Psalm 138:2).
Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the Lord is good. Partake of His goodness by EXPERIENCING IT!
Psalm 86:5 – The Lord is good and forgiving, abounding in mercy.
Psalm 136:1 – For He is good, and His mercy endures forever.
God IS Love (1 John 4:8)
God IS love. He doesn’t just have love; He IS love.
All of the things listed of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 can be said also of God.
God is patient and kind towards me, He is not envious, boastful or arrogant, He does not insist on His own way (even though He is always right, He lets me go my way if I want), He is not irritable or resentful or moody, He does not rejoice in wrongdoing. He rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. God in His love never ends. He is eternally the same.
God doesn’t just have love and do good; He IS love and He IS good! They are parts of His unchangeable character!