By Linda K. Bridges for Blog Series: What’s in A Name Anyway?
I sighed. I stood staring at our old washer and clothes dryer. They were more than 21 years old and now they needed to be replaced. Pity they couldn’t last longer, I thought. A replacement was expensive. I sighed again. My IPhone was acting up too. Bummer. I’m not ready to buy a new phone. It’s only 3 years old!
We are surrounded by throwaways and recyclables!
The reality is we live in a world where literally nothing lasts forever. We are surrounded by throwaways and recyclables. Cars, machines, favorite clothing, computers, printers and phones–and even human relationships. Nothing in our disposable world remains for long—except for El Olam. I smile as I think about El Olam.
Who is El Olam?
El Olam is the Hebrew name for God–who has no beginning, no end—the One for whom it is said, ‘a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.” (Psalm 90:4) When I cry out to God, I am crying out to El Olam, whose Son is called the “Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22: 13, GNT) He is the One whose love endures forever.
“Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The LORD is the everlasting God [El Olam]; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. ” (Isaiah 40:28-29 GNT)
Can it truly be that El Olam—the Everlasting God—enters into our lives in an intimate way? How about when my husband is out of town and everything seems to go wrong? OR when terrifying events happen, such as the horrible incidents we hear about in the daily news? Scripture indicates that He knows our suffering and pain; our joys and sorrows; our needs and desires. “Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through the fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you, For I am the LORD your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you.” (Isaiah 43:1-3 GNT)
El Olam loves us with an everlasting love!
He not only knows our needs, but he tells us over and over in scripture how much he loves us—El Olam, the Everlasting God—loves us with an everlasting love! (That means forever, and ever and ever and ever. . .) “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.” (Isaiah 9:6 GNT) His love for us is the abiding, long-term covenant-love of an Everlasting (forever) Father.”
Understanding this concept is not automatic, but comes slowly into our consciousness as we learn what this aspect of God’s name personally means to us. As I was writing this article, I ran across the following inscription from one of my old journals. I was deeply moved, all over again, as I remembered the day I wrote this down, and sketched this simple drawing. Expressing HIS love for me, his daughter–using my own words evoked a sudden burst of emotion. I felt his everlasting love wash over me again.
Trying to keep this perspective is NOT easy.
Trying to keep this perspective in our short, pain-filled, wildly uncertain life, is difficult at best. Headlines, news broadcasts, local gossips and negative people in general, sets worry and fretting into action. When I need my perspective restored, I find it helps me to seek out quiet times to read my Bible, and be reminded that El Olam is not like us.
- He is the Everlasting God—eternal—without beginning or end.
- He is ever-present at all times in our universe—not just in times past but now also!
- He, in his great wisdom, mercy and love, not only sees all of history unfolding, past, present and future, but has also allowed me, his child, to go through this life, with its dark valleys and breathtaking pinnacles.
- He accompanies me all along the way. I can experience each sweeping emotion knowing that he is the one stable source in my life—always.
“I am [El Olam] your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is gray. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4 GNT)
Here are a few more ways El Olam’s eternal, everlasting nature is described in the Bible. I hope you find comfort in reading these.
- He is our eternal home: “O LORD, you have always been our home. Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God, and will be God forever.” (Psalm 90:1-2, GNT)
- His position of supreme power is forever: “Your throne, O LORD, has been firm from the beginning, and you existed before time began.” (Psalm 93:2 GNT)
- God keeps his promises: “The LORD is our God; his commands are for all the world. He will keep his covenant forever, his promises for a thousand generations.” (Psalm 105:7 & 8 GNT)
- He gives us peace: ‘You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD (El Olam), the LORD, is the ROCK eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3,4 NIV)
- His love endures forever: “But for those who honor the LORD, his love lasts forever, and his goodness endures for all generations of those who are true to his covenant and who faithfully obey his commands.” (Psalm 105:17,18 GNT).
- He offers us eternal life: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. (John 3:16, GNT)
- “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you [El Olam] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I hope you are encouraged by reflecting on the Name above ALL names–the ONE who is called El Olam.
Linda is a career missionary and Bible teacher for more than 35 years, having lived in Austria and Thailand. Through her ministries she has traveled and taught the Bible in more than 20 countries, most recently in Nepal and Ukraine. She is also an author and children’s storybook illustrator and loves painting, writing poetry, and blogging.