By Linda K. Bridges for Blog Series: What’s in A Name Anyway?
“Then Elohim commanded, ‘Let the water be filled with many kinds of living beings, and let the air be filled with birds.’ So God (Elohim) created great sea monsters, all kinds of creatures that live in the water, and all kinds of birds. And Elohim was pleased with what he saw.” (Genesis 1:20-21)
As my husband and I strolled on the beach in Southern California, I was struck by the vastness of God’s creation. The bigness of his ocean.The sand under our feet. The sights and smells around me captured my imagination as I thought about His creative power and the scope of it. Then without notice a flock of seagulls near us took flight. I just managed to catch it with my iPhone.The photo above is just one from that moment in time. I remembered Genesis 1 and marveled.
On another occasion, a fiery sunset riveted my attention, causing me to dash for my camera in hopes of capturing the magnitude of its beauty. My heart soared. Got it! (You can see that photo in my post, What’s in A Name, Anyway?) Again, God’s word came to mind: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim th work of his hands.”
Not long after that, as I was driving home one evening, I was caught off guard by the spectacle of a harvest moon looming above and before me. Another marvelous manifestation of the handiwork of Elohim.
“The glory of God is not written in small obscure letters but richly engraven in large and bright characters, which all. . .may read, and read with with the greatest of ease.”(John Calvin, in his commentary on Psalm 19.)
The scope of God’s creativity is seen all around us. Each human fingerprint is different—no two are alike. Crystals forming into geodes or diamonds, or the frosted beauty of snowflakes on my window pane in winter’s sunshine—these cannot be replicated, though man may try. The movement of the suns and planets in space; northern lights in the Alaskan sky; trees and plants of incalculable diversity; and every creature that moves, above and under the earth, in the sea, on mountain and prairie alike–all were created according to Elohim’s master plan. (See Genesis 1:1-25)
Who is Elohim and what is He like?
What do I learn about God when I meet him for the very first time in the Bible? I am introduced to him by name, and that name is, Elohim. “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Elohim is the Hebrew name for God, as Creator, and it is the primary word used for God throughout the Old Testament. Centuries later, the New Testament writer of Hebrews, comments, “It is by faith that we understand that the universe was created by God’s [Elohim’s] word, so that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.” (Hebrews 11:3, GNT)
By faith we believe that. . .
- Elohim is our creator. “Then Elohim said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us…So God [Elohim] created human beings, making them to be like himself.” (Genesis 1:26, 28, GNT)
- We exist because of Elohim. Each person of the triune Godhead had an integral part in creation. Elohim is the plural form of God, indicating God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Colossians 1:15—17, GNT).
- We are the unique handiwork of Elohim—created for a unique purpose on this earth (Ephesians 2:10, GNT). Have you ever thought of yourself as being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’? (Psalm 139:13-15, GNT) You are!
God has not only created the world and all that was in it, including mankind, he has also planted in our DNA his creative ability—so that his creative nature will continue—though us. When you pen a poem, write an essay, paint a picture, or lay out a design for your flower garden, you are using Elohim’s gift of creativity!
What should my response be to Elohim?
Scripture indicates that our response to knowing God as Creator is to worship him. Elohim is worthy of our worship because He is the creator of all things, and by his will they existed and were created, and have purpose. (Revelation 4:11) The psalmist’s invitation goes out to each of us: “Come, let us bow down and worship him; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! He is our God; we are the people he cares for, the flock for which he provides.” (Psalm 95:6-7, GNT)
Every human being is invited to praise Elohim, who designed us to reflect his image in the world around us, to show what he is like. “Worship the LORD with joy; come before him with happy songs! Acknowledge that the LORD is God. He made us, and we belong to him. . .” (Psalm 100:2-3a GNT)
The Bible has much, much more to say about this aspect of Elohim-Creator-God.
The Psalms are scattered with poetic phrases that proclaim God’s creative nature.
Psalm 19:1-4a (GNT)
“How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announced it to the following day; Each night repeats it to the next. No speech or words are used, No sound is heard; Yet their message goes out to all the world and is heard to the ends of the earth.”
Psalm 139:13 (GNT)
“You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it will all my heart.”
Psalm 121: 1(GNT)
“I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the LORD [Elohim], who made heaven and earth.”
Praise Elohim today. To know Elohim is the beginning of understanding the reason we live and breathe. Ask him to give you a new sense of wonder and praise for his creative character. Bask in what he reveals.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I hope you enjoyed pondering the greatness of Elohim with me. Please take a moment and jot a comment to me, letting me know what you liked most about these thoughts. Share it with a friend.
Note: This article was first published on American Bible Society’s Engagers Blog.
Linda K. Bridges
Linda is a career missionary and Bible teacher for more than 35 years, having lived on foreign soil in both 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.