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Who is God?

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Maui, Hawaii. My husband & I decided to take a stroll along the beach near the hotel where we were staying. Children were playing in the sand, those who enjoy tanning were doing so, and adventurous souls were surfing the waves. Water. It looked refreshing, relaxing & fun. I was feeling adventurous that day, so I decided to give body surfing a go while my husband relaxed on the beach.

Ah! The water was so warm and inviting! And I always loved the sound of those waves. There was just enough room between me and my fellow adventurers where I could both enjoy their happy sounds but also relish in some personal space. Such a great combination: fun & peace.

BAAM!!! Before I knew what literally hit me, I was sucked under the water and repeatedly tumbling head over heels - along with a, now, very close but total stranger. It was one of those slow motion moments that seem much longer than they really are. It lasted long enough for me to think "Uh oh! What's happening? This isn't good.... And who is this person I keep bumping into over and over again?" Thankfully, I landed in shallower water, stood up, and was happy to rejoin my husband on the shoreline. The stranger survived as well and, to my knowledge, went off to enjoy the rest of their day. Now, nearly 20 years later, it's a fun story to tell - given all ended well. But then? Well, then it was a quite unnerving.

Have you ever felt this way? Here you were enjoying your life when BAAM! You found yourself sucked under, full of questions, and surrounded by chaos and confusion?

Today, we will learn about how the name "God" - the first "being" mentioned in Genesis 1:1 - is actually a promise to help you through such unsettling times.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, our current definition of the word "God" is:

The supreme or ultimate reality: as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe."1

The Strongs Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, defines

"God" (Elohim) this way:

"probably strength; hence anything strong; specifically a chief (politically); also a ram (from his strength); a pilaster (as a strong support); an oak or other strong tree :- mighty (man), lintel, oak, post, ram, tree.

If you're like me, in our modern world you'll find it's hard to understand why God would be defined as an oak or other strong tree - or as a ram. However, we know from this meaning that "God" is strong and the ruler/chief. But to get a more complete understanding of this name, we can look back at the predecessor of the Hebrew language (pictographs) and consider the word pictures (concepts) that the ancestors used to communicate. Each character (letter) was an individual concept that, together, formed a word - a larger concept.

Pictographic meaning of Elohim


אֱ (meaning: Strong, Power, Leader) Picture of Ox head

לֹ (meaning: Teach, yoke, to, bind) Picture of Shepherd staff

הִ (meaning: Look, reveal, breathe) Picture of Man with arms raised

י (meaning: Work, throw, worship) Picture of Arm & closed hand

ם (meaning: Chaos, Mighty, blood) Picture: Water. (2)

With this in mind, the pictographic meaning of "God" may quite possibly be:

"The strong shepherd who reveals His hand

on the waters."3

Notice, the letter ם also means "chaos." God (Elohim) reveals His hand in the midst of chaos when we choose to look at Him rather than at troubling circumstances.

In the Book of Psalms, another part of the Scriptures,

we see a picture of God, this shepherd and the waters:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Psalm 23:1-2 (KJV)

In the Gospels, we see more illustrations that tell us about this shepherd actually telling the waters to be still. By doing so, he "revealed his hand" on the water.

A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him,“Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,"Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

-Mark 4:37-39 (HCSB)

“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter answered Him,“command me to come to You on the water.” “Come!” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”​ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. -Matthew 14:28-32 (HCSB)

Circumstances may be scary and tempt you to panic just like the disciples did. In the midst of a stormy sea, Jesus brought peace and calm. In the midst an overwhelming sitiuation on the choppy waters, Jesus revealed His hand when he reached it out to rescued Peter from drowning. Then he led him to safety and, finally, the wind ceased.

So, too, in your life! When things get tough and peace eludes you as it did in the accounts above, remind yourself that God,"the creator and ruler of the universe," is "the strong shepherd who reveals His hand on the waters." Take His hand, my friend, and trust Him to lead you through from chaos to calm.

Are you ready to trust that He will do this for you today? Ask Jesus to rescue you. The storm in your life may continue for awhile, but remember, He will be with you every step of the way, leading you to a place of safety.

Not sure Jesus is God? Take a look at the previous blog How Can I Know?



If you have any questions about this or any of the blogs here, or for more information about living a full life as it was meant to be, please contact me at Eden Tree Life Coaching. I'd love to connect with you!

Eden Tree Life Coaching

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