Tag Archives: names of God

Prince of Peace

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5, NIV*

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means more than tranquility or absence of conflict. The Ancient Hebrew Research Center says “The noun shalom has the more literal meaning of being in a state of wholeness or with no deficiency.”

I’ve been thinking a bit about what it means that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Prince speaks to His authority. Peace is part of His character, but it’s also something He gave His life to bring us.

Peace with God: We’re adopted into God’s family, loved and welcomed. He’s washed away the sin and shame and we don’t need to hide anymore. Nor will God hide His face from us.

Peace with one another: We can overlook the surface irritants and choose to give grace to one another like it’s been given to us. We can work together, united in our belonging to the Prince of Peace, who enables—and commands—us to love one another.

Peace with ourselves: He knows our depths but loves and accepts us. We can accept ourselves. He has saved us and is saving us. We can cooperate with Him and rely on His promises.

God the Son, who is our Prince of Peace, thank You for rescuing us. Thank You for making us whole and giving us peace with You, with others and with ourselves. Help us do all we can, strengthened by Your mighty power at work in us, to preserve and expand this peace. Help us be peacemakers.

Here’s Rich Mullins’ classic song, “Hold Me Jesus.”

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Review: The Names of God Bible

The Names of God Bible cover artThe Names of God Bible, Ann Spangler, General Editor (Revell/Baker Publishing Group, 2011)

Throughout the Bible, God is referred to by various names which reveal aspects of His character. The more we know Him, the better we can trust Him.

In The Names of God Bible, the most significant of those names are restored in the Old Testament text to their original Hebrew (but rendered in our alphabet). In the New Testament, other than referring to Jesus by the Hebrew Yeshua, His names and titles remain in English.

This Bible makes a great study tool for those wanting to understand more about the names and character of God. There’s a list of names, meanings and pronunciations at the beginning, as well as a reading path that allows you to trace the usage of a particular name through the complete text.

There are also focus pages for many of the names of God, with insights, devotionals, and promises related to the names. Standard features include Bible reading plans and introductions to each book.

The introductions are very helpful, giving an overview of each book’s events and theme and putting it in the wider context of the whole Bible (eg the introduction to Jeremiah gives where the book falls in Israel’s history, what was happening at the time, as well as the prophet’s message and effects, and it suggests other readings to place the content in context.)

Unfortunately, the first introduction I read was for Genesis, and it includes the line “… Noah, who commandeered a ship through a world-destroying flood.” (He commanded the ship, but he hardly commandeered it.)

The Names of God Bible is printed in the GOD’S WORD® translation (GW), which is new to me but has been around since 1995, ©God’s Word to the Nations Missions Society. The single-column layout is easy to read, and I like how any explanations of names are done within the text using brackets. It feels more natural than footnotes. Here’s an example:

So your name will no longer be Abram [Exalted Father], but Abraham [Father of Many] because I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5, GW

The GOD’S WORD® translation is designed for clear readability, with shorter sentences and explanations of terms such as yoke and cornerstone making it ideal for those new to the faith or new to the English language. Contractions make the text flow easily although I prefer reading God’s own dialogue without them.

More information on the details and philosophy of this translation can be found at the GOD’S WORD® translation website.

General Editor Ann Spangler is well-equipped to head up this task, after researching and writing the books Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus. For an interview with Ann Spangler and a deeper overview of The Names of God Bible see the Baker Publishing Group website. You can also view a sample chapter of The Names of God Bible.

[Unlike ordinary reviews where I read the entire book before reviewing, here I’ve sampled various selections and passages, introductions and focus pages. Bible has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller or from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]

Names of God in Praise

In August we talked about how using the names of God in prayer can affirm and strengthen our faith. Different aspects of God’s character seem especially appropriate to different prayer needs we face.

Choosing one of God’s descriptive names helps in praise too. I like to pick just one and spend time thinking what it says about His nature, His glory, His honour. They comfort me, encourage me, and inspire me to praise Him.

Some of my favourites:

Ancient of Days (Daniel 7)

Father to the Fatherless (Psalm 68:5)

My Rock and My Redeemer (Psalm19:14)

My Shepherd (Psalm 23)

The Author and Finisher of our Faith (Hebrews 12:22, KJV)

What are some of yours?

Names of God in Prayer

Wednesday’s post came from one of my favourite Old Testament accounts: King Jehoshaphat and the invading hordes. (See “Confident that God is at Work”)

Another of my favourites is the story of Joshua leading the nation of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. You can read about it in Joshua 3.

Here’s the pep talk Joshua gives the people before they set out:

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

Joshua 3:9-13, NIV* Emphasis mine.

In that short passage, look at how Joshua refers to God:  “the LORD your God… the living God… the Lord of all the earth (twice)”.

Knowing and reminding ourselves of the names of God can affirm and strengthen our faith.

Joshua chose traits the people needed to remember for the journey ahead. He knew they needed to keep their faith strong in a land of giants.

I always love it when public prayer goes beyond “Dear God” and the leader picks one or two relevant character attributes to address the need: “God of comfort and grace, All-wise and knowing God, God who formed us and knows our weakness…”

It’s a good way to encourage our faith.

Do you have a favourite name for God in prayer?

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.