For this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday, Katie asks us dome direct and deliberate questions about Elohenu, Our God.
Elohenu: Our God
This name of God, used often throughout the Bible, is used first in a very important moment in Israel’s history. The Israelites are enslaved, they are crying out to God and he hears them (Exodus 2:24-25). In the next chapter, we see God move and introduce himself to the reluctant hero Moses. It is there that God reveals his name to Moses as the I AM and it is in that same conversation that we first see Elohenu. In Exodus 3:18, God is telling Moses the words he should say to Pharaoh in order to see the Israelites freed.
God says to Moses:
“The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the King of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’
Only two verses before in 3:16, when God is telling Moses how to approach the elders, he tells Moses to refer to him as the “God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
A Pivotal Shift in Ownership
This is a pivotal move in the relationship of YHWH with his people. He is doing more to define it, taking his people deeper. Elohim, the name given to God in the Creation story becomes a plural, first person possessive noun meaning our God or our Elohim. The God of creation is revealing his Name I AM to Moses and in time the people of Israel, but also moving from being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to the God of the Israelites. Their God—the God of generations before, becomes our God—the God of the present generation.
The God or My God
I have to wonder how slow we are to take this step in our own lives. There must come a time in every Christian’s walk where the person takes ownership in their faith in God. The God they have heard about must become theirs if they truly desire to follow Him. For true freedom to occur, we must move from their God, that God, a God, or even the God to my God and our God. When this shift of ownership occurs, when he is truly ours, we begin the journey of trust. When we see him as our own, we desire to grow and learn and become more like him because ownership begets responsibility. It is the first step in discipleship and it is a step we must take.
As a military family, we rented house after house. When my husband got out of the Army we bought our first house and I will never forget the shift that ownership had for us. It was no longer someone else’s problem. In a rental, if I didn’t like something, I just waited until we moved to another house. If something broke, I depended on someone else to fix it. Now that we own a house, more is required of us, but there is also more joy and pride in the ownership because it is ours. The analogy is flawed because you cannot fix or change yourself, but when God is your God you are so much more willing to trust Him and take the steps necessary for the growth that he longs to provide.
What do you call God?
Today, I would challenge you to check your growth. Is God simply the God or their God? Or is he yourGod and our God? Have you made the shift to align yourself with Him and to obey his teachings? Have you stepped out and claimed Him as your own so that others might see change in your life and know Who to credit? And if you have claimed Him as yours, are you stagnant in your growth? Do you take it seriously that the God who is before all things and holding all things together (Colossians 1:17) calls you
His and allows you to call Him yours? It is huge friends. And this God of ours, He is a life-changer.
Katie is a wife and stay-at-home mom of three preschoolers. Most of her time is spent outside or in imaginary worlds. In rare moments of free time, she loves to read, paint and write.