Elohim: The All-powerful Supreme Creator
Elohim (e-lo-HEEM) is the Hebrew name for God in Genesis 1:1. This name for God is used over 2500 times in Scripture. It is the plural form of El or Eloah and means all-powerful, mighty judge and creator. Since Elohim created time, space and matter, He is transcendent of it. He exists outside of it. It’s how He can say in Isaiah 55:8-9…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Not only is He transcendent, but He is also immanent. He is here…everywhere…all the time…omnipresent.
Under this title, God created the heavens and the earth. He created something out of nothing. This is why He can ask, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?”
Under this title, God fills the formless, void, dark waste with light. He brings order to chaos.
Under this title, God creates man in His own image. Man is called to mirror his creator.
I grew up in church. As a young girl I was taught that God was all-powerful and that He created the heavens and the earth. I never disputed this truth. I knew that was sound teaching. I just didn’t understand what that had to do with me personally…until He introduced Himself.
I was 16 years old. I had two sisters, 15 and 10 years old. Our home had been a rocky one. At that time, my parents were on the brink of divorce, one sister was in rehab for drugs and alcohol, and the other sister was beginning to flunk her classes at school after being a straight A student. On top of that, my relationship with my boyfriend had recently ended, leaving me confused and hurt. Everything seemed to be falling apart.
During this time I was attending a small church with some of my friends. I fell in love with the families there and they welcomed me like a daughter. On one particular night, I felt heavily burdened for my family and my future. During the sermon it seemed like every word was spoken just for me. I listened intently, soaking everything up. At the end of the sermon, an alter call was given. This was the time to go to the front of the building and kneel for prayer if you felt led to do so. I felt led.
While I was there crying my heart out to God, I felt a flood of power go through my head and down to my feet. I suddenly had complete peace. After a moment I remember thinking to myself, “Now what do I do?” It was right then that I heard the voice of God. It was like a peaceful thunder. It had such authority and power, yet it was not scary, but calming. He said, “Be still and know that I am God.” I just thought, “Okay” and stayed still until I felt released to move.
After that experience I thought I would return home to a family that would be miraculously healed. I thought my parents would get along, my sister would be free of drugs and the other sister would get her grades back up. I even thought my ex-boyfriend would surely want me back now.
None of that happened.
I didn’t understand. God talked to me in an audible voice. I heard Him. He was going to take care of everything. Where did He go?
In the years that followed, my parents got a divorce and both remarried someone else within weeks of that divorce. Now I had an extra large blended family. My sisters went from bad to worse. They were just as confused as I was, but didn’t have the faith support that I had at my church. I tried to get them to come with me, but they didn’t want any part of it. All I knew to do was to keep moving forward, trusting that God would somehow bring restoration.
A few years later, I fell in love and married the man God had picked out for me. Both of us were working in retail and thought we had our future planned out. Several years into our marriage my husband was called to work on staff at a local church. I really didn’t see vocational ministry in our future, but here we were. I began leading ladies Bible studies and spent hours diving into the Scriptures to get ready for lessons.
In this season of my life I had some turmoil rise up again and began to pray fervently for an answer. That day I came across a verse I had never seen before. It was Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” I just stared at it in disbelief and then was suddenly very aware of God’s presence around me. After I collected myself, I highlighted, underlined, starred and circled that Scripture. I realized that God had spoken His Word to me as a teenager. But then again, what else would He speak but His Word?
I had already learned about some of the names of God at this point and wondered at which one was in this Scripture. I soon found out it was Elohim. That verse had even more meaning now for me. This God could take my chaos and bring order to it. This God was powerful enough to create something out of nothing. Nothing was/is too difficult for Him. No wonder He spoke that verse to me years before.
Now I wanted to pick apart the whole verse. Here’s what God showed me:
“Be still and know I am God”
“Be still” – in some translations it says “Cease Striving”. In other words…LET GO, STOP. This is a tough one for this first-born control freak! I had to learn that some things are just beyond my capabilities and no amount of striving is going to fix anything. Okay, I’m still striving to learn that one.
Once I am still then I can “know”. Surrendering comes BEFORE the knowing. The Hebrew word for “know” is “yada” (yaw-dah’) and it means “discern, get acquainted with, know for certain, know closely”. There’s no wavering on this one. There’s no doubting. It’s full on assurance and it’s personal. He’s not asking here either. He’s commanding. What does He want us to be sure of? That comes next…
“I am God”. Those first two words “I am” are very important. They are there to put us in our place. They are to remind us exactly who is God and who is not. It’s funny how we easily forget. He alone is Elohim, the Supreme God. Since He is the Supreme God, He will do things on His timetable. Elohim is the one who created time, so He gets to control it. Sometimes it looks like Elohim is not exercising his power on our behalf, or that He is just procrastinating. Not so. He has a bigger purpose in the wait. He has done many great things in my extended family. I know He will be faithful to complete His work in His time.
I guess you could say this is my “life verse”. It’s the verse I go to when things in this world seem to be spiraling out of control. With this verse I know that He is in control.
If you find yourself in a stormy season of life, please hear God speak this over you, “Be still and know I am God”.