Book Review:Knowing God by His Names


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“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Psalm 9:10

Years ago, I was in church, and someone was about to lead the congregation in prayer.  Before praying, the brother said that we should address God by one of our favorite names for God.  That comment stayed with me, because I didn’t have different names for God.  I only knew “God”, “Jesus”, “Lord”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit”.  That’s a fairly limited vocabulary.  I felt embarrassed.

God covered my shame by answering me.  A few days later, I was looking through the Christian books at CVS, and found a small volume called Knowing God by His Names: A 31 Day Experiment.  It’s written by Dick Purnell and published by Harvest House.  (ISBN #978-0-7369-1510-6)  It’s essentially a 31 day devotional which allows us to read and reflect on a different name for God each day.  I worked through it on my own, but it can also be used for small group study.

I now have 3 favorite names for God; Jehovah-Rophe (Lord who Heals), Rock, and El-Roi (God who Sees).  Coming to understand God as my Rock is actually what brought me to faith in the first place.  A world without God is a scary and dangerous place to be.  As to El-Roi, Hagar used to puzzle me.  One of the last things she said before her story ended in the Bible was “I have now seen the One who sees me” (Gen. 16:13).  I get the sense that Hagar was comforted by knowing that God sees her, even though her circumstances did not change materially.  I used to think, “What’s the point of God seeing if He’s not going to change anything?!”  Now, as I grow in faith and maturity, I think I get it.  Last, the older I get, the more aches & pains I accumulate, the more I want and need a God who can and will heal me (Exodus 15:25-26).

 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2

BOW is my first experience in blogging, and my writing has undergone an evolution since I started. I use If I Knew Then What I Know Now to think aloud about my Christian walk. When you read it, my hope is that WE (the BOW community & friends) then discuss how to apply God's word into our everyday lives in a practical manner. As Christian lay-theologians, we'll talk about our world, and how we can be in it but not of it. So whatever your thoughts are about what you read, PLEASE share.
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