The Names of God Reflected in Psalm 23

The Names of God Reflected in Psalm 23

The Old Testament gives us the many names of God and each one of them has its own meaning. But do you know that Psalm 23 reflects the compound names of Yahweh God (or Jehovah God), the covenant-making God of Israel?

Jehovah – Jireh

means “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14).

The name literally means “The Lord Who Sees,” or “The Lord Who Will See To It.” When we have a personal or special need, we long for the One who will provide. Jehovah-Jireh means the Lord who will see to it that all my needs and yours are met.

Jehovah-Jireh

Jehovah-Jireh knows our every need because He sees. If the Lord was able to meet Abraham’s need by providing a ram caught in the thicket that was offered in place of Isaac, He’s also able to meet our needs in just the right time. The name Jehovah-Jireh assures us that our Heavenly Father is able to provide any need we have.

Jehovah – Shalom

means “The Lord is peace” (Judges 6:24).

When Gideon thought that he would die because the Angel of the Lord visited him, God spoke to him and said, “Peace be with you; do not fear for you shall not die.” This made such a great impression on Gideon that he built an altar to the Lord and gave it the name “Jehovah Shalom” (Judges 6:22-24)

The Hebrew word “shalom” translated as “peace” does not only speak of the absence of noise, strife or conflict; it speaks of wholeness, completeness, soundness, and welfare (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).

One of the many problems we encounter today is the problem of anxiety. Medical experts say that most major disorders of the mind are those related in some way to anxiety. In fact, people who suffer from chronic anxiety often end up physically ill.

Jehovah-Shalom

True and ultimate peace is found in God alone, and this comes to us when we focus our lives on God and trust Him. Are you weary and troubled? Why not place your trust in Jehovah-Shalom and He will keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3)?

Jehovah – Rapha

means “The Lord who heals” (Exodus 15:26).

It was in the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites that God first revealed His name as Jehovah-Rapha. After crossing the Red Sea, Moses led them into the Wilderness of Shur where they went three days without water (Exodus 15:22). Apparently, the Lord was testing their faith.

Eventually, they came across the waters of Marah, but they could not drink them for they were bitter. So they complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we to drink?” Moses then cried to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet (Exodus 15:23-25).

Jehovah-Rapha

The Lord does not only heal waters, He heals people too. If the Lord was able to heal the waters at Marah so the Israelites could drink, He is also able to heal us from any disease. When we’re weak, Jehovah-Rapha will renew our strength, the same way He did for David (Psalm 23:3 NLT).

Living in a stressful and chaotic world, the name Jehovah-Rapha speaks to us and our needs today. Yes, we are confronted with new problems every day that often times our body just wants to give up and give in. But we can count upon the Lord to heal and renew our strength. Jehovah is the Great Physician who not only heals the physical and emotional needs of His people; He also heals their spiritual needs.

Jehovah – Tsidkenu

means “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).

When the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were carried into captivity, it would seem that the promises of God would never be fulfilled. However, God spoke through Jeremiah of the day when a righteous king would return to set up His righteous kingdom on earth, and to reign and judge.

To call the Lord Jehovah-Tsidkenu is to say that all He does is righteous and He is the source of all that is righteous and good. This name applies not only to the Father but to Jesus as well. He is our Jehovah-Tsidkenu; He covers us with His righteousness that allows us to stand before His presence (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jehovah-Tsidkenu

The Lord led David down the paths of righteousness during his reign as king and He will do the same for us if we allow Him to shepherd us. It is God’s desires for His children to live a righteous and sanctified life.

Jehovah – Shamma

means “The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).

One of the purposes of the Millennial Kingdom is that God might fulfill His promises to His people. During this time, Israel will again trust the Lord, obey Him and worship in His Temple. And the city of Jerusalem will be given the name Jehovah-Shammah to indicate that the once-departed glory of the Lord had returned.

Jehovah-Shamma

In Psalm 23, David relates that the Lord did not leave him in the dark valley. God stayed beside him and calmed his fears. In the same way, God promises the believers that He will always be there for them; that He will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

Jehovah – Nissi

means “The Lord is my banner” (Exodus 17:15).

Only once does the name Jehovah-Nissi appear in the Bible, in Exodus 17:15. After the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, a powerful and warlike group of people, Moses built an altar to the Lord and named it Jehovah-Nissi.

Moses recognized that the Lord was Israel’s banner under which they defeated the Amalekites. For as long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

Jehovah-Nissi

The revelation of the name Jehovah-Nissi has to do with warfare, and this warfare involved God’s very own. Christians today are involved in warfare; they war against the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:17), against principalities and rulers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:11-12).

The great news is, the Lord our banner desires to give us victory. But we need to maintain a healthy prayer life. We are involved in a spiritual battle every day and the way to fight these battles is to be prayerful at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As quoted by a character in the movie “War Room,Christians must fight their battles on their knees.

Jehovah – M’kaddesh (or Jehovah – Mekoddishkem)

means ‘The Lord who makes you holy” or “The Lord who sanctifies you” (Leviticus 20:8).

The name Jehovah-M’kaddesh is used 7 times in three chapters in Leviticus, the book of life that explains how a people already been redeemed must walk and worship. God wanted the Israelites to consecrate themselves and be holy (Leviticus 20:7).

God’s requirement hasn’t changed; He demands holiness. Although we cannot be holy in and of ourselves, our Jehovah-M’kaddesh will sanctify us daily as we live for Him.

Jehovah-M'kaddesh

The anointing of oil symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The Holy Spirit not only empowers believers to live the victorious Christian life and equips them to be effective in their ministry, but He also enables them to live holy and sanctified lives.

*Related Article: Bible Study on Psalm 23

Conclusion

We learn in the Bible that names serve a variety of functions. Interestingly, God often changed the names of people in order for Him to use them more effectively for His own purpose. We also learn that God has several names, some of which are reflected in the contents of Psalm 23.

But why is it important for us to know God’s names and their meanings? Knowing the meaning of each name that God uses for Himself is important because they reveal to us an aspect of His character to help us get to know Him better.

What name or names of God in this Psalm do you most relate to? Please do share it by leaving your comments below.

8 Replies to “The Names of God Reflected in Psalm 23”

  1. Hi again Alice,

    Another insightful post.  I did not realize there are so many names for God, but I can understand why He has so many names.  God represents everything that is good.  I agree with you, we need to know all his names.  Different religions have different names for God and if we understand the meaning of each, we will be a lot more acceptable to other religions and not so judgmental.  

    I relate the best with Jehovah – Shalom  & Jehovah – Shamma. 

    Thanks for a great post!

    1. Hello Rika,

      So nice of you to visit again, and thank you for your comment. You’re absolutely right, our God, Yahweh, represents everything that is good. After all, He is the absolute standard of good.

      It’s good for us to know the different names of God that He has revealed to us, that way we can relate much better to Him. Of course, other religions may have different names for God. However, we are not exactly sure if the God they’re addressing is the same God that the Bible describes. Because if we are to ask them about the God they believe in and worship, he does not have the characteristics of the biblical God.

      As the great Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias always says, “All religions are superficially the same but fundamentally different.”

      It’s not being judgmental to point out the differences between the God of the Bible and the god of other worldviews. No matter how much we try to convince one another that we all worship the same God, the fact remains that there is only one true God, Yahweh.

      God bless!

  2. First of all, I’m not a religious person. But I know a little bit about Christianity. I love the way you explained the names of God here. Honestly, I don’t even care about it but you put it together in a way that makes me want to know more. Thanks for this article 🙂

    1. Hi Amer, thanks for your comment.

      First of all, let me just say that there’s a difference between being religious and spiritual; one who is religious may not actually have a relationship with God.

      By the way, Christianity is not the only worldview that addresses God with different names. Allah, the God of the Muslims also has many names, 99 if I am not mistaken.

      However, the difference is that, in Christianity, God is a personal being. Meaning, we can have a relationship with Him. Whereas in Islam and some other worldviews, God is distant and man cannot have a relationship with Him.

      Please do come back and read more about having a relationship with Yahweh, the One true God who loves us and longs to fellowship with us.

      God bless you!

  3. I can relate to many names here as you have pointed out. I come from a background where finding the basic needs like food, clothing and shelter was really very hard when I was growing up. 

    My mother used to pray calling upon Jehovah Jireh for provision and to be sure God always provided and we rarely went to bed hungry. God as Jehovah Rapha always healed our sicknesses even when we couldn’t afford the best medication. 

    Every single name of God has been evident to my life and I can testify of the Lord’s goodness.

    1. I understand exactly where you’re coming from Pmbaluka, I did not come from a well-off family too. However, I can say that God never failed to meet our daily needs because He is Jehovah-Jireh, and God stays true to His name. We may not always have what we want but rest assured that if we trust in the God who knows all our needs, we will never experience lack.

      Thanks for your comment, God bless!

  4. Interesting write-up you’ve got here. I was aware that in Christianity, other names or words were used to refer to God, but I wasn’t aware that it was this many. It gives one great insight as to how the ancient Hebrews worshipped God in different contexts and circumstances.

    From where I come from the ones I usually hear the most are Jireh and Rapha. It’s interesting to know how different words, despite simple-sounding, add great meaning and depth to worshipping Him.

    1. Actually, there are more names of God than what I have mentioned in this article. That’s because I only focused on the names of God reflected in Psalm 23. Although Psalm 23 is one of my favorite psalms, I had no idea they contain some of the names of Yahweh. After doing a verse by verse study of this psalm, it just hit me. And yes, the names of God in Hebrew definitely add a great meaning as to how people relate to and worship God.

      Thank you Mike for stopping by.

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