Have you checked out the Illustrated Faith community on Instagram? If you have access to it then I really urge you to peruse through the hashtag #illustratedfaith. I always find such encouragement there, and more than a pinch of inspiration. Whilst I’m constantly amazed at how everyone worships and creates in their own unique way, I often have one of these images really strike a chord in me that makes me want to run to the Word and get reading and illustrating. Earlier this week I came across an entry by Jennifer LeBlanc (Instagram username: liveart_fully) who had illustrated Gen 16:13 which describes Sarah’s gratitude for the God who sees her pain at not being able to bear a child and answers her prayer. In this verse Sarah calls God “El-Roi” which means ‘the God who sees me’.
Jennifer’s interpretation of the verse with her bold focus on “El-Roi” got me thinking about all the different names God is called throughout the Bible. This subject has often fascinated me, and I’ve learned bits and pieces along the way, but at that moment I was inspired to dig a little deeper and start my own study into the meaning and significance of His many names.
To begin with we must understand what’s so important about a name. In the Bible a name was often used to describe someone’s character, and was so crucial to their identity that their name might be changed if their personality changed. For example, Saul became Paul after his conversion. And when it comes to God we have been commanded to keep His name holy – that is what “hallowed be your name” means. Nehemiah 9:5 tells us that God’s name is exalted above all blessing and praise, and that is where I did my first Bible-journaling entry for this study.
After that introductory entry I’m going to take my time over the next little while to attempt to journal some/most/all of the different names of our Father. I’ll quickly share 3 entries I’ve done so far.
Since it’s where the idea for the study came from I wanted to first journal my own version of the El-Roi page. When I turned to Genesis 16 in my bible I found that I had already filled the margins on that page with my timeline of Abraham’s life (a little exercise I found helpful to try and wrap my head around how long it took God to fulfil his promises on that occasion). So I added just a little mini-entry in the tiny bit of space I had above mention of this name.
Next I turned to Exodus 15:26 which is the first occasion where God was called Jehovah Rapha. As a doctor this is one of my favourite names because it means ‘The Lord who heals’ and I find it comforting to know we can turn to the ultimate source of health and wellness to find our healing. I’ve decided to keep all these entries consistent by using the same alphabet stamp sets to write the different names. But the colours and embellishments will be different each time. Here I’ve used the crosses out of the recent Illustrated Faith stamp set “Strength” to decorate because I thought they might represent something close to the medical cross you see.
And lastly for today I’ve journaled Exodus 17:15 where Moses calls God Jehovah Nissi which means ‘The Lord my banner’. In battle each side would fly their banner (a pole with an insignia attached) to represent who they were fighting for. It gave their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. We need to remember the same thing today, we are part of the army of God and we represent Him, but He is our leader and the battle is His. Lucky for us the battle has already been won…. but that’s a different story! I remembered having some toothpick flags in an old scrapbook kit and figured they would make the perfect embellishments for this page.
With many many more names to research and journal I know that I might be at this exercise for a while yet. But I’m finding the journey exciting and very rewarding. Maybe you might want to try something similar?