Elohim represents God the Father. In Hebrew the word Elohim (singular: Eloah) is the God of Israel in the Old Testament. In Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.” Elohim is the first name given to identify God in the Bible. It is used not only in the first book of the bible called “The Beginnings – Genesis” but it used in the very first verse of the entire bible. The use here introduces us to God in the most holy and eternal role He plays – the all-powerful creator and sovereign God.
The problem we have in not looking specifically at the Hebrew language before translation we would not have been able to identify all of God’s roles. It is in the Hebrew name used in the original scripture that tells us the role God is playing at the time in the scripture. By not having the Hebrew text we would see in our English translation the word God or Lord and we would not know that, in fact, there is a difference in the role of God for what He is telling us through scripture. It is through the role name of God we understand exactly what the role of God to put into context exactly what God wants us to learn about the role He is being as stated to us by God in scripture.
We can learn a lot about God just in Genesis 1:1. It is this role of God that is the creator. He can take nothing and make it into something when we do not see it being created. He can take any situation in the background and turn it into exactly what He wants it to become and we never see it coming. So what does God want us to know about Him in this verse?
God’s statements in Genesis 1:1 tells us the following:
1. He is Transcendent and Distinct in Time. Transcendent is defined as being distinct from the creation He created. What are the ways is God distinct from His creation – to be lifted above it and from it? In Genesis 1:1 it tells us “In the beginning God created…” This tells us that God created the beginning. This means that God created time. Not the time we now live by but time as it relates to the heavens. 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” So, if God created time, then God must have preceded time. One cannot create time if one was not present before time was created. When we discuss time as we live by it in our physical life, we cannot address the same measurement towards God. God is outside of time because He created it. One more point, the only thing we have outside of time is eternity, which means eternity is not subject to time. Time, then, only becomes our problem, not God’s problem. The Bible only speaks of God in the present tense only. However, the Bible addresses us as an element of time because we have yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Malachi 3:6 “God is always the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes. He is so faithful, so constant, so loving and so true!” God has no yesterday (past) or tomorrow (future), everything that God has or does is current – today.
2. He is Transcendent in Space. Genesis 1:1 it tells us that ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” If heavens and earth He created He must have lived in space and predated His creation - time, heavens, and earth. All we in this physical life know of is the heavens and the earth. But God sits outside of space.
3. He is Transcendent of Matter. God had to exist when space did not exist. Therefore, if God created all things, then He also predated matter. Everything in this physical world is tied to elements of matter.
Why is it important to understand the details of this role of Elohim? We need to understand that for God to be transcendent of time, transcendent of space, and transcendent of matter this means that God has to live in another dimension. Why is this? Because the world we live in, earth and the heavens, is tethered to time, space, and matter. Given that this dimension is tethered to those and God is transcendent to them the He is in one dimension and we are in another. This means that to have Him in one dimension and humanity in anther we have no way to figure Him out other than through the scriptures. We are trying to figure god out through the lenses of our realm (dimension) and have to translated lenses to see Him other than through the scriptures. That is why it is so important to study scriptures in the original text to understand exactly what God is speaking to us about. It is through God’s word that we understand Him.
In Deuteronomy 8:3 “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” Matthew 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
In Jeramiah 23:23-24 “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” God is transcendent to time, space, and matter but he fills time, space, and matter with His presence. So God is here, there, and everywhere – meaning Elohim is Omnipresent. This means He is everywhere at the same time. Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the high and exalted One. Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly. And to revive the heart of the contrite.”
In Genesis 1:3 “And God said [God said DNA], Let there be light: and there was light.” For God to speak it means He is personable. An entity that could be heard. Scripture tells us He feels and has emotions.
Some of the emotions that God feels include
1. Love – 1 John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jeremiah 31:3 “ The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
2. Hate – Proverbs 6:16 “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” Psalms 5:5 “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” Psalms 11:5 “The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
3. Jealousy – Exodus 20:5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Joshua 24:19 “ And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”
4. Joy – Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Isaiah 62:5 “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” Jeremiah 32:41 “Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.”
5. Grief – Genesis 6:6 “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Psalm 78:40 “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!”
6. Laughs – Psalm 2:4 “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” Psalm 37:13 “The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” Proverbs 1:26 “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;”
7. Compassionate – Psalm 135:14 “For the Lord will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.” Judges 2:18 “And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.” Deuteronomy 32:36 “For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.”
This God (Elohim) is not only transcendent but fully engages in the realm of the physical and is immensely personal. Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.”
The word Elohim is a plural word. Does this mean that Elohim has multiple roles? Yes, we find in Genesis 1:26 “And God said [God said DNA], Let us make man in our image…” God said let us make man. This is the plural sense of God. God said in our image, meaning the plural nature of God. Then in verse 27 we are told “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This tells us the in the plural form of God we were created in His image. These two verses seem to be in contrast of defining Elohim. But what these two verses are showing is the role of Elohim (singular role) is one of many (plural) roles God plays. God is a plural being but exists only as one God.
Theologians tell us that the plural God is the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.
In Genesis 1:2 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
In John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” IN John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
In Colossians 1:16-17 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
So from scripture we find that Elohim is a plural God, Trinity, but operating by Himself in Genesis 1:27 in the creation of humanity.