It’s fascinating to consider the possibility that Elohim in verse one lays the foundation for the Ruach Elohim in verse two and the creational Word God spoke in verse three. The “God” of creation cannot be known apart from the Spirit of Creation, the One identified in the Nicene Creed as “the Lord, the giver of life.” And, of course, the breath (or spirit/ruach) of God is expressed in speech: “Let there be.” Hence the opening of John’s Gospel recapitulates the opening of Genesis: “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2).
Appearing more than 400 times in the Hebrew Bible, Adonai is one of the most prolific names of God. Yeshua’s life was the extension of God’s Kingdom into this world. He now continues that through our life together as His Body. As Scripture stated, we are presently seated with Him in heavenly places, with access to all that authority through Him. We are able then to not just meditate on this reality but to bring His power into this world actively. When the world around us seems to shatter, let’s actively lift this broken world to Adonai in hope!
El Shaddai appears in the Bible seven times, or as just Shaddai an additional forty-one times. English translators typically (and conveniently) render El Shaddai as “God Almighty.” Its meaning is murkier and will require some verbal archaeology to uncover. Moreover, it is one of the few biblical names of God that is virtually absent from the Jewish liturgy, only finding its place when we read Psalm 91:1 in the evening service, “He who dwells in the shelter of Elyon, will abide in the shadow of Shaddai.”
We have to ask: what is the Hebrew name for God? A deep dive into God’s name reveals not just who He is but how that reality affects our lives. How should we live now that we know God to be the Father revealed in Yeshua? This is why our journey deeper in God’s Word matters: it calls us to a new way of life.