Names of God – Part 28
LORD my God my King
YHWH is God’s actual name which he revealed to Moses from the burning bush, it implies the personal nature of God and El the creator which is immeasurably beyond us. These two names are held in contrast here, a God who is both close and strange to us.
The third part of the name here is how God relates to us:
Mekel is the Hebrew word for king. It is used throughout theOld Testament for the King of Israel of Judah and for the kings of the other nations. Mekel, King, is also used as a title for God.
God the lover
What we have here is more personal than that. El-Mekel is God the King, Eli-Mekeli is personal. It means my God, my King. It is not just about a relationship, you can have a relationship by email with someone fat off, but the personal forms of both words here bring it closer than that this is close and personal. What is more, this appears in the Psalms of David. David the king says that YHWH is his God and his King. Our God is the King of the king.
The personal side of the personal nature of the King of the king comes in the delightful Old Testament book, the Song of Solomon. Either written by or dedicated to, another of Israel’s kings, Solomon, it is an erotic love poem of the king and his bride. It is a poem that reflects the intimacy of God to his people. It includes this line:
Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit. – Song of Solomon 7:7-8 ESV
Strong stuff and not the kind of language people would expect from the Bible. It is this closeness, the closeness of lovers, that God longs to have with his people. It is the personal form of this that fits in with what Thomas said when he met the risen Jesus: My Lord and my God.
God the King
El-Mekel, the less intimate form of Eli-Mekeli, is found far more often in scripture. It means that God is King. There can only be one king, if God is king then no-one and nothing else is king. This is what we are saying when we say Jesus is Lord. He is king, he is the boss. This was a political hot potato in the early church because the Roman Empire insisted that Caesar is Lord. If Jesus was Lord then Caesar could not be.
What it means is this:
If Jesus is Lord, Jesus is king it means that I am not the lord of my own life.
If Jesus is Lord then the government is not.
If Jesus is Lord then my country is not.
If Jesus is Lord then my husband/wife/significant other is not.
If Jesus is Lord then my family is not.
If Jesus is Lord then my boss is not.
We are not to put ourselves first, nor our country, nor our family, nor our jobs. Jesus is to be first, Jesus is everything. That is what it means to have a relationship where Jesus is Lord.