Names of God – El Elyon

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

EL ELYON – God Most High

A name of God used in a number of OT books but especially in Genesis and the Psalms.   

 It first is used in Genesis 14.

Genesis 14:10-20 – Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains. Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.  Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people.  And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:  “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”  And he gave him a tithe of all.

How is that God always reveals Himself mightily in our distress, in times of trials, in times of hardship or sickness?

Let me say this:

  • I am not always happy and content in times of distress.
  • I am not always happy and content in times of trial.
  • I am not always happy and content in times of hardship
  • But I sure do love it when God shows Himself great and mighty.

Let’s face it – we grow most in difficult times.  Let us take a closer look at what has happened in the passage we just read in Genesis.

Background in chapter 13 shows that Lot and Abraham separated because of strife…strife will lead to separation, but often separation will lead to a greater problem. 

Verses 11-18 in chapter 13 show us how quickly living in close proximity to sin will put in danger.  Stay away from sin; as far away as possible.

God had just given Abraham a great promise and Abraham worshipped God.  If and when God gives you a great promise, it will cause you to want to worship Him.  Well, that is what Abraham did.

All of heaven is yours, eternal life is yours, ruling and reigning with Christ is yours, reunited with loved ones is yours in heaven.  But, as great as all that is and will be, kneeling at the feet of Christ our Savior will be the greatest experience yet.  So worship Him now.  Why wait until you get there?  We can be rejoicing on our journey.

Chapter 14 tells us about a war between several different city states; four kings against five.  Sodom and Gomorrah and three smaller kingdoms lost the battle.  Some were captured.  Some killed.  The people ran for their lives.  The victors took the spoils of war and went their way.  They also took Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and departed.  At the time of this war Lot was living in Sodom.  Remember, this all started back when Lot and Abraham and their workers and families could not get along.  Strife of any kind causes division; between individuals, families, clubs, nations, and worse yet, churches.

At one point, Lot was only in close proximity of Sodom…now he is in Sodom.  He first looked toward Sodom and thought it would looked like a pleasant and pleasing place.  Then he moved in that direction.  Finally we find him sitting in the gates of the city along with the leaders of the community.  There is a logical and sure progression to falling into sin.  You do not just wake up one morning and decide to sin that day.  Something proceeds your fall.

Abraham went after and won the release of his nephew all the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and all the spoils of war with only 318 trained servants.  It appears guerilla tactics at night were used.

Note this:  Abraham and his 318 servants defeated the men of the four cities.  Some of Abraham’s men pursued their enemies as far as Damascus, nearly 150 miles north.  When you are on God’s side, do things God’s way, and have the blessings of God on your life, God will give you the victory.  You may be outnumbered, but God will see you through.  Why did God allow Abraham to rescue Sodom and Gomorrah, very sinful cities, when He was going to destroy it later?

You know the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.  If those people had been allowed to become captives and remained in the city states they had been captured by, they would have spread their sin.  God used Abraham to bring them back to one location and later destroyed the cities.

In Abraham’s return from battle he was met by two kings, the king of Sodom and he king of Salem (later renamed Jerusalem).

In the first part of chapter 12 Abraham had been blessed by God; now he is blessed by Melchizedek, the king/priest of the Most High God.  This dual title and description is a type of Christ.  As priest, Melchizedek served Abraham a covenant meal of bread and wine and blessed him.  He then told Abraham God was just not God…He is the “God Most High”  He is the Creator of the universe.  Everything belongs to Him – all the wealth, cattle, and possessions.  He is in control of everything you see around you.  In the Hebrew He is El Elyon which means “God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth.”  WOW, what a title!

After this blessing, the King of Sodom, who had fled the battlefield in the face of war told Abraham, “Just give me my people, and keep the spoils.”  Abraham’s response was “El Elyon is my God…I don’t need your possessions.  I’ve got all the promises of God”

We do not need the possessions of the world has to offer.  We have the promises of God.

In verses 22-23 Abraham said, “I want nothing from you.  I have raised my hand to the Lord God Most High…I’m on His side…nothing you have to offer is going to influence me…I won’t settle for second best.”  Abraham was convinced.

We must be convinced that God is on our side and He can and will supply our every need.

Never accept, even if it looks good to the eye, even if it looks good to the touch, even if it is flattering…never accept what Satan has to offer.  God’s promises are so much better.

God Most High or LORD Most High means there is no idol, god, or created being that should be worshiped or exalted over the Lord because He is superior in every way.

In the New Testament we see that Jesus has been given this place of honor.

Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.