Advent Day 2: Elohim

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8–9 NLT)

In the first chapter of Genesis, God is referred to with only the generic title of Elohim, which conveys authority and might. Beginning in Genesis 2:4, right when the text transitions to a more detailed, intimate look at the work God put into this world and into Adam and Eve, the name Elohim is coupled with the name YHWH. In describing the relationship between the two, Dr. Mark D. Futato, Old Testament professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, writes, “YHWH Elohim . . . means that YHWH, the personal God who rules over Israel, is at one and the same time the universal God who rules over all.” The story of Genesis—and ultimately Israel, Jesus, and all who are called children of God—is not the story of a god; it is the story of YHWH, who would become known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At His core, YHWH is relational.

This is perfectly evident even from the beginning of humanity. God spent so much time walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that they recognized the sound He made while He searched for them, and even as they hid from Him, YHWH sought them out.

Extending these ideas forward along the timeline of history, Jesus, YHWH Elohim in the flesh, sought us out by choosing to be born of a young girl named Mary in a small town in the Israeli countryside. Even today, YHWH seeks us out, individually and personally. Take note today of each time you spot signs of God at work in your world, then reflect on your list at day’s end. Where did you run toward God at work and where did you attempt to hide from God?