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El Elyon (God Most High)

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We are continuing our Sunday evening series title “Knowing God by Name” in concert with our morning series in an effort to get to know God better. To have a deeper sense and understanding of who we worship. In
the Psalmist says
Psalm 9:1–2 ESV
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
It is this descriptive name of God as God Most High that we will look at this evening
When God uses the name “Most High” He takes a descriptive name that derives from the Hebrew verb that means “to ascend, or to go up.” Some forms of this verb such as the Hebrew verb “Olah” means “to be brought up.” This word “Olah” is the name of the burnt offering that was made by the Jews once a year. It is from this same verb that the name “God Most High” or El Elyon comes from.
It is obvious then that the Hebrews considered things that were “above” to be holy. If you are a parent perhaps you understand this. You put things of higher value up on the top shelf where clumsy little hands can’t grab them. We also see pieces of this idea of things of higher value being placed above others in our culture.
The American Flag
Judges in courtrooms hold the highest seat in the room.
Thrones of royalty are typically the highest seat.
When God uses the name El Elyon, God Most High, God declares his superiority.
The first time that we read this name being used for God appears in . This should be familiar to us because we’ve recent and ongoing study through Genesis. If you remember, Abram has settled at the Oaks of Mamre and Lot down by Sodom when a coalition of kings led by Chedorlaomer comes down from the north and loots the surrounding towns and in the process kidnaps Lot.
Abram and his coalition give chase and defeat the kings, and retrieve Lot and all the spoils and riches of Sodom and it is here in chapter 14 that God Most High shows up.
Genesis 14:17–23 ESV
After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’
God’s use of this name Most High allows us to understand some key components of His character.
He is above all gods.
He has Power to save
He has Power to condemn

God Most High: Above all gods

How could the Hebrews affirm God as above all other gods, if he is the only God? In fact, how could God allow himself to be called this, if there are no other gods?
fact, how could God allow himself to be called this, if there are no other gods?
If you recall our study of Pauls address of meats offered to idols in , you can remember a similar argument being made by the “strong” corinthians.
fact, how could God allow himself to be called this, if there are no other gods?
Paul concurs that there are no other gods, so why does this language exist?
Scripture is full of descriptions of Heavenly and Spiritual matters which are brought down from God to our level for our simple understanding.
God knew the propensity for mankind to desire “gods” that conform to their ideas or desires.
Therefore God tells us in the first of the ten commandments as listed in , “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Egyptian influence of Hebrews
Although other gods don’t exist, the temptation for man to think that they exist is still there.
God is constantly expressing himself as the God above all gods throughout scripture
, Ark of the Covenant is placed inside the temple of the Philistine god, Dagon, and when the people wake the next morning they discover that Dagon has fallen face - forward and lies there on the ground. Our God Most High knocks other Gods to the ground before Him.
Or perhaps you remember when God Most High’s prophet Elijah is involved in a contest with the prophets of the so called Canaanite god, Baal. As recorded in , altars are built and the prophets of Baal try their hardest to call upon Baal to ignite their alter and nothing happens. But when Elijah calls upon the GOD Most High, the fire full consumes the wood, the offering, and even the water that was poured upon the altar.
Repeatedly in Scripture, God proves that He is deserving of the name, “Most High”
I’ve been encouraging us over the last two weeks to set aside any ideas of God that we may have that don’t align with the God of scripture, but the truth is, that if we truly seek Him and understand who he is, I shouldn’t even need to say it.
Because the fact is that God is Most High!
He declares himself superior to any and all pagan kings such as Chedorlaomer.
He declares himself superior to any and all false Gods, any and all pagan kings such as Chedorlaomer.
He is above any and all “gods” that we could ever conceive or dream about; Any god we can think of would not be as fantastic and as High as the YHWH. The God of the Bible is so far superior to anything we could ever hope to produce with our minds.
He is the Father of steadfast love, he is the Father of Widows and Orphans, He gives power and victory to His people, He has conquered our greatest foe, the enemy of death!
He is the Most High God!

God Most High: Power to Save

As we discussed this morning in , the fact that God is Most High, the creator of the universe, and the righteous judge of it, means that he has immense power and sovereignty.
Thankfully for us, the way he chooses to use that power is within the framework of Salvation and redemption, allowing us to be reconciled with him.
This is important, because with God being MOST HIGH, there is no one else to appeal to once God has made a decision.
Legal system - Local court to supreme Court
God is the supremest court, what he says, goes.
By faith Abraham obeyed… -
So then how has God chosen to save us?
Some say it is through His sovereign choice. That he has selected before the dawn of time those who will be saved and those who will be condemned and there is nothing that we can do about it.
This is nonsense.
Why would Peter write in that the Lord is patient, not wishing for any to perish but that all should reach repentance.” if he has it all preplanned?
So then is it through good works
or a manmade plan?
By our character? or perhaps we’ll be able to buy our way to salvation?
The Most High God says that there is only ONE way to him and that is through Jesus Christ.
Who he sent as a propitiation for our sins
So that through our submission to his sovereign authority we can be reconciled to him.

God Most High: Power to Condemn

But as we talked about this morning, the God most high has the Power to Condemn.
So many people today when they study out God, this is the part that they want to cut out.
So many so called churches today are in the business of selling a god-like product.
They leave out any and all references to God being a God with the power and inclination to condemn those who fail to obey the Gospel of Christ, and those who oppress his people.
They desire a “feel-good god.” because that is a God that sells.
Don’t get me wrong, knowing God and as a result loving God and obeying His will will certainly give you Joy, and it will result in bearing fruits of the spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self control.
But we cheapen the grace and mercy of God if we fail to understand that God is righteous and that as God Most High he requires Justice. Without it he cannot be Most High.
tells us that everyone one of us is guilty of sin, and that sin carries with it the rightful punishment of death.
That is what we all deserve, but thanks be to God through Jesus Christ that he is a God of salvation! And that he has given us a way through obedience to the Gospel to be pardoned from what we deserve.
But those who reject el elyon, God Most High’s gift of grace and fail to obey the gospel, Justice is coming.
2 Thessalonians 1:5–10 ESV
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
1 Thessalonians 1:5–10 ESV
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
God Most High is above ALL. He is above all so called “gods” and governments, tyrants and kings. He alone has the power to save and the power to condemn. And in his sovereignty he has given us all a choice; We can believe and obey the gospel of Christ and find salvation, or we can reject his free gift of grace and face condemnation.
What decision have you made this evening? Are you serving God Most High or on that day of judgement will you be among the many attempting to appeal to a higher court only to realize that it is too late?
If you are ready to repent and come to Christ tonight, to confess him before men and be baptized for the remission of your sins, he will add you to his church and you can find rest. If you have that need we pray you will come now as we stand and sing.
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