Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. Genesis 21:33 (NKJV)
Ancient Hebrew is a very colorful and expressive language. A single word can represent a concept, a thought, or an idea that would take us paragraphs to express in English. That's the case as we come to God's next name, El-olam.
Let's take some time to unpack this word olam. It comes from another word that literally means "to be hidden" and speaks of something that cannot be seen or perceived. The idea is that there comes a point in this world where our senses reach their absolute limit, like when we look at the horizon ahead of us and can't see any further. Consequently, some scholars have defined olam as "the vanishing point."
That's the idea communicated when it comes to the divine name El-olam. It specifically focuses on the concept of God transcending what we can see and measure with our finite senses. It draws attention to the fact that He is infinite, eternal, and everlasting.
In the grand scheme of things, we're trapped in a tiny sliver of time. We can only see so far into the past, and we certainly can't see into the future. We're locked into the now. We're limited…but God isn't. He's El-olam.
Here's the practical significance of God being El-olam. Much of our worry and anxiety is based on unknown, uncontrollable things that lie beyond the vanishing point in life. We instinctively fear what we can't see. But El-olam can see everything. And what's more, He has all power and authority over absolutely everything that exists out there, even beyond the vanishing point.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)
Consistency breeds security. If you're an employer, you take comfort in knowing that you have consistent employees working for you. If your car needs to be fixed, you're going to take it to a mechanic who has consistently performed well. And if you're a coach, you'll probably draw up a play at the end of a tight game that puts the ball in the hands of your best and most consistent player.