Elohim: The Lord of Intense and Extensive Glory

“Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.” (Psalm 86:2, ESV)

In Psalm 86:2, David continues to call upon God. He asks God to watch over his life and to save him. As he prays, he asks for divine protection on a life lived by faith and in service to God, “for I am godly.”

David uses a different title for God here than in verse one. Remember in verse one he used YHWH. Here David uses Elohim, the first name of God used in the Bible, “In the beginning, Elohim…” According to The Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, “God makes himself known by this name as the Lord of intense and extensive glory and richness as he exercises his preeminence and power in the created cosmos.”*

So David calls out to the Creator. He pleads with the One who has power over all things to care for him. How fitting to call on the Creator to care for his creation. So in confidence, David asks for salvation because he knows that God is in complete control over all things and has the power to keep him safe.

He worships and honors “the Lord of intense and extensive glory”, as he places his trust in Elohim. David knows that God existed in the beginning, so David knows that God has been in control and will continue to control all things, a good reason for trust. God is all powerful so he can answer David’s prayer, another good reason for trust. And because God created everything, he knows how all things work. David believes that God has a plan, has the strength and the knowledge to care for him, because The LORD is his God.

As I contemplated on David’s understanding of Elohim, the words I read grew in richness and depth. As I applied my understanding of YHWH and Elohim to the rest of the Psalm, I appreciated more and more David’s devotion to God. I pray that as you and I learn more about the God we serve, our devotion will grow and we will trust in God as we become godly servants.

*Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (pp. 881–882). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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