Who is El Elyon? Protector of His Posessions
The names of God are important, they tell us of His character! This is true of El Elyon, God Most High found in Genesis 14:17-20 and in Aramaic Daniel 7:18; 22.
So, who is El Elyon? This compound name of God contains the singular name of God, “El,” meaning all-power combined with the additive ‘Elyon,’ meaning Highest or Most High. Thus, reading in the English Bible, God Most High. But what does it mean? This name is clearly connected in both Genesis and Daniel to God’s possession, the people of God. As God Most High He is ALWAYS able to protect His possessions, those who are His.
Though this name isn't seen on every page of the Scriptures it is implied. God is constantly working to protect those who are His! Let's look more at the context together.
Protector Of His Posessions
The more I have been saturating myself in the names of God, the further amazed I stand. I will confess that I struggled and wrestled with God over this name, El Elyon. We find the name God Most High or in the Hebrew El Elyon revealed to us first in Genesis 14. In Genesis 14 the name appears four times from verses 18 to 22.
And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a 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 handed over your enemies to you.”
And he gave him a tenth of everything. Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the possessions for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth."
As I was studying this name in its context things that others were saying it meant weren't settling well with me. It was said that El Elyon: God Most High will see us out of every dark pit that this world can throw at us. Why? Because God is above your circumstances... This is not correct, it is a self-centered interpretation of this context rather than a god-centered interpretation.
Other people brought money into the picture, there is talk about money... God possesses everything and so we are to tithe what is already His, etc... This too seemed to be a weak interpretation of the name El Elyon.
I knew it was connected to "Possessor" I just didn't understand how. After wrestling with God over this name a thought just inserted itself into my brain, "El Elyon: God Most High Protector of His Possessions." Instantly I praised God for giving me the answer. God is El Elyon who protects "those" that are His!
Let's briefly recall the context of the narrative. King Chedorlaomer was the king of nine kingdoms for twelve years. In the thirteenth year, five of those kings rebelled against the rule of Chedorlaomer. Those kings seemed to be easily defeated by Chedorlaomer and three other kings. The losing kingdoms were pillaged of people and items, amongst the people was Abram's nephew Lot.
Now Lot followed Abram to the land of Canaan and later in Genesis 18-19 Lot was the only righteous person in Sodom. The only one who believed in God and acted righteously in His sight. I bring this up to make it clear that in Genesis 14 Lot was God's possession through faith.
To further lay the case that this is about the possession of people and not of material items let's look the response of the king of Sodom,
"Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself." (Genesis 14:21)
The king of Sodom wasn't concerned about the goods, neither was God. The response of Abram is an indication of that:
"I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me..." (Genesis 14:24)
It was never about the material things, God is the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills, He isn't concerned with items. God is El Elyon: God Most High Protector of His Possessions and His valued possessions are the souls of men.
God was concerned about one man that was His, Lot. He gave Abram and three hundred and eighteen men the strength to defeat four kings in a single night! Why? Because they had someone who was His. How? Easy, He is God Most High and none can stand against Him.
We see El Elyon protecting the nation of Israel time and time again. No matter how many nations wage war against them they still could not destroy Isarel. Now God chastised Israel several times for their disobedience but this is different than when the nations rage against them to destroy them. They cannot win, why? Because El Elyon is God Most High Protector of His Possessions.
This is true of the church which Jesus says He will build and nothing, not even the gates of Hell can stand against it (Matthew 16:18). Of the church that has been given into the hands of God the Father and nothing can snatch the church from Him (John 10:27-29).
Why can nothing stop the church? Why can nothing take it from God? Because God is El Elyon: God Most High Protector of His Possessions. He purchased the church by the blood of Christ, His beloved Son, and the church is His possession. Nothing can take what is His from Him, He is El Elyon.
Let's recap the names of God to this point, it's amazing! God first reveals Himself to us as Elohim (Genesis 1:1), Powerful God. Then He reveals to us that He is Yahweh (Genesis 2:4), the Personal God who desires and makes a way to walk with sinful fallen man. And now we see the next name of God as El Elyon, The Most High God who protects His possessions, us. He won't let anything or anyone take us from Him if we desire to be with Him! This is amazing, Praise God!
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