Seven Prime Names: 6. El Gibbor (אל גּבּוֹר)
As we continue to look at the names of God and to draw closer to God through the process, we come now to a name that is both explosive and dramatic, filled with hope and promise. For through this Old Testament Hebrew name, we are introduced to Jesus.
Again, the name reminds us of God’s strength and might. Gibbor means just that: strong or mighty. And ‘El’ is Yahweh that we encountered earlier – Eternal God. So in El-Gibbor we have an Eternal God who is strong and mighty. In El-Gibbor we encounter Mighty God. Isaiah spoke directly and prophetically of this:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
We know this is Jesus – to us a child is born, and the reference is also clear that Jesus IS God because He is called Mighty God (El-Gibbor) and Everlasting Father (Yahweh, the Eternal One). In fact, Isaiah continues this in the succeeding verses, expanding on his reference to El-Gibbor, and writing of the final rescue of the Lord’s people, saying:
A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob
will return to El-Gibbor. (Isaiah 10:21)
This is God the Father and this is God the Son – one and (along with the Holy Spirit) the same. Jesus is described as having the same characteristics as God, the same Holy names as God. And God tells us that:
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me. (Isaiah 46:9)
So with Jesus having the same characteristics, being the same as God, and with God saying there is nobody else like Him … Jesus IS God: El-Gibbor, our Mighty God. He is our champion – quite simply, He wins. Always. Jeremiah understood this:
‘Ah, Sovereign LORD, you made heaven and earth by your great strength and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you. You show mercy to thousands of generations. However, you punish children for the wickedness of their parents. You, El-Gibbor, you are the LORD Almighty. (Jeremiah 32:17-18)
Jesus came amongst us and won the victory over the Enemy, death and sin. When He returns, Revelation tells us that:
A sharp sword comes out of his mouth to defeat the nations. He will rule them with an iron sceptre and tread the winepress of the fierce anger of El-Gibbor. (Revelation 19:15)
So give voice in praise to our God, strong and mighty, our Messiah. We see God the Father strong and mighty: triumphant. And in Him, we see Jesus mighty and strong: victorious.
Who is this King of glory? El-Gibbor strong and mighty! The LORD, heroic in battle! (Psalm 24:8)
[from Timothy Pitt]