Elohim vs. El
A devotional thought from Christian George for “The Character of God”
Talk about a monster! The Canaanites worshiped a god named El—a sordid sort of god who seduced and raped women. El had three wives (who were also his sisters). He dethroned his father, murdered his son, and decapitated his daughter. Bad news all around.
And how different was the God of the Hebrews! Elohim did everything in His power to woo and win the affections of His people. Over and over He proved His words, “‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord” (Mal. 1:2). When they least deserved it, He poured dump trucks of compassion upon them. He rescued them from their enemies. He rescued them from themselves. He was their force field in the Red Sea and their lighthouse in the wilderness. Elohim even made sure that their Chacos didn’t wear out (Deut. 29:5).
But as the Israelites settled in Canaan, their affections were pulled in different directions. They dumped Elohim and dated the gods of the Canaanites. It’s no wonder that God grew jealous. And after the dust settled, after the Israelites married into the Canaanite culture, God’s people became like the giants they were instructed to destroy.
Pause and Reflect
• Read Song of Solomon 2:10-13. In what ways do Solomon’s words remind you of Elohim’s love?
• Draw a line on a piece of paper. At one end write Like the World and on the other end write Unlike the World. Where would you place yourself on this spectrum?