Last week we learned about the Name of God, El Roi – the God Who Sees Me. God was given this Name by Hagar when she was fleeing from Sarai, carrying Abram’s child.
We learned that Hagar, a slave girl from Egypt, named God El Roi after He came to her (the angel of the Lord) in the desert. She had seen lots of “gods” sitting on shelves or in shrines, but none of them could see… or hear or speak!
Today, we’ll talk about El Elyon, the Most High God.
This name was not given to God by men in a particular situation. Adam and Eve had fallen, sin had come into the world, and men were worshipping all sorts of “gods.” They had gods of fertility, gods of war, gods of rain, and so on. But there was The Most High God, above all of these “wimpy” statues.
Genesis 14: 17:20
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
The Book of Daniel
El Elyon is mentioned several times in the Book of Daniel, the prophet. In Chapter 3 we read about the three young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace when they refused to bow down and worship the statue of Nebuchadnezzer. Three men were thrown into a fire so hot it burned up the people throwing them in. But there were four men seen in the fire.
Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
Later, in Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar has grown rich and prosperous – and too big for his britches. He has a dream, which really upsets him. Not of the magicians or astrologers could tell him what it means. He calls for the Daniel, who he says has the ‘spirit of the holy gods’ in him. Daniel tells him that only God can give the meaning. And He does.
“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
The Dream Is Fulfilled
All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
There are several times where God is referred to as the Most High God in the New Testament.
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
Here, the demon of fortune telling (witchcraft) acknowledges Jesus as the Son of the Most High God. After all, Satan and his angels had been in heaven before they rebelled and were kicked out. They knew God – and Jesus – even before He had taken on human form.
But the spirit was saying what was true! Why did Paul not like the free advertising?
Firstly, Jesus said that lying is the devil’s native language. (John 8:44) If his “lips are moving,” he’s lying. But this sounds like the truth. The worst kind of lies are those mixed with truth. If they had accepted her “free advertising”, people might have believed other things she said – she was a fortune teller – and would have been led towards the occult world she lived in.
Again, in Mark 5, the demonic knew Him.
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
Let’s talk for a few minutes about false gods.
- How can we recognize them?
- What can be a false god?
We’ve already mentioned Satan and his devils. They were kicked out of heaven because they rebelled against God Most High. We read this in Isaiah 14,
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the
You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise
my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost
heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths
of the pit.
Satan wants to be worshipped like God. He rebelled, and was expelled from heaven, along with 1/3 of the angels. Hell was created for them – not for people.
But there are other false gods. We make them. God is our Provider, our refuge, our safety, our strength. Anything or anyone that we put our trust in to provide us with safety, strength and provision, anything that comes before God Most High in our lives, is a false god. And Satan and his fallen angels work through those things to put us in bondage.
I thought I’d close with Psalm 91 (NLT), a song to the Most High God.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying
around you, these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”