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Why is God described as God Most High?

God Most High
Question: "Why is God described as God Most High?"

God Most High, or sometimes LORD Most High, are terms used throughout the Bible to describe the LORD, Creator of heaven and earth. Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” The Hebrew words most often translated “God Most High” are Elohim (or El) Elyown, which literally means “the most God” (Genesis 14:22; Psalm 78:35). In the title LORD Most High, the Hebrew words are Elohim Yahweh. We describe objects of exaltation as being “higher” than we are: higher in rank, in title, in beauty, in position, or in intelligence. Even authority is referred to in terms of height, from top-level management down to the common worker. Height conveys the idea of superiority in power, strength, and authority. So God Most High or LORD Most High means that there is no god, idol, or created being that should be worshiped or exalted above Yahweh, the LORD, because He is superior in every way.

Daniel 4:2 says, “It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.” This time the term Most High God is translated from the Hebrew words Yahweh Illay, which mean “the highest LORD.” In other places, the Hebrew word al or el is used alone to mean “God Most High,” a meaning made clear in context. In New Testament Greek, the words Theou hypsistou (Luke 8:28; Hebrews 7:1) are translated “Most High God.” The clear implication in all the terms used to describe God is that He is the highest possible object of our worship. Man-made gods cannot compete with Him on any level and therefore should not be worshiped (Deuteronomy 27:13; Revelation 9:20).

When God first revealed the name by which He would be called, He told Moses that He was “I AM that I AM” (Exodus 3:14), from which we get the name Yahweh, sometimes translated “Jehovah.” God’s self-description means that the Lord is incomparable and self-sufficient. He simply IS. He is not similar to anything or anyone. In 1 Samuel 5:1–8, the Lord shows in an unmistakable manner that He is God Most High. After the Philistines had captured the Ark of the Lord, they set it beside their idol, Dagon, in his temple. The next day, Dagon had fallen over, in essence bowing before the Lord Most High. The Philistines set their idol back up, and, the next day, it had fallen again, this time breaking off its head and hands. The Lord Most High was proving to the world that no god can stand beside or above Him.

Amazingly, God Most High invites us to know Him. The first step to knowing God Most High is to recognize that He exists (Hebrews 11:6). The next step is to acknowledge His position in relation to everything else (Isaiah 46:9–11; Exodus 20:3). We cannot know Him while trying to place Him alongside other gods in our lives. And then we must choose to love and obey Him as Lord over our personal lives (Genesis 5:24; Isaiah 46:9; 2 Chronicles 14:2). We do this by recognizing Jesus Christ as God Most High who came in the flesh to take the punishment we deserve (John 14:6; 20:28; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Although Yahweh exists as God Most High whether we acknowledge Him or not, we can enjoy Him as God Most High in our own lives when we willingly seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

Recommended Resource: The Names of God by Ken Hemphill

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What do LORD, GOD, Lord, God, etc., stand for in the Bible? Why are they used in place of God’s name?

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Why is God described as God Most High?

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