EL-OLAM: the everlasting God
Thou hast been our dwelling place for all generations. Before the mountains were born,
Or Thou didst give birth to earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting,
Thou art God.
The Meaning of His Name:
I first heard the story of Jesus and His redeeming plan for me when I was fifteen years old. Though my family had gone to church from time to time, somehow I’d missed all this. When we stumbled upon a church meeting in a remodeled electrical warehouse, the preacher there made sure no one who walked through those doors missed a thing. With his big black Bible open, he taught through the Scriptures as if everyone knew there were treasures contained in that ancient book. Choirs sang and people worshiped and one day I walked forward to embrace everything I’d heard. One by one, my family followed into a whole new world of faith.
It took a while to figure out what exactly I’d stepped into. Though I’m sure I must have heard the stories, I didn’t have a clue who Abraham was or where Moses fit in. And who was David? Ah… he was the one who penned those poems I’d loved even before I knew the Savior. I identified with that one. Somehow he’d managed to put a voice to all my emerging emotions, capturing my heart in the process. When I found his name listed in that intimidating genealogy of Jesus recorded in the beginnings of the story, I wondered.
Had I had any relatives of faith?
Sifting through sepia toned pictures of stern European ancestors, it didn’t take long to figure out that none of them had left any hint behind of a love for Jesus. Not a story, nor a Bible, not so much as one line indicating a living faith lingered to indicate that anyone in my lineage placed their hope in God. And somehow I felt robbed. Had no one ever told them? Or had the pursuit of wealth and adventure that filled the family history dulled their ears to what had opened mine?
When I held my firstborn son in my arms, I vowed to write a different story for this family of mine. A story of faith. A story of God’s faithfulness to pass on to generations of Comers to come.
About that time I picked up a dusty, out of print biography of Jonathan Edwards. It was the title that intrigued me first, Marriage to a Difficult Man by Elizabeth D. Dodds. But what ignited my imagination and held me there was the list at the back of the book of all the descendants of Jonathon and Sarah Edwards.
By 1900 AE Winthrop collected this study of the Edwards family:
13 college presidents
a dean of an outstanding law school
a dean of a medical school
80 holders of public office
including 3 United States senators
mayors of three major cities
governors of three states
a controller of the United States Treasury
a Vice-President of the United States.
Theirs was a heritage to be proud of!
Could the same God who led Jonathon and Sarah to radically pursue a life and lineage of faith, create a similar kind of longevity for our family?
And so began my quest, my ongoing prayer, that God would establish in the Comer Clan a heritage of passionate, purposeful followers of Jesus. My heart’s pulsing desire is that Phil and I would be the patriarch and matriarch of men and women who pursue God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
This name, El Olam, is the foundation of that prayer.
Eternal, everlasting, never-ending, so full and so rich that He encompasses everything and everyone in His shadow.
That’s the One whose path I place my feet on every morning. He’s the One my husband and I cleared the center space for in our family. The One we’ve turned to over and over again when life wears out and nothing lasts.
How about you?
Will someone someday search the archives of your family’s history for some glimpse of real faith? Are you making sure she’ll find it?
After all, He is El Olam… and He’ll take you through eternity.
From my heart,
Some Scriptures to delve into:
Psalm 71:14-18- is marked all up in my Bible with names of my own heritage… the beginning of the Comer Jesus followers
Psalm 145- This is what to tell the generations
Genesis 18:19- Why God singled Abraham out to be the father of His people
Matthew 1, Luke 3- Want a fabulous Bible study? Look up every person in Jesus’ lineage. Study the stories that remain to pattern your own journey of faith.