There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Genesis 12:8


Reading: Genesis 4:26; Genesis 13:4; Exodus 3:13-14; Romans 10:13, John 6:35.


When Abram found that the land was already occupied, he did the only sensible thing – he called on the name of the Lord. God was known by many names in the patriarchal period - El Shadai (which means God Almighty) and El Roi (the God who sees me) to mention just two.

As illuminating as these names are, they were not the names that Abram called on. What name did Abram call on? In Abram’s language it was spelt YHWH. This name has been translated as “I am who I am” which means the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists, the One who created everything that exists and the One who is present and involved, ongoingly, in all of life. The fact that Abram used this name for God shows us that he really knew who God was.

We cannot really say we know someone if we don’t know their name. To know someone’s name is to know that person intimately, as opposed to calling someone by their job description such as ‘doctor’ or ‘plumber’.

Abram knew God as YHWH, the same name that Jesus used of himself. Jesus used “I am” about himself as a way of telling us that he is the creator and sustainer, come to us in human form to save us. Even his birth name, Jesus, means ‘YHWH saves’.

From now on when you call on the name of Jesus you can know that you are calling on the great “I am” who came to the earth to save you from sin, death and fear.


Praise you Jesus, you are my creator and saviour, and you have sent God the Holy Spirit to be with me all my days on the earth.



Explain the study briefly in an age-appropriate way. Share some of the names of God with your kids from the table below. Some of the children may want to draw the different names.

Here are just a few:

El Elyon: The God Most High (Sovereign)

as seen in Luke 1:38:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Jehovah-shalom: The Lord is Peace

as seen in Philippians 4:7:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Jehovah-jireh: The Lord who Provides

as seen in Genesis 22:8
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

Jehovah-shammah: The Lord is Here

as seen in Ezekiel 11:16
“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’

Jehovah-Rapha: God our Healer

Exodus 16

Discuss how knowing the different names of God can help us to know what we can call upon God for.