Friday, May 29, 2009

Theological Thursdays


Yep, I'm a day behind again. It amazes me that I can get behind on a short week,but it happens to me every time. At least in this situation, I can still Blog on my topics,even if I am a day behind. I guess that you just get double information on the days I try to catch up. LOL

So, here we go..... YHWH/Yehwah/Jehovah/Lord

Copyright © L. Smallwood. Please contact me for permission to use.

Last week I discussed knowing God intimately and finding this intimacy through learning His names and their meanings. It amazes me how I am learning His vast number of names and that there is truly a change in my relationship with Him as I read and soak in the truth behind them.

This week I am reading about His name "YHWH / Yahweh/Jehovah/Lord". I had not ever read His name as YHWH, but then I read the NIV version of the Bible andthe last three names are more familiar.
These names are most used in the Bible, when referring to God. Though there are arguments, with Bible Scholars, over the number of times this word is used in the Bible (anywhere from 5000-7000 times) it is obvious that this is the name that is most understood by believers.

This name is the personal God, the four letter word YHWH, when translated, is read as "LORD". This referrence means, "the self-existent one". He was not created and has always been. Sometimes to me this is so difficult to grasp. It is with great awe that I sit back and imagine the idea of something so great and so powerful that He was here before all things were created and He chose to create "us".

I don't want to get too detailed, but I do find that the breakdown of the word YHWH is very interesting. In the Bible study "My RedeemerLives" they say the following about the stem word of YHWH:

Most litterateurs agree that the Tetragrammaton is a form of the Hebrew root "Havah" ("to be" or "to exist"). Thus, YHWH becomes "He who brings into being" (compare Exodus 3:12 and 14: "I will be with you" and "I will be who I will be").

This goes back to the fact that He is the one true creator, who has been, is now and He will always be. How amazing is that? We know that if we believe in Him that He will always be there. Not temporarily, not until He passes away or someone or something defeats Him, but ALWAYS.

I thought I should include some places where, this name and character of God, is found.

YHWH is first seen in Genesis 2:4: "This is the history of the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that YHWH (or as my Bible says,"Lord") God made earth and the heavens."

However, God did not reveal Himself to mankind as YHWH until Exodus 3:14 when God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM," and "This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

Moses was one of the first of men to have such a direct and personal relationship with God, that God would reveal this part of Himself to Moses. How scary and exciting would it be to be the first to speak so directly to our God?

Then in Exodus 6:2-3, He said to Moses: "I am YHWH; and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty; but by My name YHWH I was not known to them." This further sets Moses apart, as no one else had seen this character of God.

Exodus 14:4 shows a more powerful part of God's character. It says: ". . . and the Egyptians will know that I am YHWH (the Lord)." This was not a statement of introduction to the Egyptians, but a warning of self-proclaimation and Divine self-disclosure.

During the time of the Old Testament, there were many Jews that had great fear of the word "YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah/Lord". This was stemmed from the Commandment:

"You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain," (Exodus 20:7) and "Do not profane My holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am Yahweh (the Lord), who makes you holy." (Leviticus 22:32)

Since they had a fear of committing sin, just by reading or speaking this name,they would train themselves to translate His name into "Adonai".

So, next week we will get to know "God" as "Adonai". This will help us understand why the Jews used this word in place of YHWH, and what the meaning of "Adonai" means to us.

I am so grateful that I was born after our Savior, Jesus Christ, paid the ultimate price for our sins. To know God's character can be revealed to us. We do not have to have fear when speaking, reading and knowing God's names and character. We now have an open channel to YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah/Lord and create that personal relationship with Him, that we were made to have.

"Let them praise the name of the LORD:
for His Name alone is exalted;
His splendor is above the earth and the heavens."
(Psalm 148:13)

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