The Names of God – Yahweh
Continuing our ‘Names of God’ study, today we look at the promised name of God. The name, according to Orthodox Jewish tradition is so full of majesty and considered so ‘other’ and too holy to even utter, that when reading from the scriptures the name is verbally replaced with HaShem (Hebrew for ‘THE Name’). His name is Yahweh. In the original Hebrew text (O.T.) it is YHWH, (the vowels added later for pronunciation sake). YHWH is referred to as the ‘Tetragrammaton’ (Greek for the ‘4 letters’) this is indicated in the Bible when we see LORD, (used over 6,500 times) all caps distinguishing it as the covenantal name, Yahweh.
LORD (Yahweh) is built on what God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3; Moses is on the far side of the desert attending his father-in-law’s flock when he sees a bush on fire. This was no ordinary bushfire; there was no ravishing destruction of the bush. I adore the direct and clarifying Word of God, verse 4 states, “When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush…” Moses turned aside, he stopped everything, going and giving his full attention… THAT is when God spoke. May we take note; there are times God waits for us to stop and give full attention before He speaks. God tells Moses to go to Egypt and demand His people be set free from slavery, Moses basically asks “Whom shall I say is sending me?” God answers, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me.” (v.14)
‘I AM’ conveys ‘to be’ the root word signifying existence. God’s all-pervading, ever-present nature, His character, all-that-He-is, is our here and now, simply put, He is. The Pastor of Hebrews wrote: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (11:6, emphasis mine) God states, “I am the LORD, that is My name, I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8) “I AM.”
Jesus, God in the flesh – boldly stated in John 8:58 “I tell you the truth before Abraham was born, I am!” The Jews were so irate; how dare he say THAT! They picked up stones to kill Him. Later in the olive grove (John 18) when Judas, on the night of betrayal, approached with the soldiers, they said they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus answers, (in the original language) “I am.” The narrative says the soldiers drew back and fell to the ground, struck no doubt by the MAJESTY of not only His words but the essence of Who He was.
Each time we read ‘LORD’ let us take pause, look at the context, insert “The Great I AM, the One Who is…” – He is everything. Like David wrote, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) “O, LORD…the Great I AM! The One Who is and ever will be, the One Who comes to me with all that He is… my strength and my Redeemer!”
Yahweh, the promised name of God, “I AM.”
By the way for you Scrabble players, ‘Tetragrammaton’ … BOOM! 67 points!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24)