Names of God


Yahweh was the last teaching I did in our fall semester, and it was one that prompted many questions. In Exodus 3, we move from the patriarchs to the prophet and witness an encounter between Moses and YHWH. When God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, we see Him break a forty-year silence. For more than four decades, there is no record of God speaking to Moses in the wilderness. On a day that began like any other, God gave Moses an incredible message. Until the burning bush God was a God of the past to Moses — a God of dead men. God showed Moses that He could work in his life today — and He can work in yours too!

Oftentimes we find that simple things turn out to be the most profound. Does God use the ordinary to make an extraordinary point? Does God move supernaturally, naturally? Has God spoken to you through a bumper sticker? A phone call? A chance encounter?

God got Balaam’s attention through a well-placed donkey. A famine forced Joseph’s family to be reunited. An earthquake released Peter from prison. And Caesar’s tax hike ensured that the birth of Christ occurred in Bethlehem.

As you study the encounter between Moses and YHWH, consider:

 Have you found God on the backside of your desert — changing your waste into shining?
Have you become a partner to God’s plan in bearing the burdens of others?
Are you on a first-name basis with God — is God your God?
Have you surrendered your will to His will — occupation and all?
Have you consecrated your heart and hands to reach out in faith to God’s will?
Are you questioning God because you don’t understand God’s heart?

If you don’t know Yahweh, I encourage you to spend time in Exodus 3, and just like Moses, come to know the God who wants to be your Lord
Yahweh (Jehovah)

When we think about ourselves, we unconsciously wrap our thoughts in the context of our name. Have you ever wondered what name God uses when He refers to Himself? In Isaiah 42:8, He tells us: “I am the Lord, that is My name…”

In Hebrew, this name was Yahweh. The Jews so feared profaning the name of God, they dropped the vowels —  resulting in YHWH. In English texts, the name was translated Jehovah or Lord — all in uppercase letters, as distinct from the lowercase letters of Lord. It is generally agreed that Yahweh (or Jehovah in English) is the best translation of God’s proper name. The names Lord and Jehovah appear almost 7,000 times in Scripture.

As might be expected, this is a big name with big implications. Yahweh comes from the verb “to be” in Hebrew. Therefore, it is inextricably linked with life and existence. When pondering the creation, invariably we come to the point of asking, “Who created God?” The answer is found in His name: He is self-existent. It has been said that He is the “uncaused cause” of everything.

Moses came right up to this truth. God told him to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt. The ever-reluctant Moses asked God what he should say when asked the name of the God who sent him.

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you'” (Ex. 3:14).

As we strive to scale the Mount Everest of God’s names, the name Yahweh is at the peak. He is life: self-existent, righteous, and holy. In His justice, He will punish wickedness; in His love, He redeems the sinner. How? Through His Son, Jesus — a name that means “Yahweh saves.”