The Name of God – This is a BIG subject, but here’s a quick brush at covering a little bit of it…just for you.
At the beginning of the year we can set a direction for life. It’s like setting out on a road trip. Pick a destination and head in the right direction. Hopefully we are setting our course, in life, based on what God wants for us. This process may be simpler than you think. See the previous New Year’s post for a suggestion.
Learning more about God will be helpful regardless of your road trip.
So…ask yourself, “What’s in a name?”
When you think about the names Sally Stevens, Brad Wojekowski, or Lisa Smith (insert names from your childhood or teen years here ____) what comes to mind? You probably remember things like them getting their tongue stuck to the frozen flag pole after you dared them. Maybe it was someone who couldn’t stop telling a lie. That’s the stuff you remember when you think about a name. (I don’t know anyone by the names I listed.)
In ancient times, they took the meaning of a name very seriously when they named their babies. Today…not so much. What does “apple” mean as a baby name? You would want to name your baby something meaningful. Hopefully something positive and something that would tell people about who that baby would become.
Our daughter is named Charlotte Esther. Charlotte is from Charles, which means freedom and Esther means star. She’s our little “freedom star”. We believe that she shines a light for people to see the freedom found only in Jesus. We believe that she is full of life, full of joy, and will always reflect the pure light of God.
When you determine the value of anything that you’re going to take the time to read or study – it’s best to evaluate the value God Himself placed on it. If we want to learn more about God…and what a difference that would mean in our daily life…we should learn more about His name.
You may not be aware of this, but God Himself came to earth and spoke His own name. He spoke His name and described Himself in Exodus 34.
After the 10 Commandments and a little incident with a golden calf. There’s some back and forth between God and His guy, Moses. Then Moses says to God, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.” God says, “I will do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
“Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, ‘Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.’”
Let’s break it down into bite size pieces.
Think about what this tells us about who God is.
Does that line up with what you think?
How does that affect you?
“God of compassion and mercy”
He give us what we don’t deserve (good stuff) and doesn’t give us what we do deserve (bad stuff). This is who God is. When you think about God you cannot substitute who you think He is for who He says that He is.
He said that He is a God of compassion and mercy. He sees where you are at. He hears you. He has compassion on you. He has mercy for you.
“slow to anger”
Have you ever known anyone with a quick temper? Yeah, that’s not our God.
God has seen it all, and yet He is slow to get angry. He does not have a hair trigger on your punishment.
“filled with unfailing love and faithfulness”
Our God is filled to overflowing with a love that will never fail you. Have you ever had someone fail you? Have you ever failed yourself? God won’t do that. He will love you faithfully!
Unfailing means that He won’t let you down. Unfailing means that He won’t give up on you.
Think about that. God has not given up on you.
“to a thousand generations”
Some translations say “thousands of generations”. Look at it this way, Moses could count his ancestors all the way back to Adam. God was saying, “I will give you more love than you can handle…you and generations farther back than you can count and further into the future than you can dream up!”
God is infinite. You cannot wrap your human brain around all that He is. He has loved generations before you and He has not given up. They say that we are in the 14th generation of the US. God shows faithful unfailing love to thousands of generations!
“forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin”
If you dig into the original language here you will hear God saying that he forgives the: one time offense, repeated bad behavior, and the horrible lifestyle. His forgiveness follows you. His mercy overtakes you. Not only with the little stuff that you think He can handle, but also with the big stuff you don’t want to Him to look at.
So what do you have? What do you think that God can’t fix? What is it that you think He can’t heal? There is nothing He can’t Heal!
Wow! Ok, that’s a mouthful…that’s a lot to chew on.
Think about it for a while. Look back over this list. That is how God Himself said His name.
Ask yourself a few good questions. Come on. Try it. Write down your answers:
What do you think about God? What is He like? How do you feel about Him?
How does this change the way that you think and feel?
What does this say about the kind of God that He is?
The truth is that how we think about God determines a whole lot. It weighs heavy in the course we set for the road trip of our life. What you believe about God effects how you look at yourself in the mirror.
Do you believe that He forgave you? Do you really believe that He forgave the stuff you don’t want to admit? Do you believe that He loves you? Do you believe that He has a hope and a future for you? Do you believe that He has a purpose for your life?
If you can come to this place, it is much easier to ask God where He wants you to go and what He wants you to do. Then you will become comfortable in your own skin. You will know real peace. You will be comfortable being yourself, the person you were created to be, no guilt trip, headed the right direction.
You will know where you are going and who is guiding you:
‘Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.’”
How about going deeper for a “Part Two”?
The Name of God Study – going deeper with my “uncle” Kevin Conner.
“The Name of God” by Kevin J Conner (used as source material)
“The word ‘think’ means ‘to regard, value, compute’. Let us continue to think upon the Name of the Lord.” – KJ Conner
Does God have a name?
Save me, O God, by Your name, Psalm 54:1
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Psalm 68:4
in the name of our God we will set up our banners! Psalm 20:5
so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 1 Timothy 6:1
I will write on him the name of My God Revelation 3:12
When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Luke 11:2
Has God revealed His name?
Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:5-6
Therefore My people shall know My name; Isaiah 52:6
I will set him on high, because he has known My name. Psalm 91:14
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world,” John 17:6
“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:26
Why do we want to know the name of God?
“The concept ‘to know a name’ in Hebrew does not simply mean acquaintance, but implies experiential knowledge. Moses is actually wanting to know His Name in experiential power. The Name always meant the Nature, the Character and Power of the Person, as it pertains to God. This is why God could say that Israel would ‘know that I AM THE LORD (YAHWEH) your God.’ Exodus 6:7 14:4 16:12. It meant that Israel would come to know the Name, Yahweh, their Covenant God, through experience.” – KJ Conner
The meaning of Yahweh (also known as ‘I am who I am’ or ‘Jehovah’)
A. Yahweh expresses eternity of being: without beginning and without end.
B. Yahweh expresses self-existence. All creation and all creatures owe their very existence to Him. He is the life-source of all. He has life in Himself.
C. Yahweh expresses that He is all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing.
D. Yahweh expresses, “I will be what I will be” or “I am He who was, who is, and who is to come.” “The futuristic implication tells us ‘I will be all that is necessary as the occasion will arise.’ Is 7:14 Ps 23:1 Ex 3:12.” – KJ Conner
E. Yahweh expresses, “I will be with you” and “I am with you”. (You may also want to look for the occurrences of Jesus saying, “I am”.) “The emphasis in this view reveals a God who is active in the behalf of His people, and a God who will be all that He is to His own. His existence is not abstract but active.” – KJ Conner
F. Yahweh is used in the context of God’s covenant (s) with us. The purpose of God’s covenant is our redemption. Yahweh is the redemptive name of God. “This is the dominant factor in the revelation of the Name to Moses. The Redemptive Name ‘Yahweh’ reveals that He is existent to redeem them and meet their needs.” – KJ Conner
G. Yahweh is expressed as ‘Yahweh Elohim’ the Redeemer Creator generally translated Lord God. Yahweh (Redeemer) Elohim (Creator).
H. Yahweh is a personal name and not a title. You would say the God of Creation, and not the Yahweh of creation. Instead you may say, ‘I worship Yahweh’.
I. Yahweh is expressed as YHWH in Hebrew, ‘the holy four letters’. Hebrews began to revere the name with special treatment, then started to avoid speaking or writing it, but ended up treating it in a superstitious way common to other religions of the day. It was forbidden to write or speak the entire name. This is why they threatened to stone Jesus when He said just part of the name. They would often substitute Adonai for Yahweh.
J. Yahweh was spoken as “I AM WHO I AM” by God Himself. It is Yahweh or YHWH in Hebrew form, Jehovah or Lord as the English translation of Yahweh, and Kurios or Lord in the Greek.
“Thousands of Jews would rather die than call or acknowledge Caesar to be “Lord” for they knew and understood clearly that this was the Name of God, the Name of Deity. It was not a mere title but a proper, indeed THE proper Name of God. The tragedy today is that the Name of God as revealed in “Lord” has become such a lifeless word and the full glory of its meaning lost over the years. The Church has been robbed of its full truth and significance. There needs to be a fresh understanding, quickening, insight and illumination concerning this glorious Name of God. “– KJ Conner
When you look at “Lord” etc. in Scripture consider that in the original language it would have been Yahweh, in most cases. “Creator-Redeemer” brings a depth of meaning that you may not otherwise see.
He is both our Creator and our Redeemer. He chose to create us, knowing full well that we would need redemption. He promised, initiated, and fulfilled our redemption. He is the beginning and end of our faith. He is our all in all.
Look at these verses and consider what “Creator-Redeemer” means in that context.
‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ Exodus 3:15
The Lord is His name. Exodus 15:3
I am the Lord, that is My name; Isaiah 42:8
the Lord is His name Jeremiah 33:2
The Lord is His name. Amos 5:8
they shall know that My name is the Lord. Jeremiah 16:21
That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18
The Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
For I am the Lord, I do not change Malachi 3:6