Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Morning Reflections - YAHWEH

10"Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."
 11But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?"
 12And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."
 13Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"
 14God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"  Exodus 3:10-14


Pronounced: YAH-wah  
A name of the Hebrew God, represented in Hebrew by the tetragrammaton ("four letters") יהוה (Yod Heh Vav Heh), transliterated into Roman script Y H W H. Because it was considered blasphemous to utter the name of God it was only written and never spoken. This resulted in the original pronunciation being lost. The name may have originally been derived from the old Semitic root הוה (hawah) meaning "to be" or "to become".
The most likely meaning of the name may be “He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists," but there are many theories and none is regarded as conclusive by scholars.[1] The Bible describes Yahweh as the one true God who delivered Israel from Egypt and gave the Ten Commandments, "Then God spoke all these words. He said, ‘I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you lived as slaves. You shall have no other gods to rival me.’”[2] Yahweh revealed himself to Israel as a jealous God who would not permit his people to make idols or follow gods of other nations[3] or worship gods known by other names, "I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or my praise to idols."[4] Yahweh demanded the role of the one true God in the hearts and minds of Israel, "Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Another resource (Encyclopedia Brittanica) had this to share about the name YAHWEH:

Yahweh
the God of the Israelites, his name being revealed to Moses as four Hebrew CONSONANTS (YHWH) CALLED THE TETRAGRAMMATON. AFTER THE EXILE (6TH CENTURY BC), and especially from the 3rd century BC on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal religion through its proselytizing in the Greco-Roman world, the more common noun elohim, meaning "god," tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel's God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai ("My Lord"), which was translated as Kyrios ("Lord") in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament.
Ann shared this before we began our Monday reading - because it is very important to understand the meaning behind each name, especially this one.  
The name Yahweh (yah-WEH) occurs more than 6,800 times in the Old Testament. It appears in every book but Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs.  As the sacred, personal name of Israel's God, it was eventually spoken aloud only by priests worshipping in the Jerusalem temple.  After the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., the name was not pronounced.  Adonay was substituted for Yahweh whenever it appeared in biblical text.  Because of this, the correct pronunciation was eventually lost.  English editions of the Bible usually translate Adonay as "Lord" and Yahweh as "LORD."  Yahweh is the name that is most closely linked to God's redeeming acts in the history of His chosen people.  We know God because of what He has done.  When you pray to Yahweh, remember that He is the same God who draws near to save you from the tyranny of sin just as He saved His people from tyrannical slavery in Egypt.

I like how Ann ended today's reading because there are many who see God as this distant being, or hidden in a religion or worse yet an impersonal God.   Let this clear that all up for you today:

Unfortunately, the translation "LORD," which is a title rather than a name, obscures the personal nature of this name for God.   Though the meaning of Yahweh is disputed, the mysterious self-description in Exodus 3:14, "I AM WHO I AM," may convey the sense not only that God is self-existent but that He is always present with His people.  Yahweh is not a God who is remote or aloof but One who is always near, intervening in history on behalf of His people.  The knowledge of God's proper name implies a covenant  relationship.  God's covenant name is closely associated with His saving acts in Exodus.  The name Yahweh evokes images of God's saving power in the lives of His people.

AMEN??  AMEN!  How perfectly timed after just celebrating Passover and Easter!  I love this study!!!


Praise God today for being a covenant God.   Praise His holy name for all that it means to us.  For all the promises in His names.  For all the ways He loves us.  For all the ways He provides for us.  For all the ways He fulfills His promises - great and small.  Praise Him!

As I began my study today of Yahweh and read through Exodus 3, it hit me that Moses gave the exact same answer to God when He called to him..."Here I am."   That is it.  Let us all be found humble and faithful when God calls us.  They both knew the calling God placed before them was impossible.  Abraham to have a son at 99 yrs old that would be the seed of all generations to come.  Moses to bring the children of Israel out of bondage from Egypt.  I would have asked the same question as Moses (and often have since beginning our adoption journey 5 yrs ago),11But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" Exodus 3:11-12  God's response...

 12And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain." 

You and I can do nothing apart of from God.  All things are impossible and much too big for us to do alone.   Just like Abraham and Moses - we have the full assurance of God doing everything He asks of us!  

Philippians 1:6 reminds us - it is not us doing it but God!  All we need to be is willing to be used for God's glory!

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Is there anything impossible for the LORD?   NO!

So with assurance and understanding of how great our God is - will you humble yourself today, walk by faith, listen to His voice and simply answer, "here I am."?   I pray your answer is yes to the depths of your heart!

If you would like to link up and share your posts during our study – please post it here and put the name related to your post in the link name.   Example Jill @ FENA – El Olam.  Thank you!

Praying you all had a blessed Easter.  I can't wait to share the many photos I have taken since my computer crashed last week.  New computer should be here tomorrow.  


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