Come & study God's Word with the ladies of Journey Christian Church of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chapter 7: Jehovah or Yahweh - The Self-Existent One

Does God have a proper name?  So far we've studied 5 names of God:
Elohim - The Creator
El Elyon - The God Most High
El Roi - The God Who Sees
El Shaddai - The All-Sufficient One
Adonai - Lord or Master

But what about just GOD?

What name do we use for GOD in the proper form?

If we were to put the label of "proper name" on God it would be Yahweh or Jehovah.  Jehovah or Yahweh is used 6,823 times in the Bible.  In Hebrew is it written with no vowels:  YHWH.  In fact, the Jews would not even pronounce this name for God for fear they might profane His Holiness.

Ken Hemphill, in his book, The Names of God says, 
"When they came to YHWH in the text, they would substitute the name Adonai.  When the Jewish scholars, called Masoretes, added vowel signs sometime before the tenth century A.D., the vowels from the name Adonai were put together with the letters YHWH (translated as JHVH in German) to create the name Jehovah that we find in our English text."

Jehovah is derived from havah, which means, "to be".  Jehovah is the God who is absolutely self-existent.  "To be" is at it's essence to have life.  He possesses life and permanent existence.  HE ALONE!

In our human minds we think in terms of cause and effect.  Who created the heavens & the earth? God.  Who created God?  God has always been  and He always will be.  I love how Ken Hemphill puts it, "He is the uncaused cause"!

We first read of Yahweh or Jehovah in Genesis 2:4 - here He is compounded with Elohim.
Genesis 2:4 (NASB)
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

Here we see Yahweh Elohim used together.  The focal point of our study of Jehovah will be with Moses at the burning bush.  Moses asks God what should I say, if they ask me Your name.  And God tells Moses to say, "I AM WHO I AM" has sent you.

There's something very interesting about the Hebrew breakdown of this Name of God.  It is found to be in the imperfect tense.  Now that's just a fancy grammar term to mean something that started in the past, it continues into the present, and it's not complete yet.

What comfort that already gives me about the nature of Jehovah - He was here before I got here, He's here with me now and He'll continue long after I'm gone.  That's a pretty powerful God.

Another truth we can learn about Jehovah is that He is a covenant-keeping God.  Jehovah reminds Moses that He is the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.   The people understand at this very moment that their God and His name went with His covenant promise to His people.  Jehovah fulfilled the covenant He had made with Abraham regarding the Promised Land.  

Jehovah is the promise keeping, unchanging, self-existent God.

On page 56 of your workbook, Kay says this,
"When you need assurance that God is there, that He will keep His promises without changing - even though you have wavered in your promises to Him - run to your Jehovah.  Trust in His name.  It can't change because He can't change.  He is Jehovah - the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)."

So how can knowing God as Jehovah, as Yahweh, help us in our everyday - regular life - stuff?

The I AM - Jehovah, Yahweh is our present answer.  He was here before, He's here now, and He will be here in the future.  He came to Moses in the burning bush to tell him that He was here for his fathers before him, and that He was here for Moses in his present day troubles and that He had a answer for the broken state of affairs of the people of Israel.  Therefore, I can take this and apply it to my life!

He has been God to heroes of the faith before us.  He is here for us in 2010, the present, and He can and wants to heal the broken things in our life too.  He is actively working in our lives to transform our daily living.

Today, pray to Jehovah - recognize that He is the uncaused cause!  He is Self-Existent and does not need us - but desperately wants to be active in our lives!  He wants to be the I AM and transform our daily living!  Pray that His unchanging character can penetrate into my every changing circumstances!