Jehovah – The L-RD!

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I want to begin this post with a question and quote from Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch’s book “The Jewish Book of Why,” 2004, Johnathon David Publishers, Middle Village, NY – p. 295
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Question: “Why is ‘God’ often spelled G-d?

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Mr. Kolatch’s Answer: ” The third of the Ten Commandments reads: ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain’ (Exodus 20:7). But what is God’s name? The biblical reference to God as Yehova (Jehova), spelled out with the Hebrew characters yad, hay, vav, hay, is generally considered the ‘authentic’ name of God, a name never to to be pronounced (except by the High Priest when officiating on Yom Kippur [the day of atonement]) or written out.
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Over the centuries other names for God, such as Adonai (also pronaounced Adonay), ‘Lord,’ were given the same status. Adonai was (and still is) used only in prayer. On other occasions ha-Shem or Adoshem were used in its stead. Ha-Shem means ‘the Name.’ Adoshem is a contraction of Adonai and ha-Shem.
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In the last few decades, a new practice has come into vogue: that of not writing out in full the English names “God” or “Lord.” Most authorities consider this to be without foundation and no more than a passing fad.”

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“Then Moses said to God, ‘Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?’ 14 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.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘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.’”~Ex 3:13-15 (NKJV)
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Hebrew Strong’s Dictionary Number: 3068
Transliteration: yhwh
Phonetic Pronunciation:
yeh-ho-vaw’
Root: from
Cross Reference: TWOT – 484a
Part of Speech: n pr dei
Vine’s Words:
Lord
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Usage Notes:
English Words used in KJV: LORD 6510, GOD 4, JEHOVAH 4, variant 1 [Total Count: 6519]
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from (hayah); (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God :- Jehovah, the Lord. Compare (Yahh), (Yehovih).
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From Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
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yehovāh – “Lord.” The Tetragrammaton YHWH appears without its own vowels, and its exact pronunciation is debated (Jehovah, Yehovah, Jahweh, Yahweh). The Hebrew text does insert the vowels for ‘ādōnāy, and Jewish students and scholars read ‘ādōnāy whenever they see the Tetragrammaton. The use of the word appears in every period of biblical Hebrew.
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The divine name YHWH appears only in the Bible. Its meaning is much debated. God chose it as His personal name by which He related specifically to His chosen or covenant people. It first appearance in the biblical record is Genesis 2:4: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord god made the earth and the heavens.” Apparently Adam knew Him by this personal and covenantal name from the beginning, since Seth both called his son Enosh (i.e., man as a weak and dependent creature) and began (along with all other pious persons) to call upon (formally worship) the name of YHWH, “the Lord” (Genesis 4:26). The covenant found a fuller expression and application when God revealed Himself to Abraham (Genesis 12:8), promising redemption in the form of national existence. This promise became reality through Moses, to whom God explained that He was not only the “God who exists” but the “God who effects His will”; “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord [YHWH] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord [YHWH] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites…” (Exodus 3:15-17). So God explained the meaning of “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). He spoke to the fathers as YHWH, but the promised deliverance and therefore, the fuller significance or experienced meaning of His name were unknown to them (Exodus 6:2-8).
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From the Bible Knowledge Commentary Old Testament, Victor Books, Walvoord and Zuck, 1985:
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Exodus 3:11-15
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“That Moses was shocked by God’s words (vv. 7-10) is evident by his consternation. He found the command hard to believe. Immediately Moses objected to God’s command because of his lack of ability (v. 11) and his lack of authority (v. 13). Moses doubted his ability to confront the new Pharoah (AmenhotepII) successfully and to lead the nation out. God responded to this objection with two promises: the assurance of His personal presence (I will be, v. 12; cf comments on v. 14, with you) and the promise of Moses’ return to Mount Horeb (you [pl., referring to Moses and the people] will worship God on this mountain).
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“The purpose of the deliverance was that Israel might ‘worship God.’ This purpose is stated frequently in Exodus (4:23; 7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1, 13; 10:3, 7-8, 11, 24, 26; 12:31). The Hebrew word for ‘worship’ is the same word for “to be a slave” (̔ābād). Israel had been slaves (̔ābōdim) of Egypt (6:6), and was in slavery (̔ābādîm, 13:3, 14; 20:2). Having served as slaves to Egyptians, Israel was now to serve the Lord, worshipping Him as His subjects.
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“In Moses’ second objection he felt the Israelites would challenge his assertion that God has sent him to deliver them. God told Moses to tell them I am who I am (ʾehyeh ‘āšer, ‘ehyeh, v. 12) and I AM (‘ehyeh) has sent me to you (v. 14). This One said He would be with His people in their time of trouble and need. ‘Ehyeh is probably a wordplay on Yahweh (LORD) in verse 15. Thus, the name Yahweh, related to the verb “to be,” probably speaks of God’s self-existence, but it means more than that..

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It usually speaks of His relationship to His people. For example as Lord, He redeemed them (6:6), was faithful to them (34:5-7), and made a covenant with them (Genesis 15:18).

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“The word also (Exodus 3:15) point to a second reply to Moses’ second objection (the first reply is in v. 14). The always-present God had demonstrated His character in the past to the fathers (patriarchs; cf. vv. 6, 16; 4:5) and that willingness to look over His people tenderly is an abiding attribute. He is to be remembered by that name forever. Perhaps Moses knew of God as the distant Sovereign but not as the immanent God who cares for and loves His chosen ones. Both of Moses’ objections (3:11, 13) were answered with lessons on the nature and character of God (vv. 12, 14-15).”
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Today we take a look at the personal name of God. The name that identifies God as the covenant, relational God. A name so revered by Jews that they refuse to express it in speech or in writing. Now, that takes me back to a post I wrote about Eve in recent weeks. Eve, when questioned about God’s instructions about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, gave her own interpretation of God’s instruction. “We shall not even touch it lest we die.” (Genesis 3). She made the fruit somehow more forbidden than it was.
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Consider this: We, as Christians, tend to use freely and sometimes carelessly the names of God, specifically in calling Him Lord or God, even the name of Jesus. It is used as a curse word, a declaration of favor – whether it is of God or mankind. It is used casually in conversation to express shock, dismay or surprise… but how often do we speak His name is reverent awe? How often do we speak His name as if He is in the room with us… How often do we truly consider what this name means, really means, by intention and expression to God, Himself?
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On the flip side, the Hebrews would not even utter the name for fear of misusing or profaning it. Blaspheming God was the worst sin that could be committed. They made the name of God, in and of itself a “dirty word.” They would not cry out to Him for fear of offending Him. The did not acknowledge Him as the God of their covenant, not the God creator… no, they would not even speak His name aloud.
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God wants us to be humble, recognize Him with awe and reverence. However, He does not want us to be afraid of Him, cowering in fear – making rules He never intended that would entice us to view a relationship, personal and intimate, with Him where we call Him by name — He never intended for that to be viewed as sin.
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God wants us to be balanced. To honor Him and to love Him, to receive His grace and His provision in humility and relate to Him in truth. We should not come before the throne of grace cowering in fear – we should be confident in our relationship and come to Him in that confidence and relate to Him as the God of covenant, the God who makes promises and keeps them. The God who is eternal, self-existent and the God who calls Himself to us by NAME! He is our LORD! He is the Master, the God of all and the creator of all… He is the God who promised to make one man a nation and did so, He is the God who promised Eve a Redeemer and did so, He is the God whom Isaac trusted to make good on His covenant even though the recipient (Jacob) had deceived him into giving a blessing that was not Jacob’s to receive. He is the God who blessed a wild donkey of a man because the boy’s father was Abraham and his mother recognized and valued God’s ability to respond and act on her behalf. He is God, not just Elohim… but a personal, up close and real relational God who desires to not only be known to us, but also to be made known through us. Who is Jehovah, the LORD our God to you?
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As we look at the following verses of Scripture I want to ask that you join me in Identifying God as the personal, covenant keeping LORD in your own life.
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Proverbs 3:12, 26 (Amplified) – “When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble… Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.” God’s promise in this Scripture is that He will enable us to walk in His covenant, that nothing will hinder the promises in our lives if we will walk in accordance with the covenant He has given us. We will not stumble when we run the race before us, our path will be established and our direction will be in right standing with God. Our Lord is the one who says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. Trusting Him even when His ways and our circumstances defy our reason and understanding gives us a depth of relationship built and established on faith. Acknowledging God in all our ways identifies Him as our God, our Lord and Master. It keeps our lives from getting off track and keeps our minds and hearts from going astray. These verses speak of a God, a covenant keeping, promise delivering God who can be trusted in every area of our lives.
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Proverbs 18:10 (Amplified) “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong.” God is our strong tower, a safe place of refuge from the attacks of the enemy. Being in right standing with God begins with salvation – in Christ we become positionally righteous. It continues through repentance and confession of sin on a regular basis. We must deal with the sin in our lives. Not one of us will ever be perfectly righteous this side of eternity, however, we can come honestly before God and be impoverished in our spirit acknowledging our guilt before God. Daily practicing 1 John 1:9 by confessing our sins, agreeing with God about our nature and our daily transgressions and iniquity does two things: 1.) It cancels the debt by placing it under the New Covenant of Christ’s blood payment on the cross, and 2.) Denies the enemy ammunition with which he attempts to accuse us before the Lord when God holds court with him. This verse makes me think of 1 Corinthians 10:13 and how God will not allow anything to come into our lives that He has not already graced us to endure, overcome and be redeemed from. He always provides the way to not only stand under whatever temptation or pressure He allows into our lives… He delivers on His promise to be a strong tower and to deliver us from whatever temptation we face. His promises are to prosper, not to harm us and to give us a hope and future. (Jeremiah 29:11) He is the God who delivers us, redeems us from our trials and provides us with safety and protection even in times of trouble.
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Number 6:24-27 (Amplified) “The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; 26 The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually). 27 And they shall put My name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.” In this passage we discover a truly rich promise related to the covenant name of God, YHWH. It is the source of our blessing and our relationship with God. In the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6 God gives us these beautiful promises: 1.) Blessing – He will bless us, provide for our needs, deliver us from our enemy and the trying circumstances of our lives and ultimately provide for us the eternal blessing and hope of heaven when this life is through, 2.) He will keep us – watching over us, after us and looking out for us along the way, He will guard us – even our hearts and minds and keep us safe from harm and close to Himself. 3.) God will make His face shine upon us – His glory will be visibly evident as it is manifested in our lives. He will give us enlightenment and reveal truth to us in our relationship with Him, He will be kind and merciful to us in His grace and grant us favor. 4.) When the countenance of God’s presence and approval rests upon us it bring peace, calm and tranquility to our lives and our hearts continually. 5.) We will be marked by the very name that speaks covenant with Him to the world and it will bring with it the many evident blessings of God. Our lives will be full. Is this the God you believe Him to be, a God of covenant who keeps His promises and has marked you by His name so that you are truly known as His. He is the Lord, the Lord who blesses, keeps, reveals, promises and endures. He is so worthy of our praise and we should be ever anticipating His blessing, His promises and His glory in our lives everyday.

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As you weigh the Word today, continue to look for how you can Identify with Yahweh, our Lord who meets with us, makes a covenant with us and relates to us in every imaginable way. He is the God who keeps His promises and marks His people for eternity.

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READ Psalm 103 (NKJV)
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1 A Psalm of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
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2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
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3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
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4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
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5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
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6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
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7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
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8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
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9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.
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10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
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11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
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12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
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13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
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14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
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15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
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16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.
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17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,
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18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
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19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
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20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
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21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
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22 Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
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Be blessed as you go forth walking in intimacy with Jehovah our Yahweh. The God of Covenant who promises us every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus who is our Lord, and the best part is He has already delivered!

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