The Names of God: Yahweh

By Stefanie McGowan

Our God has a name. He is accessible.

But there was a time where God’s name seemed too sacred to be spoken. And the Jews refused to utter His name… So the personal, formal, intimate name of God “Yahweh”, got tucked away from the Hebrew vocabulary…

Too holy to draw near.

Too worthy to get that close.

And the name of God was called out in different ways…

Yahweh was replaced vocally with “Elohim” (God) and “Adonai” (Lord) – and “Jehovah” grew in accessibility as the consonants of YHWH (JHVH) were combined with the vowels of Adonai. And The Great I AM, Ruler of all, was called Jehovah by the masses.  

Here, our Judge and our Defender, the Eternal One who gives us His name, became a little less familiar. The created drew back from the Creator. And division grew because of the unknown.

It’s funny how we can be familiar with the names of God, but unfamiliar with God himself. That the God of the Universe may somehow feel inaccessible, unknown.

But that’s not our God.
And that’s not His heart.

He is in fact, the most relational, the most kind, eager to be known by us and readily available for us to know.
This is Yahweh.  

But who are you Lord?
You have a name, but we call you God.
You have a name, but we call you Lord.
What is in a name, Father, that we would get to call upon you in different ways?

Who is Yahweh?

“But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God replied to Moses, “ I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.” (Exodus 3:13-15)

The proper name of the One True God amongst the Hebrews- the Existing One, eternal, immutable, too holy to touch – is the same Jesus who came to touch us.

Jesus’s name literally means “Jehovah is Salvation”.

He is God incarnate, the Word made flesh. Where “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

He existed in the beginning.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Jesus is Yahweh.

The same Yahweh who required sacrifice, became the sacrifice.
Where cleansing was required to enter Into the temple, the Holy of Holiesnow the Blood of Jesus cleanses us and we are the temple. (John 1:9)

Where there was a veil to keep us out, Jesus was the veil that was torn—his body broken, so we could freely enter in. (Hebrews 10:20)

Where we couldn’t make a way, Jesus is the way. Yahweh came down to do what the law couldn’t do… and in a form that you and I could understand…

Jesus made it right, and made the covenant new. And He did it while you and I were still sinning against Him. Because we’re his kids. We are children of God. And His love for us is unfailing, unending, unstoppable.

So, who are you Yahweh?
You, in your kindness, are The One who lets us grow more and more familiar with you… because in seeing Jesus, we see you. We see the Father. (John 14:9-11)

And who are you Jesus?
“The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)
You are the Great I AM.
“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM.” (John 8:58)

You are the One who makes all things new, including us, because of your heart to come and make yourself known.

Yahweh, draw us in close. Reveal to us the depths of your name, so that we might be made more like you, as we look to Jesus. What an amazing promise, that when we search for you with our whole hearts, we’ll find you. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

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