Saturday, May 5, 2012

Who is the God of the Bible? He is Yahweh

Exodus 3:14 God 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.’”

The God of the Bible - 3 important questions
Last week we explored some of the richness and meaning behind God's first name revealed in the Bible - Elohim.  We saw that when looking at that name, we can discover the answer to the first question to ask when approaching the God of the Bible - "What kind of God is God?"  Two other questions are also important to ask: "Who is the God of the Bible?" and "What can the God of the Bible do?" 

With the first question "What kind of God is God?" being answered by His name "Elohim", today's blog is going to look closer at the second major name for God we encounter in the Bible - "Yahweh" or "Jehovah".

Who is Yahweh or "I AM WHO I AM"?
We know that the name "I AM" (translation from the Hebrew "Yahweh", in our English Bibles, LORD in all caps) is in answer to Moses' question: "Whom shall say sent me?"  As we look closer at this Name of God Yahweh, we note some clues to the identity of the God of the Bible:

1. He is the Omnipresent God.  That is, He is in the past, Present and Future all at the same time, as well as every square inch of the creation.  Another valid translation of this name for God in the Hebrew would be: "I am the one who was, who has been and who ever will be".  Revelation 1:4 gives us the true translation of this Holy Name: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne" 

2. He is the Omnipotent God.
Being that He is unlimited by time, we also know that there is not one square inch of the universe where the God of the Bible is not excercising His reign (Sovereignty) and His Ruling reign (Providence).  God is all-powerful.

3. He is Omniscient.  By virtue of the fact that Yahweh is everywhere present and all-powerful leads to the next quality of God's identity - He knows all things.  He who has lived from all eternity knows the past exhaustively.  He who is knows every location of every atom in the universe.  He who will always be knows the future exhaustively.  109 prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ in His first coming.  How could that be?  Only one conclusion - He and the Father knew all things in Eternity Past.  He is Yahweh.

4. He is Personally involved with His people  As much as this incredible name of God points to His unending identity, the revelation of the name was designed to communicate His personal involvement in the affairs of His people.  For hundreds of years the people of God had cried out for deliverance from Egypt.  Clearly God heard their cry. (Exodus 3:7) 

Theologians refer to this attribute of God as His "immanence" or "God's nearness".  The first three qualities of God's identity could be subsumed under another heading that describes the uniqueness of God over against the creation - His Transcendence or "Separateness from the created order".  Jeremiah 23:23-24 states -   “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? 24“Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

The One Speaking there by the name "LORD" is "Yahweh" (The I AM WHO I AM).  He is both far and near.  As "Elohim" He as the authority to make the covenants we see Him making with His people in the Bible.  As Yahweh, He is expressing Himself as the author of those covenants.  As Elohim, He has the strength to carry through what He says.  As Yahweh, He has the unending integrity to completes what He begins. 

5. He is the Savior of His People.    If the name "Elohim" underscores God's power and might behind His creative work, then His name "Yahweh" deals with His Personal work of redemption in the lives of His people.  The name "Jesus" for example comes from the Hebrew name "Joshua" which means: "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" saves.  Interestingly enough the name given to Jesus in His humanity points back to the truth of His Deity. 

No comments:

Post a Comment