Tuesday, May 4, 2010


"In the beginning ELOHIM...." What a strange way to begin what might best be called an autobiography. God has revealed to us everything He wishes us to know about Himself in the Bible, and yet I am not certain that I even know His name. Elohim, translated "God" in Genesis 1:1 and in hundreds of other places, is also translated "angels" (1), "goddess" (2), "gods" (240), "judges" (5), "great" (1), "mighty" (2), and "very great" (1). To make things more confusing, the word is obviously not His name because it is a plural. Jews and Christians know very well that there is only one God. The verse Israel holds dearest is Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The YHVH (always written in all caps as LORD) our Elohim (God) is one YHVH (LORD)." Perhaps a study on the Holy Trinity would be helpful.

Even more confusing is the fact that YHVH translated "I AM" in Exodus 3:14 and "LORD" elsewhere, is the actual name God has chosen to use, but to us, "LORD" is viewed as His title. Unless we are addressing Him directly, we almost always use the adjective "the" with the word. An example is found in Psalm 110:1, "The LORD said unto my Lord, 'Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.'" Then there is the fact that Biblical Hebrew had no vowels, so the Jews did not know how to pronounce God's name. They were and are still afraid to mispronounce His name. There is irony in that. Jews hold the sacred name of God with so much reverence that they are afraid to use it, but they have always misused His Word. God says His Word is greater than His name (Psalm 138:2). If they are afraid to misuse His name, isn't it reasonable to expect them to be even more respectful of His Word?

Today, it is rare that we use the words "I am" without "completing the sentence." With one exception, neither did Jesus (John 8:58). He often referred to Himself as "I am" but in the form of a metaphor: Door, Light, etc. And speaking of Jesus, that is not His name either! The Hebrew and Greek languages have no "J" in them. In Hebrew, "J" is the common English translation of the letter "Y" (yodh). And in Greek, the English "J" is used for "I" (iota). His Hebrew name is "YHSH," The same word is translated "Joshua." In Greek, it is "Iesous."

I will not even attempt to explain how God has become known as "Jehovah" or how Christ has become known as "Jesus." In fact, I am not certain I could if I tried. What I am very certain about is that on January 31, 1971, I became a child of God by placing my total faith and trust in Jesus. One might ask how I could know that I was accepted by the Creator. The answer is that I have seen, heard, and felt the Living God in my everyday life. He has guided me, corrected me, encouraged me, blessed me, provided for me, and ultimately, He has loved me. The Lord's death on the cross helped me come to know how much He loved me, but the daily evidence is overwhelming, at least to me. I pray that you have experienced the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment