Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Bible Doctrine Series-Jehovah
Jehovah is (used over 6,800 times in the Old Testament). Yahweh is a Hebrew verb form meaning “I Am.” Yahweh is the active, self-existent One. Jehovah—the English rendering of the Hebrew tetragram (a word that is written with four letters, i.e. "YHWH," in an alphebetic writing system)—is written “Lord” in most translations. Yahweh, or Jehovah, means much more than self-existence. It is like an unfinished statement to which we may provide the ending with our need of Him. He Himself has told us many times who He is for His people. You might not have thought of Jehovah in this way as you studied the Bible, but from now on you may want to keep your eyes open for His revelation of Himself as His provision for your every need. In Genesis 1, God tells us that Elohim created everything, including man, and that He loved His creation. In the next chapter we are introduced to Jehovah. The first words that Jehovah spoke to man are recorded in Genesis 2:16-17 "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'from any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall die.'" Jehovah gave Adam specific instructions concerning his provisions telling him what would happen if he disobeyed. Then, when the serpent arrived on the scene with Adam and Eve, it was their responsibility to make a choice to either believe Jehovah or to believe the serpent. Unfortunately they chose to go along with the serpent’s program. Nathan Stone tells of the attributes of Jehovah: “It is as Jehovah that God places man under moral obligations with a warning of punishment for disobedience….God is revealed as righteousness and true holiness in Ephesians 4:24…Jehovah…is righteous in all His works (Daniel 9:1)….His first requirement of those who should be His witnesses is ‘Ye shall be holy: for I Jehovah your Elohim, am holy’ (Leviticus 19:2)….And a righteous Jehovah whose holiness is thus violated and outraged must condemn unrighteousness and punish it. So it is Jehovah who pronounces judgment and metes out punishment.” That is exactly what Jehovah did with Adam and Eve. He listened to their excuses and then pronounced judgment, first on the serpent, then on Eve, and lastly on Adam. Jehovah then clothed both of them and sent them out of the garden. It was Jehovah that had seen the oppression of His people and commissioned Moses and Aaron to take the sons of Israel out of Egypt. How were His people to know who had commissioned Moses? God answered Moses’ inquiry in Exodus 3:14-15 “And 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,’” And God, furthermore, said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the 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-name to all generations.” His name is the same forever because He is the same forever. James 1:17 informs us that He is the giver of everything good; there is no variation in Him. The prophet Malachi tells us that the Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6). His consistency is our security. The same thing was said of His Son in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” Jehovah revealed Himself to His people; looking briefly at the gospel of John, we find it to be filled with Jesus’ Jehovah-statements of Himself: --I AM He—the Messiah (John 4:25, 26). --I AM the bread of life (John 6:35). --I AM the light of the world (John 8:12). --I AM the Son of Man (John 8:28). --I AM before Abraham was born (John 8:58). --I AM the door—of salvation (John 10:9). --I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11). --I AM the Son of God (John 10:36). --I AM the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). --I AM the teacher and Lord (John 13:13). --I AM the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6). --I AM the true vine (John 15:1). 1. This name is translated GOD or LORD in the KJV, NASV. 2. This name denotes the eternal self-existence of God—the I AM (Exodus 3:13-14; cf. 6:3). It is built off the Hebrew verb “to be”, and is more correctly written Yahweh. 3. This name is commonly associated with the Covenant keeping and Redeemer relationships of God to Israel (Exodus 34:5-7). 4. This word is used only of the true God. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.