The Different Names of God | Yahweh
Welcome to my new blog series. I started a bible study on the names of God and I decided to share this study with you. As I went through the names of God and their meanings, I felt it will be nice to start with the name God called Himself in Exodus 6:2. God said these words to Moses “I am Yahweh – ‘the LORD.’
A person’s name helps us identify and know who that individual is. I am from a part of the world where we don’t just pick names because they sound cute. A lot of thinking goes into the names we bear and every name has a story attached to it. This principle is biblical as we see in the cases of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Saul, and others.
I believe knowing the names of God will help us understand Him better, and with this, we are able to trust Him. Because to be honest, it’s hard to trust something we don’t know.
What is the meaning of Yahweh?
Yahweh means the LORD as seen in the above bible verse. Notice the use of the word ‘the’. He is not a lord. He is the LORD. This is a deep statement. He is telling Moses basically that He is the only One. This name is built around the phrase “I Am Who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). This echoes fearlessness, authority, confidence, assurance.
What is the meaning of Lord?
According to Wikipedia, Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power over others acting like a master, a chief, or a ruler.
For us to understand this better, I feel it’s vital we understand the situation surrounding the time God introduced Himself this way. The children of Israel were being enslaved in Egypt. God told Moses that He was going to deliver them through him. Now, this was a context of two authorities; Pharaoh who, going by definition, was a lord in his time, and God.
I hear Him saying to Moses;
“I am the one who has control over the entire universe, not that man you are scared of.
I am the Master and Ruler of the world.
I am the One who oversees everything.
I will be what you want me to be for you right now.”
He needed Moses to understand who was going with him so he will be confident. He needed Moses to know that although there was Pharaoh who paraded himself as powerful, there was Him who Pharaoh can’t control. And of course, we know how that story ended. In case you don’t know, the children of Israel left Egypt in the end.
What are the roles of a Lord?
To enable me to understand this more, I read about the role of House of Lords in the UK parliament. They;
- Make laws
- Check and challenge the actions of the government, and
- Provide a forum of independent expertise
Let’s view the above roles through a spiritual lens.
- Just as the lords in government makes laws, so also does God. Yes, His word has the laws we need to abide by in order to enjoy paradise with Him. We don’t just go about doing our thing. He gives us the standard to follow and those standards are sure. He doesn’t bend to succumb to ours. We have to rise up to His. There is a saying that the law is no respecter of persons. So also God’s laws.
- His role also is to give us tools to check and challenge actions, voices and everything we encounter in life. This tool is His word – the Bible. It’s what we use to check and balance life. This explains why we really can’t live a life that pleases Him if we ditch His word.
- The third point is that just as The House of Lords provides a forum of independent expertise, so also God does. He does this by putting believers in our lives who can help us stay on track. People who can reproof us and correct us in love.
So what does this mean to God?
- It means that He is in total control of our lives.
- It means that He has the final say over the destinies of His children
- It means that He has the ability to lead us in the direction He wants us to go
- It means that He is dependable
And for us?
We are privileged to have a God who knows what He is doing as our Leader. A God who was not created. Since He made us, He has the plan for our lives in His hand. How amazing is that? It means that we don’t just go through life guessing and stumbling along the way. We go through life with Him holding our hand. He isn’t only the LORD over us, He is also LORD over every circumstance.
So why doesn’t it seem this way for us always?
Because we underestimate His position and authority. We don’t always allow Him to dominate our lives because we really don’t trust Him. As I was studying, I found out that the Jews are so much in awe of this name that they normally will not pronounce it to avoid blasphemy. What I intend to draw from this is the fact that they are in awe of God. This LORD of ours is to be reverenced, honored and adored. For Him to be a LORD, He needs someone to rule over. If we don’t allow Him to, He can’t function in that capacity in our lives. If He isn’t, the devil sure is.
Are we really in awe of God?
If we call Him our LORD, then;
- We will value Him by valuing His presence
- We will value His word and instructions by obeying them
- We will submit to His authority
- We will listen to Him
- We will live our lives to please Him because of our love for Him.
Can you say God is your LORD, or are you treating Him as your child or the kid next door?
I will like to end this by saying a little prayer.
Thank you for loving me enough to remind me of your authority over me. I humble myself before you and accept you as my LORD. I apologize for not according you the honor that is due you. Help me never to undermine your authority. May my life always give you glory in Jesus name. Amen
–Efua Uke is a United Kingdom-based mentor, blogger, and contributor to Ambo TV. This article originally appeared on her website Grace Over Pain.