Why does God use different names for Himself? Our human, finite minds are totally unable to comprehend all that God is. Therefore, God uses different names so that we are able to see His characteristics and better understand who He is. Each name provides a glimpse into the our God, allowing us to know Him better. The better we know Him, the better we can worship Him. Knowing the names of God also helps us as we pray because we can call on a specific characteristic of God for the needs we are presenting. Each blog in this set of blogs will focus on one name of God. As you learn more about that name, meditate on it and practice using it in your prayers.
The first name we will look at is Jehovah.
Exodus 3:13-15 uses this name.
Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?”
God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, 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; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation. (HCSB)
According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Jehovah is “the special and significant name by which God revealed himself to the ancient Hebrews.” The characteristic of God that we learn from this name is that God is unchanging, eternal, self-existent. He is the I am that I am. It is God’s personal name. In Hebrew, they used the letters YHWH for God’s divine name because they found his name so sacred they did not want to risk blasphemy by improperly pronouncing the divine name. Therefore, they combined the name with the vowels of the Hebrew word “adonai” (which means Lord) so reader would pronounce adonai instead. (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 863, © 2015, Broadman & Holman Publishing Group, Nashville, TN).
God is the first and last. He is self-existent, eternal, unchangeable. He is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and throughout all eternity. He is all we need.
That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 3. That he is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon him.
I think this track of Don Moen’s musical, “God for Us” explains Jehovah better than I ever could.