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What Is In A Name - Part Two

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted January 21, 2015

RELIGION – My sophomore year in college I took up rock climbing.  It was an excuse to grow long hair and skip classes.  I had a new buddy named Bobby. And though I had known him about a week, I thought this guy was my new best friend!  He had really cool long hair and seemed to know lots about rock climbing. But it was short a lived “bromance.”

We went way up to Looking Glass Mountain in Brevard, NC.  We were going to do a multi-pitch climb.  I’d never done that before, but he claimed he was an expert.  Because I was an idiot, I believed him. I got about a 1/3 the way up this 3,970 rock face and I lost my nerve and my grip! I was hanging by a rope in the middle of the air! I nutted up and started to absolutely hyperventilate. I held back my tears, but I wanted my momma, Jesus, and my security blanket from when I was five. Bobby kept telling me to trust him and trust the rope! Trust him, I mean who trusts a dude wearing tie-dye and Birkenstocks right? So there I was, I could not go up or down, I was absolutely frozen in fear!

Then Bobby says, “Well, we have to try something I have never done before: an emergency belay.” Great, never done before! I was thinking how I should just save you the trouble and jump!  Well thankfully his reading of the “Rock Climbing for Dummies” book the week before paid off! I hit the ground and had never been more thankful to do so! Because I did not have confidence in my rope or my now former friend Bobby, I could not make it past that point in the climb!

Now why do I tell you this story and possibly risk losing all my readers by using the word “bromance” (which I use in jest)? Because the next name of God that we are looking at addresses the fact that there are points in your life that you can never pass spiritually until you are confident that the God you serve can support the full weight of your soul. There are sacrifices you’ll never make and commands you’ll never obey unless you are convinced of the reality, power, and presence of the God you serve.

This week we are looking the name of God:  Yaweh or “I AM WHO I AM.” We find this in Exodus 3:15 when God reveals Himself personally to Moses in the burning bush. When you read your Old Testament and see “LORD” in all caps, it is the special name for God that occurs more than 5,000 times in the Old Testament.  The name “LORD” is sometimes called the tetragrammaton because in Hebrew it consists of four letters: YHWH. The Jews considered these letters to be so sacred that later some of them even refused to pronounce the Lord’s name, for fear of taking it in vain. Because of this the proper way to pronounce the divine name has been forgotten (part of the problem too is that the most ancient Hebrew manuscripts do not contain any vowels, only consonants). The King James Version of the Bible sometimes writes it out as “Jehovah,” although this is based on a misunderstanding of Hebrew vowels that dates back to the medieval church.

All of this is interesting but why does it matter to you? When we think of God as Yaweh (I AM WHO I AM) we should be thinking that God is trying to covey to us that: “All that I am, I am for you.”This is hugely powerful! It means that God is saying “When you have no strength, I am your strength. “When you have no words, I remain the Word.” “When you seek truth, return again to Me, for I Am the Truth.” In the New Testament we see that "My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19) It shows us that "He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all. Will He not also with Him freely give us all things." (Rom. 8:32) We can be assured that whatever material, mental, emotional, financial, relational, academic, or physical need that we might have, He is able to supply it.

It also means reminds us of God’s self-existence. Think back to the burning bush when God revealed His name to Moses. This bush burned and burned, but it never burned up. If you burn a piece of wood, it burns up. But this bush kept burning and did not burn up. God used the burning, never-burned-out bush to show Moses something about Himself—that He is “self-existent and unchanging.” Yaweh is eternally present. He is before and after all things. He is larger than past failures and greater than any coming problem.  No one created God so He is not contingent on anyone else. 

So no matter what you are facing or going through today, know that all that God is (He is everything) He is for you! He will give you all that you will ever need to face all that you could ever face if you will turn to and trust in Him!

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. (Psalm 102:25–27)

Pastor Phillip

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