Saturday, December 9, 2023

Yahweh—God’s Name (Psalm 139)

"O LORD, You have searched me and known me" (Ps. 139:1).

The writer of Job gives God the designation of Yahweh when He addressed Job from the whirlwind. This would have held special significance for the Jewish people who worshiped, not a nameless unknown God as the pagans did, but a personal God. Throughout the discourses between Job and his friends, they referred to God as the Almighty, but not as Yahweh. Only in Job 12:9 and 38:1 is God designated by His personal title.

By having a name, God reveals that he is a personal God, involved in every aspect of His creation. Judaism and Christianity assert that because God is personal, and we are persons, a personal relationship with God is inescapable. David realized this when he wrote, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” in Psalm 139. God knows us, He has searched our hearts and our minds, and He understands our intentions before we do. “You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.” This is the God that revealed Himself to Job, who spoke out of the whirlwind. With a single word—Yahweh—the writer of Job emphasized the inescapable reality of God’s personal involvement in Job’s life.

The relationship we have with God can either be one of estrangement, denial, and hostility, or it can be redeemed through Jesus Christ. It can be the relationship of two enemies, or it can be the tender relationship of a son to his father. But one thing it cannot be is indifferent, impersonal, uninvolved. Much of the world professes to believe in a God. Polls indicate that 95 percent of the American public believe in a God, but the God they believe in is ambiguous, nameless, one who demands nothing from them.

Contrary to popular belief, however, God has a name and is personally involved in our lives, either as a Judge or as a heavenly Father who has redeemed His people. Yahweh, the God of the Scriptures, the one, true, and living God, is the very God who revealed Himself to Moses: “I AM WHO I AM.” This statement implies self-existence, meaning that the power of being is within Himself, which means that we are totally dependent upon God for our existence and accountable to Him as the absolute authority in our lives.

Why do people sometimes prefer to be around those who do not know them rather than those who know them very well? How do you feel when you are in the presence of someone who knows you intimately? God knows you better than anyone else in the world. What practical implications does that carry in your own life?