Week Six, Day Five
The name Yahweh (yah-WEH) occurs more than 6,800 times in the Old Testament. It appears in every book but Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. As the sacred, personal name of Israel's God, it was eventually spoken aloud only by priests worshiping in the Jerusalem temple. After the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, the name was not pronounced. Adonay was substituted for Yahweh whenever it appeared in the biblical text. Because of this, the correct pronunciation of this name was eventually lost. English editions of the Bible usually translate Adonay as "Lord" and Yahweh as "LORD." Yahweh is the name that is most closely linked to God's redeeming acts in the history of his chosen people. We know God because of what he has done. When you pray to Yahweh, remember that he is the same God who draws near to save you from the tyranny of sin just as he saved his people from tyrannical slavery in Egypt.
God said 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 to the Israelites, ‘The LORD [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, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation." (Exodus 3:14-15)
PROMISES ASSOCIATED WITH GOD'S NAME
My father had a name for people who make grandiose statements or offer promises they can't keep. He called them blowhards. In truth, a promise is only as good as the person who makes it. What good is a commitment of undying love from an unfaithful wife, or a twenty-year warranty from a roofer who's about to go bankrupt, or a promissory note from a scoundrel? Fortunately, God doesn't need to exaggerate his abilities. He never makes a promise he cannot keep. If you live in a way that respects God's commandments, you will find that the name of the Lord can always be relied upon, no matter what threatens you.
Promises in Scripture
The LORD [Yahweh] will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. (Proverbs 3:26)
The name of the LORD [Yahweh] is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
The LORD [Yahweh] will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD [Yahweh] your God and walk in his ways. . . .The LORD [Yahweh] will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 28:9, 12)
Continued Prayer and Praise
Meditate on God's self-description. (Exodus 34:4-7)
Pray this benediction, which includes the threefold repetition of the name Yahweh. (Numbers 6:24-27)
Thank Yahweh for surrounding you with unfailing love. (Psalm 32:10)
Ask God to deliver you from fear. (Psalm 34:4-5)
Remember that Yahweh is close to the brokenhearted. (Psalm 34:18)
Wait for the Lord. (Psalm 37:34-40)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.