“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” Deut. 6:4
One afternoon my daughter and I were looking through the hope chest filled with memories. She pulled out my cabbage patch doll and looked confused at the doll’s birth certificate. My doll was named Catherine Marie – which is also my daughter’s name.
As young girls do, I dreamed of what I would name my children when I grew up. I wanted to name my daughter Catherine Marie after my mom Mary Catherine. My middle name is Marie so I thought the spin was perfect. My daughter and I had a good laugh as we figured out that I named a doll after her 20 years before she was born!
I think most people ponder what they will name their little one before they are born. Names are an important part of our culture as they provide identity. In a face-paced society, a name has significance since it is something you carry with you for your entire life.
We call God by many different names, titles, and attributes. YHWH is special because is the name He gave Himself. It is a proper name like Bob or Sue. The ancient Hebrew language had no vowels so we aren’t exactly sure how to pronounce YHWH.
YHWH appears over 6,000 times in the Old Testament. The Jews viewed YHWH with such reverence and respect they would not write or speak the name. So they substituted Adonia (Lord) and Elohim (God). Over time the vowels from each found their way into YHWH and we now pronounce it as YaHWeH. In the English Bible, you will find Yahweh written in capital letters as LORD.
Meaning of Yahweh
Yahweh refers to God’s self-existence. God describes Himself as “I AM WHO I AM” He is self-sufficient, having life in and of himself. He has no beginning, no ending, and no dependence. He simply is, always was and always will be. (Got Questions)
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Ex 3:14
God is not I was, I will be or I want to be -He is I AM. Perfect and complete, ever present (Psalms 107:13), ready to forgive (Psalms 25:11) and our helper and guide (Psalms 31:3).
Yahweh is a great way to wrap up our journey through the alphabet of Who God is. He is I AM – the combination of all we’ve studied and so much more we haven’t. I think I could spend the rest of my life here on earth trying to understand who God is and only have a glimpse of His nature and character.
In 1 Cor 13:12 we see that God knows us fully now, but we only see as a reflection in a mirror. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Like the kid dreaming of Disney World the more I learn about God the more I want to know Him. Rev. 22:1-5 gives us a glimpse of what it will be like.
Do you know what your name means? Is there significance to you in the meaning? What does God being IAM mean to you? Share in the comments below.
LORD, you are the great I AM. I thank you because you are lacking in nothing. You are perfect and complete and ever-present help in my time of need. I can only imagine how majestic and magnificent you are. I worship and adore you, for you are worthy. In Jesus Name. Amen.