God’s personal Name

Some four hundred years after Abraham made his covenant with God, the Hebrew people were enslaved in Egypt and crying out to God for freedom. The number of Hebrews in Egypt had grown from one (Joseph) to between two – three million Hebrews.  They were slaves for the whims of Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  Moses was God’s chosen man to negotiate their freedom. There was Moses, an exile from Egypt, in the desert tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, when he encountered a burning bush that was not consumed in the fire. Exodus 3:4-10 When the Lord saw him (Moses) coming over to look at it more closely, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father,” He continued, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. But the Lord said, “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore, I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the country of the Caananites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizites, Hivites and Jebusites. So indeed the cry of the Israelites has reached Me, and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them. Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
Moses now understands God’s mandate for him, but he has questions (Exodus 3:11-15). “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” He (God) answered, “I will be with you; and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you: when you bring my people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this very mountain (Mount Horeb).”
“But,” said Moses to God, “when I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is His Name?’ what am I to tell them?” God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.”
God spoke further to Moses, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my Name forever; this is my title for all generations.”
I AM WHO AM is represented in Hebrew by a four-consonant word, YHWH. The personal Name of God is pronounced as ‘Yahweh’, translated as ‘the source of all created beings.’ But the personal Name of God is so holy and majestic that Jewish people do not pronounce it or even write the word. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in June of 2008 to remind the Catholic faithful, “As an expression of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, YHWH was held to be unpronounceable and hence was replaced during the reading of sacred Scripture (and hymns) by means of the use of an alternate Name: ‘Adonai,’ which means ‘Lord,'” Therefore, Pope Benedict said any hymn or prayer that had the word YHWH in it need be replaced by the word Lord.  The featured image for this post is the rose, considered the king of flowers because this post focuses on the personal Name of God.  At this point of in our bible studies our Lord has now revealed His personal Name to us.  We know he is eternal, loving, Most High, almighty and the ‘source of all created beings.’

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God calls upon Moses

Moses is an absolutely essential figure in our human history.  The first five books of the Bible are believed to have been written by Moses.  Who was Moses?  He was born a Hebrew during the persecution and slavery of Hebrews in Egypt.  As a baby, his mother set him on the river to avoid him being killed by the Egyptians.  He was ‘drawn from the water’ which is literal for the word ‘Moses’ by an Egyptian princess and raised in Egyptian royal court.  As a young man, when Moses visited his Hebrew relatives and saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.  When word reached Pharaoh, Moses fled to a neighboring land to escape death.  It was here that God called upon Moses.  While tending a flock of sheep on Mount Horeb, called the Mountain of God, an angel appeared to Moses as fire flaming out of a bush.  It says in Exodus 3: 4 “God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!”  He answered, “Here I am.”  God said, “Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground”

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A prayer for holiness:

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me so, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
Amen.

Invoking the Lord by Name…earliest mentions of prayer

God appeared to Abram, called to him, promised to make a great line of descendants from him, and changed his name to Abraham.  God tested his loyalty by asking for the sacrifice of his son, Isaac.  Abraham was loyal and obedient in all these circumstances.  Additionally, the scriptures say that at these times, Abraham and Isaac were calling upon the Name of the Lord.  In other words, they were praying.  At least four scripture passages mark this advancement in our worship of God.

  1.   Genesis 12: 7-8   …He (Abram) built an altar there to the Lord and invoked the Lord by Name.
  2.   Genesis 13: 2-4      Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold.  From the Negeb he traveled by stages toward Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly stood,  the site where he had first built the altar; and there he invoked the Lord by Name.
  3.   Genesis 21: 33     Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beersheba, and there he invoked by Name the Lord, God the Eternal.  Abraham resided in the land of the Philistines for many years.

4.      Genesis 26: 23-25  From there Isaac went up to Beersheba.  The same night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.  You have no need to fear, since I am with you.  I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”  So he (Isaac) built an altar there and invoked the Lord by Name.

These precious first passages reveal to us how our loving God made Himself known to us and remind us that it is our primary duty to pray and worship Him and give Him thanks for His great love and kindness toward us.

 

When God reached out to us

When God reached out the the first humans…how did He?   Through His Voice and through His apparition to Adam, Eve, and Abram.  It says in Genesis Chapter 12   The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”  So Abram built an altar there to the Lord Who had appeared to him.

So the Lord acted in a way that is very loving and very personal.  He spoke and appeared to Abram.  God reached out in a very loving and personal way to someone who probably hadn’t thought much about God.  We know that God is unchanging. He is loving and personal today just as He was in the days of Adam and Eve, Abraham, and the prophets and as He is every moment for all time and throughout all eternity.   So let us pray that all people acknowledge our loving and personal God and give Him praise, worship, and thanksgiving for all He is providing for us.

Prayer:    In the Name of Jesus, Who said that anything we ask in His Name will be given to those who believe.  I ask that those who have not come to know the love of the Heavenly Father will be blessed with the knowledge that they are loved by Him beyond all human understanding and reason.  Please grant them the gift to feel His love as it enfolds them to such an extent that they will be unable to resist or deny it.  May the knowledge of the Heavenly Father’s infinite love stir within  their hearts the desire to return the love to Him, and to reflect it to all others.  May their lives be a pure reflection of His resplendent love. I ask this in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen.

Earliest mentions of the Name of the LORD

Genesis 4: 25-26

Adam again had relations with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth. “God has granted me more offspring in place of Abel,” she said, “because Cain slew him.”  To Seth, in turn a son was born, and he named him Enosh.  At that time men began to invoke the Lord by Name.

Genesis 12: 7-8

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”  So Abram built an altar there to the Lord Who had appeared to him.  From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel, pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east.  He built an altar there to the Lord and invoked the Lord by Name.

For eighteen generations from Seth to the Patriarch Abraham, God was invoked. Moreover, in Genesis 14:22 we learn of a blessing that the priest Melchizedek placed on Abram, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, the creator of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand.” God Most High, a beautiful tribute to Our Heavenly Father was given by the priest Melchizedek. When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God spoke to Abram and said in Genesis 17:1, “I am God the Almighty.” Later after God made a covenant with Abram and changed his name to Abraham (father of a host of nations), Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in honor of God the Eternal. Abraham invoked the Lord in Genesis 22:14 as God will provide.
Thus far we have several beautiful attributes of God. He is Most High, Almighty, Eternal, and Provider. Those invocations are powerful in prayer and praise. Remember them and pray them often throughout the day to develop a loving, childlike relationship to God the Father.

We start our journey in Genesis

You will realize that God gradually revealed Himself to people throughout time. This blog will show the process of God manifesting Himself over thousands of years to different people and revealing His Name to them and the characteristics of His nature. By now we have the benefit of thousands and thousands of years of God’s revelation and manifestations and we are privy to information from all past ages for the knowledge and love of God.
God LOVES His creation! He loves all the animals, birds, people and things He has made. He is so interested in all of His creation, that He wants everything to be named. In fact, after God created Adam, it says in Genesis 2:19 So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. God designated His creature, a human man to be given the honor to name all of the creatures that God made. Then we read of the handover of power from the Creator to the created. God gave man dominion over His created beings with the power to name and care for His creation.
A name is more than a designation for someone. It has meaning and inherent dignity attached to it. The first people were acutely aware of the dignity of their names. This is evident in that the books of the Bible contain the names of people from all walks of life. For example, Kings as well as servants are named, pagans and God’s people are all mentioned by their names in the words of the Bible. The sixty-three generations of father to child from Adam to Jesus are named specifically in the bible. Take a moment to consider that Our Loving God carefully made billions of people and knows each of us by name. Now let us go about learning to love the Name of the Lord.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

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Our journey begins through the Sacred Scripture.  We will look at all books and highlight all scriptural references to the name of the LORD.  I am new at this.  I am a Catholic and I have strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  May God bless us all.