Feb 15, 2010

LORD - Yahweh, Jehovah, The Self-Existent One

Studying the Names of God with Yolanda at Joy Comes in the Morning from the book LORD, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur. I am also studying from the book Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler.

Yahweh is the most frequently used Name of God in the old testament, it is used 6823 times. It is written as LORD (all uppercase) in the Bible, not Lord, which we learned last week is the Name Adonai.

The first use of the Name Yahweh, actually spelled YHWH, is in Genesis 2:4 where it is compounded with Elohim (Creator). It comes from the word havah meaning "to be". Kay quotes Nathan Stone as saying "We must think of Jehovah (Yahweh) as the Being who is absolutely self-existent, the One who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent existence."

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" 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, 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 3:13-15 (NIV)

This is the Scripture where God revealed Himself to Moses by this Name, and we can see from this that Yahweh is connected to, and a continual reminder of His covenant promise. He is the One who powerfully delivered His People from bondage into freedom.

Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:5-7 (emphasis mine)

Here again we see Yahweh describing Himself and associating these attributes with His Name Yahweh. In addition to His goodness and mercy, He does not neglect to point out His authority to judge and the consequences our disobedience can bring on our family as well.

What does the Name Yahweh speak to my heart?
Until I studied the Name Yahweh, I never understood exactly what He meant when He said His name was "I AM". He was proclaiming that He is the One who was and is and is to come. There was never a time when He wasn't here, and that means here for His People too, and there never will be a time when He won't be here, and here for His People. Yahweh is here, for all of eternity, in full Power and full Love to act on behalf of His People.

As I study His Names, I find myself being grateful for having a concordance to look back to the original words and learn their meanings.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

What does the Name Yahweh speak to your heart?

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Heart2Heart said...


Another great and thought provoking post for me. It is something I never considered and really sat down hard and thought about.

I guess because I believe God is the beginning and ending for me. I never have to think about it because He has always existed and will continue to forever and ever.

Please make sure to stop by my blog today to enter a great giveaway.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

KrippledWarrior said...

In Scientific terms He is "The Prime Mover." That from which all other things come.

Andrea said...

Great post. I studied Kay Arthur's book many years ago. It was great for you to bring that back to the surface for me.
Hugs, andrea

Kelly Combs said...

Nothing to add, but wanted you to know I stopped by. xoxo.

Yolanda said...


You do such an awesome re-cap and bring to light what Kay has touched upon, adding from your heart and the studying you have gleaned from. THANK YOU!

Much love,

An Imperfect Perfection said...

As I read and study the Bible more I have come across the different names for God - so awesome to learn more...thanks for sharing!


I hand-wrote about 12 Names of God - maybe more - in my Bible on the last page of the Psalms where there happened to be a blank page!
It has been a joy to come to it often and reflect upon what each one means..

Just this morning I wrote in my journal:
JEHOVAH-ROHI [The Lord My Shepherd]

The Lord made Special three of His Names to me:
1. JEHOVAH-JIREH [My Provider]
2. HA-SHEM [the Ineffable One]
3. El-ROI [The God Who Sees me]

Love Kay Arthur's heart for God and passion to teach the Word. We heard her in our video session as I was facilitating our study last night of:
What a power Word it was!

Thanks for sharing what you are learning here.