Monday, April 8, 2013

The importance of a name

What's in a name?  I just started a study of the names of God.  I was asked to consider how a name defines a person.  I have an old name.  My name is a very uncommon name these days.  If you ever hear someone with my name, chances are they are over 50.  Yep, names come in and out of fashion.  The first of the many names of God that I'm going to look at is the name Jehovah.

YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) – strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles “LORD” (all capitals) to distinguish it from Adonai, “Lord.” The revelation of the name is first given to Moses “I Am who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). This name specifies an immediacy, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance (Psalm 107:13), forgiveness (Psalm 25:11) and guidance (Psalm 31:3).

(I found the above definition here.

I learned a lot of, what may be considered, trivial stuff about this name for God.  First, the name YHWH was so holy it was not spoken aloud.  Secondly, when scribes were copying the bible and they got to this name, YHWH, they stopped writing.  They took a bath.  They got a new pen.  They wrote the name.  Then they threw the pen away.  This is how holy the name of God was to them.  Btw, this name of God, YHWH, is in the bible just under 7,000 times.  (that is a lot of baths and pens)

Hearing about the reverence there used to be (and maybe in some circles, still is) is inspiring to me.  I have to admit, I use the Lord's name in vain more than I like to say.  Can you believe that many of us use this holy name as an expression?  We say it when we are surprised.  Shame on us.  There was a time (way back in the olden days, when I was in my 20s) that the name of God could not be used as an expletive or a word of surprise or swearing on t.v.  Seriously.  I'm not kidding.  It used to be considered improper television content.  With more than half of the shows on t.v. being "reality" shows, we hear the lord's name used in vain constantly.  AND, the writers on scripted television have no qualms about writing the lord's name, to be used in vain, into the script.

I am going to stop it.  I may not learn a whole lot from this study (although I hope I do), but I am going to let this study stop the way I speak.  After all, you don't hear anyone on t.v. or in the movies say, "Oh my Allah!" or "Buddah, damn it!"  AND, I'll bet you would get kind of sick of hearing your boss use your name as an expletive all day long.  ("What?  You weren't calling me?")  Why is the name of the God I serve any less precious?

I'd like to share this meditation about this name of God, I Am who I Am.  I know it's gotten me through some difficult times.  These difficult times were often when I was regretting the past and fearing the future. 

My name is "I AM" He paused, I waited, He continued:
'When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, It is hard.
I am not there. My name is not I was.
When you live in the future with its problems and fears, It is hard.
I am not there. My name is not I will be.
When you live in this moment, It is not hard,
I am here. My name is "I AM."

271.  My husband and his birthday
272.  The color yellow (it just screams SPRING)
273.  Bumblebees (they just shouldn't be able to fly)
274.  Coming into work an hour late (wink, wink)
275.  Getting caught up on my work
276.  Learning more about myself and starting to like myself more because of it
277.  My name, Judy  (I knew you wanted to know it)


  1. Elizabeth StewartApril 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    I love this...what an inspiration to truly revererance and love His holy name.

  2. a pretty cool study...have done some name studies on people in the bible and its pretty cool some of the connections you can find between the name and their character....

  3. Your name is odd?
    I got my eye on you....Happy.

  4. oh and we take the Lords name in vain so much!


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