“The LORD’s messenger said to him, “you should not ask me my name, because you cannot comprehend it.””
“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.”
“Who has ascended into heaven, and then descended? Who has gathered up the winds in his fists? Who has bound up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name?–if you know!”
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
“and my name is constantly slandered all day long. 6 For this reason my people will know my name, for this reason they will know at that time that I am the one who says, ‘Here I am.’”
“I am the Lord (Jehovah, Yahweh); that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.”
“God said to Moses, “I am that I am.” And he said, “You must say this to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.'”
When we first meet a person, we want to learn their name. This knowledge, though seemingly personal, is not really knowing the person; it just reveals an outward name which was given to them. We can also know someone by their rank, relation or title. This still does not mean we truly “know” an individual, it merely specifies more information about their position in this life.
Through God’s interaction with men, we come to know Him by what He has done or by what we learn that He has done throughout history and in His word. Many names are ascribed to God to define what He is to us in these moments, and these names are precious because they describe a relationship that we have with God.
We first know Him as “Elohim”, the triune God at the beginning of creation. He then revealed that He is “I AM”, or YHWH; self-existent – no beginning and no end. Unfathomable to His creation, and yet our hearts cry out for something more than this world has – to eternity.
He is El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty), El Elyon (The Most High God), Adonai (Lord, Master), El Olam (The Everlasting God), Elohim (God) & Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah) whether or not we acknowledge Him as such. Every knee will bow before Him.
He is Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner), Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd), Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals), Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There), Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness), and Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You) to those who have drawn near to know Him and seen God through His activity in their personal relationship with Him.
His character is impossible for us to define completely, but we see from what has been revealed that he is Qanna (Jealous) for us, that He is Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide), Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace) and Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts). Just a glimpse at aspects of God’s character should overwhelm us with how truly awesome He is, but we grow familiar with terms and forget that He is so far above us. He is Holy and we are not; we cannot fully fathom how wonderful He is.
God is so kind and merciful to reveal Himself to us. We often want a superficial relationship – just to know His name, but God wants us to experience relationship with Him and allows us to come before Him – all-powerful – and know Him personally. This is humbling, wretched as we are, to go before our Holy God. But Jesus makes it so. His blood covers us that we can love our God and come to Him. Forever grateful.
The fact that His name YHWH is unpronounceable is symbolic to me that it is also a name that we cannot fully comprehend. This I know – the Great “I AM” to me means stability – He is never changing, He is my Rock, my steady Bulwark, when all the world around me is changing at a fast pace. He has always been there and always will be.
Oh, LORD, I want to know You more! May I never tire of searching to know more of you! You are Holy! You are beautiful and so far beyond me. Open my eyes to understand you more and to worship You in Spirit and truth.