What is your name? Mine is Steven. The reason I have this name is to identify myself as a unique individual within the society. And, since there are many other “Stevens”, I also have a middle and last name to help further separate me from all the other human males.
But what about God? Does he really need an identifier to separate him from all the other gods?
If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.
I know this will sound totally off, some may even call it blasphemous, but God doesn’t have a name.
Oh, yes- there are many titles we know him by, even the one he gave to Moses, but that isn’t really a name.
The Tetragrammaton, those 4 Hebrew letters Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh (יהוה) have been generally accepted to mean “I am that I am”, or “I will be that which I will be”.
God told Moses to tell the people that “I am” sent him. But “I am” is not a name- it is a description, isn’t it?
The letters do not represent a unique label by which we can know this God from all other gods, although it certainly can be used for that, but it is more of a description of who and what God is: it tells us that he is infinite.
All the terms we use for him: God, Adonai, Lord, Jehovah, Yahweh, HaShem…all of these identify him by a title, but that is not the same as a name that is to make him unique from all the others like him.
There is no other like him.
For instance, Ba’al means Lord, and despite those very foolish people who say using the name “Lord” is praying to a pagan god, there are many other Stevens in the world, but when someone is talking to me, they aren’t talking to every other Steven in the world. It’s the same with God, which is further proof that since every religion uses the title “god” or “lord”, this is obviously not a unique identifying of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
In fact, there shouldn’t even be debate about this because God tells us how he wants to be known. Check out Exodus 3:15:
God said to Moses, “Say this to the children of Israel: ‘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, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
So, that pretty much settles it, wouldn’t you say?
Again, not so much a name as a description.
So, to all those “Holy Namers” out there- sorry to bust your bubble, but how we pronounce God’s name is not the important thing; God, himself, says to refer to him by what he is, not by a name.
Besides, we are saved by faith, not pronunciation.
And to all those out there who insist we should use his name all the time, well- go ahead. But make sure it’s the one He said to use., which means instead of God or Jehovah, or Yahweh, or whatever you prefer, God says to know him as the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
That’s a mouthful. I don’t know about you, but I’ll just stick with God or Adonai or Lord, and know that I am not praying to a pagan or Semitic, Roman, Greek, Hindu, or Buddhist supernatural entity, but to the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of…well, you know the rest.
I am not saying to stop using whatever term or title or “name” for the one who created everything and who sent Yeshua, the Messiah to us you are used to using is wrong. It’s fine, and if you are confused about pronunciation, remember that throughout the Bible we are told, over and over, that God knows your heart and mind, so as long as you are praying to the God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, etc., then you are fine.
Believe me- God knows who you mean, and he isn’t so prideful as to reject your prayer because of what title you use when referring to him.
Even Shakespear knew this: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet)
God is the epitome of unique- there is nothing else like him anywhere: there never has been, there isn’t now, and there never will be. He is, he was, he always shall be HIM.
What it comes down to is this- God doesn’t have a name because God doesn’t need a name.
Thank you for being here and please share these messages, subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, and buy my books. I also invite you to join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (but please make sure you agree to the rules, or you can’t come in).
And remember that I always welcome your comments.
That’s it for this week, so l’hitraot and (and early) Shabbat Shalom!