DayBreaks for 05/09/13 – The Definition of Yahweh
NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25. Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence! Thank you…I cherish your prayers! You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.
Leviticus 19 contains one of the most detailed accountings of the law of God that was given to His people Israel. Along with the laws themselves, it offers an explanation of the purpose and nature of the law which God gave to His people. There is virtually no area of life or law that wasn’t covered in some level of detail in this chapter. As varied as the laws are, they all have one thing in common: they are given because “I am the Lord your God.” The Hebrew, of course, is “I am Yahweh”.
We would be tempted to think that the statement “I am Yahweh” was given as a statement of authority, sort of “Because I am the Lord and I say so, you should do this-and-that.” And if we think that, we would be right. But even moreso it was a statement outlining the relationship that exists between the divine Lawgiver and the law He gives: the law reflects His nature and the law is the way it is because He is what He is.
In his commentary on Amos, J. A. Motyer put it this way: “But the law was neither the only nor the first element in the self-revelation of the Lord to His people. Lying even nearer to the heart of the matter was His work of redemption. The classic definition of Yahweh is not ‘who gave you this law’ but ‘who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”
God is the Almighty. But the way that He has usually choses to present Himself to us is in His redeeming work and nature: He brought Israel out of Egypt; He is the Alpha and the Omega – the origin and conclusion of our existence; He is the bright and Morning Star – the One who lights our path homeward even in the middle of the darkness of life. And it is because of what He has done that we owe Him our allegiance.
Before God was the Lawgiver, He was the Redeemer of Israel by the blood of the Passover lamb. It is because of what God has done for us that we are drawn to Him in love that leads to obedience.
Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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