DayBreaks for 6/06/16 – From YHWH to Daddy

DayBreaks for 6/06/16 – From YHWH to Daddy

Exodus 3:14 (NIV) – 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.’

As Moses was having this encounter with God, he naturally wanted to be able to say Who was sending him back to Egypt. Why? Because the task he was being asked to do would require authority. But I suspect that there was also another reason: the Israelites had become idol worshippers during their 400 years in Egypt and all the Egyptian gods had names. So it would be expected that they would ask the name of the God that sent this dude in from the wilderness to tell the Israelites that it was time to leave.

This is the first time that God gives His personal name in Scripture. The Jews came to so revere this name that it became known as the tetragrammaton. They so revered God that they wouldn’t pronounce the name Yahweh, or Jehovah. Instead they removed the “vowels” and shortened it to YHWH or JHVH. They were not to even pronounce it when thinking about His name because His name was so holy and elevated that humans were not thought worthy to speak it or think it so great was their fear of this mighty God. That is fairly understandable, is it not? They’d witnessed how He’d laid waste to Egypt and they would see His blessing and would taste His displeasure with them in the wilderness and they didn’t want to risk offending him. They came to know him as a “consuming fire” (Dt. 4:24) during the time of Moses. That is why both David and Solomon at different times made the observation that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

And then something happened.

The incarnation changed many, many things forever.  God became flesh…and dwelt among us. And when he was asked by his followers how they should pray, he told them to pray thusly: “Our Father who art in heaven….”  The word, Father, is Abba – it’s not a lofty, power filled word, but simply what a little child calls out: “Daddy!”

In such a short span of about 30 years we moved from YHWH to Daddy because we learned something else about this God that Israel had worshipped: He loves us like precious little children! What cause it? The incarnation…when mankind could finally look into the eyes of God face to face, when we could witness him raise the dead son of a grieving widow, when he touched the unclean lepers, when he gently and graciously spared the woman caught in adultery, when he fed the hungry people of Israel and healed the sick gave sight to the blind.

David and Solomon had a point: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, but to my way of thinking, it is only the beginning of wisdom, not the end. The end comes when we have learned to trust him and love him as our Daddy.

PRAYER: Abba, what a blessing it is to call you by that name and to run to your mighty arms and be lifted high and hugged tightly to your heart of love! Thank you for becoming personal to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 05/09/13 – The Definition of Yahweh

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.

iamyahweh-1Leviticus 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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