Summary: If God has a proper name by which men can call Him, it is Jehovah.
Who is God? That is the question we began looking at last week. All of Scripture tells us about God - what He is like, what He wants, how we can know Him and please Him. Yet, in all the Bible, there is not more eloquent answer to our question than what we find revealed in the names God chooses for Himself. Have you ever thought about that, the fact that God chose the names by which he would be known. We don’t choose our names. My name was given to me by my parents. Even my nick name was given to me by someone else. But God chose His names to describe to man who He was.
Last week we looked at Elohim - the Creator who is known for His might and glory. This is as much a title as a name. Every nation had an Elohim, God was just making the point that He alone is worthy of the title. This week we’ll look at a completely different kind of name. Where Elohim was an impersonal title, Jehovah is more like a personal first name. There are many Van Emmeriks in the world, but as far as I know, there is only one Kenneth Lee Van Emmerik II. That is my personal name. Even though there were many idols called elohim, there was only one Jehovah Elohim. That is the name for God used most frequently. In your Bible, you have seen the word LORD typed in all capital letters, wherever this appears, you have the Hebrew name Jehovah. So Jehovah Elohim is the LORD God in your Bible. The name Jehovah appears almost 7,000 times in the OT.
Psalm 68:4 says Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jehovah, and rejoice before him. Isaiah 42:8 says I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. If God has a proper name by which men can call Him, it is Jehovah. Let’s pray and then we will look at what we learn about Jehovah from His name.
Tell the story leading up to what was just read.
Now Moses asks, who should I say sent me? Everyone had an Elohim to serve, even though there was only one true God of heaven and earth, but Jehovah was the Elohim, the God of Israel. In essence God is saying that Israel was His people, He was their God. He wanted them to know Him by name. This passage in Exodus reveal much of the God who claimed Israel for His own.
I. Who is Jehovah - what do these early encounters with Jehovah tell us about God
A. He is self revealing
1. To all of creation He was Elohim- Gen 1:1-2:3
a. Revealing his personhood
b. Hidden from man in the glory of Elohim
(2) evoking awe more than fellowship
2. When the time came for special relationship with man God used a different name - Gen 2:4
a. God made part of creation in His own image
(1) not physically
(2) but in spirit
(a) he has personhood
(b) he reasons
(c) he makes moral choices based on right and wrong
b. God desires to be known by man - His special creation
(1) what an amazing the thought
(2) the Creator desires to know and be known by the creation
c. God can only be known by His own revelation
(1) no man seeks God
(2) no man could discover God if he tried
(a) how do finite creatures search out the infinite God
(b) how do we begin to discover the depth and breadth and meaning of all that God is if He does not want to be known
(3) God must show Himself to man in order for man to know God
(a) in nature
(b) in His written Word - the Bible
i) Jehovah is consistently the name used with revelation
ii) Thus saith the LORD
(c) ultimately, in the living Word - Jesus
It is like finding a friend playing Marco Polo. Explain invited to friend’s house, blindfolded in the pool. You would never find the person unless they responded. Only imagine you were in the pool looking but the other person was not even in the pool, or even on the planet. Without God’s help, we could never find Him, but He desires to be found. This is why God says trough the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 43:10 - Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us, and in His revelation, He has shown himself to also be...