The Name of God

Well if we want to learn about someone’s life, clearly we must get to know them closely. This is so as far as the life of God is concerned. The Lord Jesus says (John 17:3) “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”. How then do we come to know God, the great Almighty Creator of all things?

This vital question occupied the mind of Moses and he realized that in order to know God, one had to have a knowledge of His ways. In Exodus 33:13 it is recorded that Moses said unto the Lord, “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee.”

“If I have found grace in thy sight”. Moses acknowledges that God chooses who his will be (in v.19). With this in mind Moses asks to be shown God’s ways that he may thereby come to know Him. Now if we take the terms of Moses’ request and also those of divine response, we learn that God’s ways are His glory, and that this refers to God’s goodness. Furthermore all this – His ways, His glory and His goodness – constitute His Name.

Here then in this brief summary of God’s characteristics, is a proclamation of His Name – what He is known for – His glory, His ways, His goodness. There is an added attribute in v.14 of chapter 34 where we are told that “the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”. The actual Hebrew names that are used here (translated as “LORD” and “God” in the English) add an important dimension to what we are being told. It is not simply that this is what God is like (though that is true). This proclamation uses two Hebrew titles: “the Lord”(Hebrew: YAHWEH, meaning HE WHO WILL BE), “God” (Hebrew: MIGHTY ONES”). All in all it means WHO WILL BE MIGHTY ONES which are to manifest the characters shown to Moses.

Bro. Moses Dhlakama (Chipinge, Zimbabwe)

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