In ancient times, names were very important. People didn’t simply choose to give their child a name, because they liked the way it sounded. When the Jews named their children in biblical times, the names were usually given with a specific purpose in mind. Sometimes, the child was named after his father or perhaps another relative…
59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father.60 But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.”61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.” ~ Luke 1:59-61 — NASB ~
Many times the infant was named in obedience to a command from the Lord, and/or in order to convey a message…
12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”~ Luke 1:12-17 — NASB ~
We see in this scripture passage that Zacharias (also known as Zechariah), was commanded by an angel of the Lord to name is son (who hadn’t even been conceived yet), John, which means YHWH is gracious.As you can see from the scripture, the reason God blessed Zacharias and Elizabeth with their son, was to turn the hearts of the fathers in Israel back to their children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous. It seems that the Lord truly was gracious in sending John…
Knowing the importance the Hebrew nation placed on names, it is even more important to study the names of God. You see, God has many names, and each name describes one of the many aspects of His character… Therefore, today, we will look at this name of God…
In biblical times, during times of war, when warriors from other nations or tribes would come against the Jews, they would gather within a walled city or fortress, such as in Jerusalem. There would be watchers on the wall, keeping an eye out for impending danger, and at the first sign of danger, they would sound a loud trumpet, warning the people of the coming attack. Then, the walls of that mighty fortress would close, locking the people inside within its walls of safety. While the citizens were hidden within the fortress, the soldiers of Jerusalem would mount its walls, defending the people of Jerusalem.
Now, with this understanding, when we say the name of the Lord is a strong tower/fortress, we are saying that in God’s name, there is safety, and just as the soldiers on the wall protect the citizens within, so God protects us from the enemy’s attacks. Think about it, whenever we are in danger, we should call upon the name of the Lord, our mighty fortress, who protects His people from all harm…
Therefore, beloved readers, when you feel the storms of life crashing against you… when your worries and fears rage against you… when you feel as though all hope is gone, and you’re feeling helpless… call upon the name of the Lord… run quickly into the presence of your Strong Tower!
In the last post, we talked about the name of God, the one He gave to Moses… YHWH or Yud He Vav He, also spoken as Yud He Waw He. In this name, the Lord reveals so much about Himself to us… He reveals that He is the All-Sufficient God. He is everything we need and more… Now, I want to go a little deeper and share something else with you…
Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD 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 this is My memorial to all generations.'”
The Lord did not actually say that His name was LORD, or Adonai, as the Jews have recorded. In fact, no one knows any longer what His name is, because the Lord’s name, the one that He said would be His name forever, and would be a memorial to all generations, has allegedly been stripped of its vowels, leaving only the consonants, YHWH (in English), or Yud He Vav He (in Hebrew). Therefore, whenever you read the word LORD in your bible with the letter “L” capitalized, and the remaining letters written in small caps, that means the Yud He Vav He’s name was actually spoken or written there originally.
Now, why would anyone try to hide the Lord’s name, when He specifically said that it was His name forever, and that it would be a memorial to allgenerations?
However, this is not true. As a matter of fact, in this very commandment, YHWH’s name was used not only once, but twice. So, where does this tradition of hiding the name of God come from?
Apparently, this tradition of not writing YHWH’s name came about over time, as various rabbis after reading Deuteronomy 12, determined that another commandment was implied in this scripture passage…
1 Here are the laws and rulings you are to observe and obey in the land Adonai, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess as long as you live on earth. 2 You must destroy all the places where the nations you are dispossessing served their gods, whether on high mountains, on hills, or under some leafy tree. 3 Break down their altars, smash their standing-stones to pieces, burn up their sacred poles completely and cut down the carved images of their gods. Exterminate their name from that place.
4 “But you are not to treat Adonai your God this way. 5 Rather, you are to come to the place where Adonai your God will put His name. He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where He will live, and go there.
No one really knows when, but somewhere along the way, rabbis, scribes and priests decided to stop writing the name of God and to write Adonai instead of His name. This way, they figured, no one would run the risk of accidentally erasing His name from the scriptures.
How sad. Think of it — Moses, the one God spoke His name to, was the first to write the Lord’s name. As a matter of fact, knowing that people would see His name and read His name, and hear His name, Moses still chose to write the Lord’s name so that all might see it.
Let’s take it a step further… God wrote His name on the stone tablets, when He wrote the 10 Commandments, for all to see, after Moses broke the original stone tablets, (when the Israelites sinned and worshiped the golden calf).
Moshe was there with ADONAI forty days and forty nights, during which time he neither ate food nor drank water. [ADONAI] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words.
If the Lord had not wanted His name written or spoken aloud, He never would have revealed it and told Moses to speak His name, not only to the Jews, but to Pharaoh as well. Indeed, nothing in the Torah prohibited speaking the name of the Lord, and the Jews in ancient times used greet one another in the name of the Lord regularly and call upon His name. As a matter of fact, people called on the name of the Lord long before Moses learned the Lord’s name…
And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.~ Genesis 4:26 ~
He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and ‘Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of ADONAI.~ Genesis 12:8 ~
For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as ADONAI our God is, whenever we call on him?~ Deuteronomy 4:7 ~
Shimshon called to ADONAI, “Adonai ELOHIM, just this once, please, think of me, and please, give me strength, so that I can take revenge on the P’lishtim for at least one of my two eyes.” ~ Judges 16:28 ~
“Then, you, call on the name of your god; and I will call on the name of ADONAI; and the God who answers with fire, let him be God!” All the people answered, “Good idea! Agreed!”~ 1 Kings 18:24
As you can see, people called on the Lord by name from the most ancient times, and the Lord heard their cries and answered them. In fact, the Lord Himself encouraged people to call upon His name…
2 “Thus says ADONAI the maker, ADONAI who formed [the universe]
so as to keep directing it — ADONAI is his name:
3 ‘Call out to me,
and I will answer you —
I will tell you great things,
hidden things of which you are unaware.’”
Knowing that the Lord Himself wants His people to call upon His name, makes what happened all the more difficult to understand. However, by the time of the Talmud, some rabbis proclaimed that it was sinful to write or even speak His name aloud, or else the person who did so would have no place in the World to Come. Is it any wonder the Lord Jesus spoke so harshly to the Pharisees?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.~ Matthew 23:15 ~
Sadly, through the years, because the Jews stopped writing the name of the Lord, and because they were afraid to speak His name anymore, the Lord’s name was forgotten. Indeed, Jesus even had to teach His disciples the name of the Lord…
“I made Your name known to the people You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. ~ John 17:6 ~
I made Your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I Myself may be united with them.~ John 17:26 ~
Hallelujah! Our heavenly Father wants His children to know His name and to call upon His name. Jesus knew that, and so He made Yud He Vav He’s name known to His disciples.
Although the pronunciation of our heavenly Father’s name has been lost, we can still pronounce the letters of His name that are left to us… YHWH (Yud He Vav He)…
The image above are the Hebrew letters, YHWH. It is read from right to left, and it is the name of the Lord. It is pronounced Yud Hey Vav (or Waw) Hey. Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to pray to Yud He Vav He and to call upon His holy name and see His response to your prayers. There is power in praying, crying and calling upon Yud He Vav He.
Would you like to know a little more about Yud He Vav He and the power of His name? The image above is the Lord’s name, using letters from the modern Hebrew alphabet. The image below shows the ancient Hebrew writing of the Lord’s name — the one used by Moses and the Old Testament writers, and it is here, in these ancient letters, that we truly get a glimpse of the power of God’s holy name…
Remember, that Hebrew is read from right to left, and so was ancient Hebrew. Therefore, if you look at the first letter, “Yud”, you see an image that looks like a hand attached to an arm. The next letter in the pictogram is the letter He (pronounced Hey), and this figure looks like someone is saying, “Hey!” or “Behold!” So what you see so far is “Hand — behold!” The next letter resembles a tent peg or a nail, followed by “Behold” again.
Therefore, when you put the letters all together, you see Hand — Behold! Nail — Behold! We see here in the Lord’s name, the name that we are to call upon, a picture of Christ’s hands with a nail in them. Is that not powerful? Just seeing this is evidence that Yud He Vav He, by His very name, had planned the crucifixion of Christ, from eternity. Such wisdom and love is far beyond our scope of knowledge.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I urge you and encourage you to call upon the name of Yud He Vav He in Yeshua’s name, Then watch and see how He will move on your behalf…
Yud He Vav He, thank You for the power and the revelation of Your Holy name. Thank You for entrusting Your name to Your children who love You. Thank You for the hope and the promise that is in Your name, Yud He Vav He, and we ask You to speak to the hearts of the men, women and children in our lives, in Yeshua’s name. Amen.
What’s in a name? Why and how do people choose names for their children, and what does it say about the one who names and the one who is named?
In New Testament times, the Jews gave their children family names, unless the Lord gave them a different name…
59 When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father.60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
61 “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” 62 So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. 63 He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.
In many cultures, the name given to the baby reflected their environment and the circumstances involved in the child’s birth. In still other cultures, the names reflect the parents’ hopes for their children, or something descriptive of the child.
Names are important. A good name can bless a person for life, while a bad name can ruin a person’s life. As important as a good name is to a man, long before man existed, there was One whose name embodies all that is good and all that ever will be good. In fact, Jesus, the One who was without sin, said this about Him…
“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him.“Only God is truly good.”
The Lord God has many names, and each one describes His character. Today, I want to focus on one of God’s names — the name He gave to Moses (Moshe), when he asked who he should tell the people of Israel whom should he say sent him…
14 God said to Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be],” and added, “Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: ‘Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.’” 15 God said further to Moshe, “Say this to the people of Isra’el: ‘Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [Adonai], the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak and the God of Ya‘akov, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after.
I chose to use the scripture above from the Complete Jewish Bible, because it is the closest translation to what the Lord actually spoke to Moshe (Moses). “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be].”There’s such power in this statement. In that short sentence, God is telling Moses…
“I am what I am… Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!” ~ John 8:58 ~
I will be what I will be… “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord God. “I am the One Who Is, Who Always Was, and Who Is Still to Come—the Almighty One.” ~ Revelation 1:8 ~
I am the All-Sufficient One… And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 ~
I am Enough for you… But now this is what Adonai says, He who created you, Ya‘akov, He who formed you, Isra’el: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched — the flame will not burn you. ~ Isaiah 43:1-2 ~
I am All you will ever need… Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ~ Psalm 73:25-26 ~
I am your Everything… Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. ~ Colossians 1:15-17 ~
I am Life to you… Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. ~ John 11:25 ~
I am your Protector… In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. ~ Psalm 4:8 ~
I am your Deliverer… And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ~
I am your Healer… And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. ~ Acts 10:38 ~
I am your Reason for living… The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1 ~
I am your Hope… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… ~ 1 Peter 1:3 ~
I am the Source of all you need… Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. ~ Jeremiah 33:3 ~
I am your Keeper… The Lord is your Keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. ~ Psalm 121:5 ~
I am Almighty… God raised up the Lord, and He will raise us up too by His power. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:14 ~
I am All-Knowing… 1 O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. ~ Psalm 139:1-4 ~
I am All-Seeing… Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. ~ Hebrews 4:13 ~
I am With you… Don’t you know that you people are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16 ~
I am your Peace… Now may the Lord of shalom Himself give you shalom always in all ways. The Lord be with all of you. ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ~
I am a Mighty Warrior… The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17 ~
I am your Joy… Adonai is my strength and shield; in Him my heart trusted, and I have been helped. Therefore my heart is filled with joy, and I will sing praises to Him. ~ Psalm 28:7 ~
I am the Way… Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. ~ John 14:6 ~
I am your Rock… Adonai is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer, my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter, my shield, the power that saves me, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2 ~
I am Holy… The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” ~ Revelation 4:8 ~
I am Righteous… For the goal at which theTorah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts. ~ Romans 10:4 ~
I am Merciful… Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. ~ Lamentations 3:22 ~
I am your Comfort… 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ~
I am Just… He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8 ~
I am Patient… The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. ~ 2 Peter 3:9 ~
I am Slow to Anger… ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ ~ Numbers 14:18 ~
I am Forgiving… 37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” ~ Luke 6:37-38 ~
I am your Salvation…” 11 “This Yeshua is the stone rejected by you builders whichhas become the cornerstone.12 There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!” ~ Acts 4:11-12 ~