Yah, Yahweh – Lord – Ann Spangler, Christianity.com Blogs
The name Yahweh appears more than 6,800 times in the Old Testament. It appears in every book except Esther, Preacher, and the Song of Songs. As the holy, personal name of the God of Israel, it was only spoken aloud by priests who prayed in the Jerusalem temple. After the temple was destroyed in 70, the name was not pronounced. Instead, Adonay was substituted for Yahweh whenever it appeared in the biblical text. Because of this, the correct pronunciation was eventually lost. English editions of the Bible usually translate Adonay as "Lord" and Yahweh as "Lord".
Fearful of desecrating this covenant name of God, various rabbinical writers spoke of "the name," "the great and terrible name," "the ineffable name," "the indescribable name," "the holy name," and "the distinguished name. "Also known as the Tetragrammaton, because it is formed from the four Hebrew consonants YHWH (JHVH in German), it was first depicted as Jehovah in the Middle Ages and anchored as such in the King James version of the Bible ; Psalm) 83:18; Isaiah 12: 2; 26: 4) This mispronunciation arose in the tenth century when Jewish scholars began to vowel Hebrew words that were previously written without them Text always replaced Yahweh (pronounced yah-WEH, as scholars now think), the Hebrew vowels for Adonay were inserted into the four letters of the Tetragrammaton: YaHoWaH.
Unfortunately, the translation "LORD", which is more of a title than a name, obscures the personal nature of that name for God. Although the meaning of Yahweh is controversial, the mysterious self-description in Exodus 3:14, "I am who I am," can not only convey the feeling that God himself exists, but that He is always present with his people. Yahweh is not a god who is distant or distant, but one who is always near and sometimes intervenes in history on behalf of his people. The ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna in the desert – all this and more – were mighty acts that revealed him as a god of great faithfulness, holiness, compassion and power.
Pray to the Lord
Sometimes we long for a God who is less complicated than the God of the Bible, someone who behaves with our own middle class values and attitudes – a kind God who always acts with great kindness and tenderness and who judges in favor of mercy anticipates. But such a god would never have brought his people out of Egypt. They would never have made it across the Red Sea, through the desert, and into the promised land. They would have remained enslaved in their misery.
Life in the desert is difficult. There is not enough to eat, very little water. Less than two months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites had already forgotten the miracles God had performed for them. Some of them complained, saying they preferred slavery in Egypt to wandering the wasteland. Then came the worst offense of all – they chose other gods to guide them and forged an idol to worship. We know what happened. The punishment was quick and severe. God killed the unfaithful, eliminated those who tried to convince his people to return to Egypt, and repeated the lie that slavery is better than freedom.
So these acts also define who Yahweh is – a holy God with a holy purpose for his people. He wants to free them not only from Egypt, but also from sin and death, from their temptation to live as slaves. We see a similar line later in Exodus, this time in the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers. Even so, Yahweh the Lord is with Joseph in the midst of shame and unrighteous captivity. Hear what Genesis 39: 2 says, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.” God used the tragic elements of Joseph's story to protect the lives of His chosen people.
It's the same with us. Our bondage takes many forms – greed, gluttony, lust, envy, pride – all poison to our souls. And our temptation is to react just as the Israelites did when they wandered the desert. "It's too hard. You're going to kill me. I want to go another way." But God is faithful. He doesn't give up. Instead, he stays with us and leads us to greater freedom if we trust him. Let us trust him.