11/18/18 - Those Who Know Your Name...
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, and those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalms 9:9,10)
In this Psalm of David, the king praises Yahweh (often in our English Bibles as “the LORD”), for His great works, deliverance from Israel’s enemies, and His watchful care. In verses 9 and 10, David makes a distinction between the Israelites and the Gentile nations and distinguishes the Hebrews as those who know God’s name.
At what point in time we are not sure, but the exact pronunciation (and exact vowels in the spelling) of the name of God (YHWH) has been lost. It is thought that this came from some of the Jewish legalists who stopped using the name of God in their reading of the scriptures and replaced the name of God with “the Lord” lest they violate the commandment against taking the name of Yahweh, Thy God in vain. Their convoluted logic said that to avoid taking His name in vain, they would not speak His name at all. This had become a common practice before 200 B.C. Consequently, the name of God was essentially lost by the very people who should have known Him best.
While some picture Yahweh as One who is always out to punish people for the most nuanced infraction or One who is so awesomely great that He is unreachable, Yahweh has always wanted intimate fellowship with us who are made in His very image (Genesis 4:26). He wants us to know Him (Philippians 3:9,10) and to call on His name (not just a euphemism for His name). This is no excuse for any form of disrespect whatsoever, but rather to honor His holy name, Yahweh.
We live in a world today where there is a growing lack of knowledge of the one true and living God. It used to be that when you mentioned “God” in our society, everyone knew who you were talking about. Today, people ask, “Which god?” Are we becoming more like the heathen world that does not know who the real God is? Are we becoming more like the Jews of old who lost some of the knowledge of God through their religious traditions replacing the pure knowledge of Yahweh and His word? It is time for us to shine the light on the God, the Creator, who is very much alive, who has never relinquished His power, and wants us to call upon His name.
More on the name of “the Lord” next week.