|What do the names for God mean? IN the Hebrew Bible, God is El-Roy, El-Shadai, Eloheim and … Yahweh. Yahweh is of particular interest because it was the special name given to Moses at the burning bush. What is the meaning of this name? What does it mean that God revealed this name to Moses? How did Jesus use this name? These are the questions we will explore in the following Rest Stops.
REST STOP #1: The Sacred Name of God
God has many names in the Bible. In our English texts, the different names don’t stand out as much or strike us as odd; their meanings are hidden in a different language and time. “Jehovah Jireh” we sing during worship, and wonder what that really means. Or we say, “So what?” What’s the big deal?
Names were very significant in ancient times. Parents carefully chose names for their children, because names revealed the inner qualities and unique characteristics of the person. Later in life, a person might receive a new name as a result of some new accomplishment or new revelation from God. In some ancient cultures, names were so special that to know someone’s personal name was to know their secret source of strength or life. When people revealed their personal name to others, this was a very intentional step toward relationship. They made themselves almost vulnerable by revealing their true identity. To know someone’s name was to knowreally knowthat person.
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