WHAT IS IN A NAME?
Exodus 6:1 – 8
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a popular reference to William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family's rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named "Montague". The reference is often used to imply that the names of things do not affect what they really are. This formulation is, however, a paraphrase of Shakespeare's actual language. Juliet compares Romeo to a rose saying that if he were not named Romeo he would still be handsome and be Juliet's love. This states that if he were not Romeo, then he would not be a Montague and she would be able to get married with no problem at all.
However, God, when he was going to bring about the deliverance of the Nation of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, he wanted to be known by a very special and precise name that would make him distinct from all and any other god. So much so, that he listed it as one of the supreme moral commands for them. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD in vain” Ex. 20:7.
The translators of the King James Bible had no other option but to put this phrase in it specific format. However, this name is used 6,518 times. It is identified by the term “LORD”. Note that, all the letters are capitalized. It is only transliterated 7 times. four times by itself and three times with special significance. “Jehovah Jireh” – The LORD will provide Gen. 22:14; “Jehovah Nissi” – The LORD has sworn Ex. 17:15; and “Jehovah - Shalom”- The LORD is peace.
Here in Exodus 6:1 - 8 and 3:14 He give us the meaning and significance of this name and the reason it should be known differently in contrast with all the other names for God.
In Exodus 3:14 when Moses is first commanded to go back to Egypt to tell the people that their God has sent him to deliver them, he says to God that they are going to ask him “What is his name?” In reply God says, “I AM THAT I AM” tell them “I AM has sent me.” In the next verse he attaches it to the “God of their Fathers, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob” and explain that it will be his name for them forever.
What this phrase means is that God – IS, and that he is Self-existence and Self determinant and Eternal. The phrase “I AM” is actually verb meaning to be – or become, but because of the phrasing t is given as a noun meaning “I Exist and will always Exist.” Now travel forward to chapters ix where God takes the phrase “I AM THAT I AM” and combines the letter to form the name “JEHOVAH” or “YAHWEH.” But the amazing things that he does is he attaches it to the covenant that he had made to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. So, the Self – Existing, Self – Determining and Eternal God becomes a covenant keeping God. He attaches to this covenant seven specific promises that he is going to do for them: 1. “I will bring you out” vs. 6. 2. “I will rid you out of their bondage.” 3. “I will redeem you.” 4. “I will take you to me for a people” vs. 7. 5. “I will be to you God.” 6. “I will bring you into the land which I swear” s. 8. 7. “I will give it ou for you for a heritage.”
This name of God is to be forever associated with his promises and that he is the same God that rules over the earth. Psalms 83:18 states “That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] JEHOVAH, [art] the highest over all the earth.” The God over all the earth is self – existing, self-determining, eternal and covenant keeping. If he fails in one promise to Israel, then he would not be God. God reminds them constantly that it is for his “Name Sake.” It says in Psalms106:8 “Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.”
It would be best for us to know that the God of our Salvation is the Jehovah of Israel, that keep his promises and that places his name on the line if he fails to do what he says. Most importantly, Jesus identified himself as the Jehovah of the Old Testament when he said in the Gospel of John that he was the “I AM.” He says in John 8:58 “Before Abraham was “I AM” and the Jews took up stones to stone him, because he being a man made himself God. His name is attached to our forgiveness of sin (Matt. 1:21; Acts 13:38). His name is attached to our adoption as son (John 1:12) His name is attached to our sustenance for life (John 6:51). His name is attached to our eternal relationship with God (John 17:3). His name is attached to our purpose of suffering (1 Peter 4:16).
The name Jehovah and the name Jesus are the names of our God that we should hold in reverence and honor and remember the covenant they have made with us lest we fail to represent them in this evil world.
What is the name of your God? Does the name of your God limit your associations? Have there been an occasion where you have failed to take a stand for the name of your God?