We come to believe that there is more to life than us. We realize that there is a God, a creator, but then we come to the point of existence. Did the creator just reach back and pull the string to catapult this world into motion and back away to watch? Did he set things in motion and leave the creations on their own?
When we really read through the Bible, we see that is not the case. We learn in Genesis chapter 2 that the creator intended to interact with His creation. Interaction with humanity was not plan B, after the creatures screwed things up. Before sin entered the world, Genesis chapter 3, there was interaction and a relationship formed between created humanity and the creator, God.
An interesting introduction also happens in chapter 2 of Genesis. The details of chapter 1 are revealed. A description of the creator comes to life, it gets personal. I cannot put it into words any better than Francis does, to I am just going to quote it from Part IV of Multiply.
Something interesting happens when we move from Genesis 1 into Genesis 2. In chapter 1, God is referred to by the title “Elohim,” which simply means “God.” It’s a lot like referring to a person based on his or her title: “Doctor, Professor, President, King,” etc. But when we get to chapter 2, the name for God changes. Now He is referred to as “Yahweh Elohim,” which combines the title “God” with a personal name: Yahweh. (For good but complicated reasons, most English translations render Yahweh as the LORD (notice it’s in all caps).)
This is significant because God tends to use His personal name, Yahweh, when He is relating to His people in a personal way. God uses the name Yahweh when He enters into a covenant with His people. When God makes a covenant, He specifies what His relationship to His people will look like, makes them promises, and often charges them to be obedient in return. The personal name Yahweh is appropriate for this type of interaction.
Did you catch that? Have you ever noticed in your bible where there are the words Lord, all capitalized, LORD? Usually in my recollection, even in a smaller font. Yahweh. As one of our men illustrated, Elohim, like in an opening prayer; “Dear Lord”, but then Yahweh, as in father, daddy. It moves from title to relationship.
Now when I read in chapter 3 of Genesis this week, the capital LORD, Yahweh jumps right out to me and I have to intellectually put it into concept, “daddy, father, relationship God”. Not distant, title, subject, God.
I took the time to look up the term Yahweh and found an interesting new word spilled in, Tetragrammaton. What the heck? First Yahweh, now what? Well, you probably have seen it, but here are the details.
Yahweh – also Yah·veh or Jah·veh or Jah·weh – noun. A name for God assumed by modern scholars to be a convention for pronouncing the Tetragrammaton.
Tet·ra·gram·ma·ton – noun. (Christian Religious Writings / Bible) the Hebrew name for God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 3), consisting of the four consonants Y H V H (or Y H W H) and regarded by Jews as too sacred to be pronounced. It is usually transliterated as Jehovah or Yahweh Sometimes shortened to Tetragram
Yep, that is it. Most likely you have seen YHWH sometime or another. An now you know the four Hebrew letters comprising the name of a personal God as tetragrammaton.
This week and in the future when you run across the LORD, all capitalized to put the reading into context and make sure you put yourself into to the writings, that LORD is referring to that personal, father, daddy God. Not a distant, far off, creator God. When you read LORD know that He is engaged with you, is interacting with his creation. May you begin or further your own personal intimacy with your creator this week. Enjoy what the creator intended!