Jehovah (Yahweh) – I am: The One Who is Self-Existent

If I was forced to pick my favorite name for God, it would have to be Jehovah. For me this name proves that the powerful creator Elohim (we studied last week) is also the God who intentionally, fervently and relentlessly pursues an intimate relationship with us, His children. Not only does He continuously initiate a relationship with us, He faithfully stays with us, no matter what. He will never leave us or change His mind about us. Even if we are unfaithful to Him, make excuses or walk away He chooses us and calls us His own. This name also reveals His power, far exceeding our human limitations and the seemingly chaotic circumstances that surround our lives. His sovereignty and supreme control over everything that touches our lives is beautifully displayed through this name.

Jehovah and Yahweh can be used interchangeably. The Hebrew language has no vowels so when this name of God is translated to English both Jehovah and Yahweh represent the same Hebrew word. Jehovah is the self- existent One; He is not dependent on anyone or anything else. He has always existed and He always will. Yahweh is His personal name, the name He calls Himself. It is derived from the root hayah meaning “He continues to reveal Himself.” Jehovah is used 6,823 in the Old Testament, making it the most frequently used name for God. He never changes and His promises to His children never fail.

I pray that the following passages encourage your heart as you reflect with me on His passion for you revealed through His name Jehovah!

1) His Name Jehovah Reveals His Relentless Pursuit of You:

Gen. 2:4-7 This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land. Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

This passage starts with a statement that concludes the creation account. Then, right in the middle of verse four we see a shift from God (Elohim) to LORD God which is the English translation of Jehovah or Yahweh. Do a quick check for yourself and you will see that every mention of God in Genesis chapter one and chapter two leading up to verse four refer to God as Elohim, the Creator. But here, just before the detailed description of man’s relationship with LORD God (and the creation of woman) we see God’s name change. He changes His name to Jehovah, revealing His desire to be in an intimate, personal relationship with His created ones.

Just as Jehovah walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3:8-9), He longs to enjoy a relationship with you - face to face through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jehovah is the relationship seeking, covenant keeping LORD God. His desire is for you to experience Him as the Good Father He is. He will never stop pursuing you, no matter what you choose or how far you run.

In Genesis chapter three Adam and Eve choose to eat the forbidden fruit from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They willfully disobeyed the one command LORD God had given them for their own protection. As a result they were exiled from the Garden of Eden because they could not know everything (as God does) and live forever.

A powerful, tangible display of Jehovah’s ongoing pursuit of mankind is found in Genesis 3:21, right before they were ushered out of the Garden of Eden. The LORD God made clothing from animal skin to cover their nakedness. What a beautiful display of His mercy and grace! Jehovah didn’t respond to their sin in anger, throwing them out of Eden in disgust. He lovingly extended Himself to them, knowing that for the first time they were afraid and consumed with shame. Jehovah pursued a relationship with Adam and Eve, even when they were hiding from Him. He sacrificed an animal to craft clothing for them. He covered them in their sin foreshadowing the atonement for our sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.