Intro: Moses was hesitant to return to Egypt to lead the people of Israel to freedom and asked God what he should say when they ask the name of the God who sent him to lead them – – God’s answer is a vital aspect of His nature, I AM.
A) There are a number of terms used to describe the divine creator, using an adjective with el, the Hebrew term for “God”, such as El-Shaddai, El-Elyon, El-Berith
B) Yet God wants His people to know His name, used 6823 times in OT
C) The four Hebrew letters – YHWH – are derived from the Hebrew verb, to be, and the name of God literally describes an eternal existence, using a concept that we can barely begin to understand
D) Solomon built the temple as a place for His Name –
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.
E) It is a permanent name, it is as forever as God’s existence
F) It is to be used, which is quite ironic that the Jews stopped using the name – – and we no longer know the proper pronunciation since we do not know which vowels to include with the consonants – Jehovah, or Yahweh being most common modern usages
who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?
G) Are we afraid to use the name of God; would we say, “Hallelujah”, if we knew that it includes this name of God; do we truly understand our relationship with Jehovah in Him giving His name?
A) God always is – – no mortal man can speak or make war against God and have any hope of success 1- God is eternally recognizable – – invisible attributes are clearly seen 2- God is eternally of great comfort – ; ;
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
B) God never changes – – He was not known as an eternal I AM to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because He did not fulfill His covenant with them until Moses – – our promise is fulfilled, even as we wait for the revealing
But the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’ ”
C) Do we worship the God who was, or who will be, but not the God who is?
A) Where does He not reign? – – Egypt?
B) Who will frustrate His purposes? – – Pharaoh?
C) What need can He not meet? – – slavery? –
Concl: What does it mean to “take God’s name in vain”? – – perhaps it includes the idea of foul language with God’s name, but more likely it is a lack of trust in the name.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.