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1. Introduction

In this study, we will start to look at the first names of Yahweh found in the Old Testament. As we continue towards the study of Father God (Paterology), so far, we have seen the following truths about Him:

  • The Trinity are the Pre-Existing Ones.
  • Our heavenly Father’s original plan was to have sons and daughters.
  • God lives inside of His creation (but can choose to live outside of creation).
  • He lives inside of time (but can choose to live outside of time).
  • Yahweh/Elohim is relational with man, in the same way a father is relational with man.
  • God is covenant-keeping, and therefore relational.
  • He can change His mind except if it breaks the covenant.

Now, we are going to look at more attributes of Yahweh. Some teach that we need to call God Yahweh, YHWH, or Jehovah. We will see over this lesson- that is unnecessary. Interestingly, Jesus did not teach us to pray; “Our Yahweh, who is in heaven”!

 

2. What’s in a Name:

A. Biblical Names Have Meanings: 

Hundreds of times in the Bible, names reflect a particular character that the parents want their child to have.


B. Names Do Not Describe Everything About a Person:

Some teach that we must call God Yahweh. Others are horrified that we spell the name Yahweh rather than YHWH. Others have become so religious that they will write G_d, claiming we are “wrong” because “God” is a deity’s name and not the original name if we don’t. Yet we found that God even called Himself Elohim, which means a deity in Genesis 1:1.

Just like my name Neville means New village (which is very accurate of my breakthrough and church planting grace), that does not define who I am as a total person:

  • I am a blood father to three children, and I am a spiritual father to hundreds worldwide;
  • Also, I am a husband to one woman.
  • Then I am a preacher,
  • a veterinarian,
  • a flight captain,
  • I am a revivalist,

so my name only represents a small part of me.

It is the same with Yahweh. You will remember from the previous study that Yahweh means “I am who I say I am”. In other words, “Don’t put me in a box; I will reveal myself to you through many different attributes”.

 

3. Yahweh to be a Name for All Generations:

A. Primary Name.

When God identified Himself with the name of Yahweh to Moses, He said this primary name was to be a memorial for all generations.

Moreover, God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

Exodus 3:1

B. The Name Yahweh is Still Relevant.

Yahweh is the primary name of God as revealed to man and applies today. However, as we progress through this series of studies, we will find that we can call Him ‘Father’ under the New Covenant.


C. The New Covenant Name:

Under the New Covenant, the primary name of Yahweh becomes Father, and He is now able to be known as a Father.

 

4. Descriptors of Yahweh:

A. His Attributes:

Yahweh wants to show His attributes because they are who He is, so as sons and daughters of God, these attributes become ours. (e.g. YHWH Jireh is God OUR Provider).


B. We Are His Children:

Under the New Covenant, we are now heirs of God.

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ …

Romans 8:17
 

5. Old Testament Names of Yahweh: Jireh (God, Our Provider):

A. He Will See To It.

When we call upon His Name Yahweh Jireh – He will see to it.
Yahweh Jireh means He who Pre-Existed before creation ‘will see to it!’ 


B. The Law of First Mention:

The Law of First Mention teaches us Scriptures weigh heavy the first time mentioned.

We first read Jahweh Jireh’s name when Abraham offers up Isaac as a sacrifice.

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided.

Genesis 22:14

C. The Gift of a Substitute.

God provided Abraham with a gift, so Isaac did not need to die. Abraham was the primary beneficiary –  the man who made a covenant with God:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

D. The Free Gift of Grace.

Under the New Covenant as our Father, He still provides everything we need through His gift – grace. The context of this scripture is the financial provision:

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8

 

6. Old Testament Names of Yahweh: Rapha (God, Our Healer)


A. He is Our Healer.

We need to understand that Yahweh Rapha’s name does not describe how powerful God is- that He can heal. He is saying that He is OUR healer.


B. Insight of a Rabbi.

Rabbi’s tell us that the word PUT is essential to understanding this scripture:

and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am Yahweh Rapha who heals you.”

Exodus 15:26

C. Divine Health:

The use of the word PUT; indicates that this is not just a promise of healing but divine health.
There is a proviso on this; that IF you follow the Lord…
For this reason, Hebrew scholars have explained this passage as follows: 

If you follow me, then I will give you divine health. However if you follow false gods resulting in sicknesses come upon you, THEN I will heal you from your sicknesses.


D. The Covenant Promise.

God then sealed it with a covenant promise that would later come through Jesus Christ:

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5


E. Matthew Explains it More Clearly:

When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”

Matthew 8:16-17

 For further teaching, see Healing is in the Atonement.


7. Summary:

A. Nature of God 101 Old Testament Revelation of God:
  • The Trinity are the Pre-Existing Ones.
  • Our heavenly Father’s original plan was to have sons and daughters.
  • God lives inside of His creation (but can choose to live outside of creation).
  • He lives inside of time (but can choose to live outside of time).
  • Yahweh/Elohim is relational with man, in the same way father is relational with man.
  • God is covenant-keeping, and therefore relational.
  • He can change His mind except if it breaks covenant..
B. Nature of God 102: Old Testament Names of Yahweh:

In this lesson, we have learnt:

  • His Old Testament primary name is Yahweh (we will see that this is no longer His primary name later on).
  • All descriptors (eg Rapha) are related to us, not God.
  • He is our provider (Yahweh Jireh).
  • He is our healer (Yahweh Rapha).

The following study in the series is Five Further Attributes of Yahweh, where we learn other names attached to Yahweh.

 

© Use by Permission. Awakening Impact Ministries/ Dr Neville van Eerten 2022