William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
More frequently recently I see in the writings of others a purposeful refusal to spell out correctly the name of God. This originates in Jewish quarters, but is often employed by Protestant writers and others who may simply think it pious to so reference the Almighty. Perhaps that needs to be rethought. So, think with me for a minute!
When Moses met God at the burning bush in the Sinai desert, he asked Him His name so he could reply to his brethren in Egypt. God told him, “ ‘eheyeh mah ‘eheyeh” (I shall become Whom I shall become). “Tell the children of Israel that ‘eheyeh (the becoming one) sent me to you.” Exo. 3:14. Then in Exodus 6:3, God told Moses that His name was “Yehovah” (Jehovah) a slight variation of the same term used in Exodus 3, and has the same meaning. Now here is the point in all of this.
Men far afield of a right relationship with God think themselves to be showing due reverence to deity by not calling or writing His name. Both Jew and some gentiles will write “G – d” instead of “God.” In dealing with the name “Jehovah,” they will refer to the tetragrammaton (four letters) of yodh, he, waw, he, (the Hebrew letters of the name) instead of writing it out or saying it, to show their piety (supposedly) toward God, when they are far removed from His teachings.
The names of living entities are important. Moses and the people of his day recognized this. He asked God for His name because he knew his brethren would ask that up front. So, names should be employed as nearly correct as possible. Although I respond to names I may not care for, and are not commonly used to address me, I still prefer to have my name written or spoken correctly. Most everyone does. How much better then is it that the name of God should be written or spoken as correctly as possible. He did not reveal Himself in the Old Testament by about sixteen names by which He met the needs of His people simply to have them all ignored. misspelled, or misused. In the New Testament, His name is Jesus. That name came from heaven’s messenger because He would save His people from their sins, Matthew 1:21. So when referencing the Creator/Redeemer, call Him by His Holy Name and get it right. It is God, Jehovah, Jesus. To try to show piety by the misuse of His name is to underscore hypocrisy while adding insult to the Deity being referenced.


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  1. Interesting, that a small prayer group of ladies recently decided to use God’s names each time we meet. The first we did was El Shaddai, God Almighty. Last prayer meeting, we used El Elyon, Most High, Creator God. By using his various names helps us to know his character, like the God who provides for our needs, Jehovah-Jireh. Thanks for this post.


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