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I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of flurona. Yes, the year had hardly begun before the rare double infection of COVID and the flu was making headlines around the world—flurona!? And my reaction was: “what in God’s name, we don’t need another thing to deal with right now?!”
So I thought the expression, “what in God’s name”, a fitting title.
When someone uses that expression it’s usually to emphasize how angry, annoyed, or how surprised they are. However, I wanna put a spin on it (as I’m sure you’d expect if you’ve been following these posts for a while). I’d like to re-craft the expression to focus on what is IN God’s name that can get us through tumultuous times that triggers “what in God’s name?!” type of reactions.
First to recognize is that God’s identity is expansive. It is so vast, one title or name or descriptor is not sufficient to reveal to us the different parts of His character. However, whether it’s a descriptor of God as the God of peace or the God who provides, one element of His name remains constant—that is, He is Jehovah. So, today the focus will be on Jehovah.
Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” and “Lord”. The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or more specifically “to become known”. [Blue Letter Bible] I especially like this translation—“to become known”—because it denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.
Ever since the relationship between God/the creator and human/the created was severed (started way back by Eve and Adam), God has been on a mission to bring us/me back into relationship with Him. One of the ways He’s sought to do this is by revealing Himself to us.
Much like the nature of God that cannot be fully described in just one name, writing about it cannot be contained in only one post. So, the focus of this and the next few Shabbat Shalom posts will be on 7 of the names of God.
I chose these 7 names because they best describe the redemptive qualities God is revealing of Himself. Qualities that I think can help us discern the “new thing” God is doing to help us through these very specific times that we’re in.
[You may like to read New Thing]
All around the world is worry, sickness, lack, neglect, confusion, condemnation and fear. And in God is the antidote, He’s revealed it IN His name.
When there is:
Worry—Jehovah Shalom—is the God of Peace
Sickness—Jehovah Rapha—is the God who Heals
Lack—Jehovah Jireh—is the God who Provides
Condemnation—Jehovah Tsidkenu—is God our Righteousness
Neglect—Jehovah Nissi—is the God who is our Banner
Confusion—Jehovah Raah—is our Shepherd
Fear—Jehovah Shammah—the God who is There/Here
These 7 names will be the focus of upcoming posts. However, as I was preparing this week’s post in reflecting on Jehovah, two lessons were revealed that I’d like to share with you in concluding.
Lesson 1: If I desire to reveal me to myself, then I must first come to know who God is.
And in so doing I’ll be enabled to talk to myself differently about who I understand God to be in relation to who I see myself to be in Him. In the process, like beholding a mirror, I will see a revelation of His nature reflected in me as I’m changing.
Until we see and know ourselves as God sees and knows us, we will forever be seeking to find our needs and desires in someone else who sadly cannot fulfill those needs or desires. Get to know the God who is revealing Himself unceasingly, Jehovah, in order to know you! Because if we are to overcome the challenges without we must first conquer the challenges within.
Lesson 2: A caution not to confuse faith with “toxic positivity” or humanistic endeavors.
When we’re up against challenges, it is okay to not be okay. But, what is not okay is to sit in fear. The opposite of fear is faith. Exercising faith in God and in the power of the redemptive attributes of His character as we face challenges—such as worry, sickness, lack, neglect, confusion, condemnation or fear—shouldn’t be done in an attempt to take the challenges away, but rather to help us transform the way we relate to these challenges.
May you find peace in knowing Jehovah as the God who is unceasingly revealing Himself to you, and in the process may you find yourself and strengthen your faith.
See you next week as we embark on “what in God’s name?!” starting with a look at Jehovah Shalom, our God of peace.
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