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Wondering What to Believe?

  1. Does Nature Give Proof of God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  2. Can I Hear God's Voice?
    8 Digging Deeper
  3. Who is God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
    8 Digging Deeper
  5. Can I Trust the Bible?
    7 Digging Deeper
  6. Is there a Right and Wrong?
    7 Digging Deeper
  7. Why Does God Allow Evil?
    9 Digging Deeper
  8. Who Am I?
    7 Digging Deeper
  9. What is the Meaning of Life?
    7 Digging Deeper
  10. Does God Love Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 3, Digging Deeper 5
In Progress

The Truth of God’s Nature.

God gave his name to Moses at the burning bush when he said, “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:13-15). This is translated from the Hebrew word “YHWH” which with the vowels supplied by the reader is “Yahweh,” a name for God that appears in the Old Testament 6,823 times. The Hebrew verb “havah” means “to be” or “being.” This indicates that God is the absolute self-existent One who in himself alone possesses essential life. “I am” is present tense. God is always “I am” because he is always eternally present. The present tense includes all that is in the past, all that is in the present and all that will be in the future.

The Hebrew word is transliterated (to change letters or words of one language into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language) as “Jehovah” in the American Standard Version (ASV) and a few times in the King James Version (KJV). Most other English translations translate “Yahweh” as “LORD” in capitals (note the capital letters) to distinguish it from another Hebrew word “Adonai,” also translated as “Lord” but in lower case letters.

The people of God in the Old Testament used the name “Yahweh” (Jehovah) in word combinations describing how God was acting in the events of their lives. It is spiritually strengthening to study God and his activities in these contexts:

“Jehovah-Elohim” (Genesis 2:4). Translated as “LORD God” in KJV and ESV, and as “Jehovah God” in ASV.

“Jehovah-jireh” (Genesis 22:14, KJV and ASV). Translated as “The LORD will provide” in the ESV and other translations).

“Jehovah-rophe” (Exodus 15:26). Translated “I am the LORD that heals you” in the ESV and others).

“Jehovah-nissi” (Exodus 17:15, KJV and ASV). Translated as “The LORD is my Banner” in ESV and others).

“Jehovah-M’Kaddesh” (Leviticus 20:8). Translated as “I am the LORD who sanctifies you (sets you apart)” in KJV, ASV, ESV and others.

“Jehovah-shalom” (Judges 6:24, KJV and ASV). Translated as “The LORD is Peace” in ESV and others.

“Jehovah-tsidenu” (Jeremiah 23:5-6). Translated as “The LORD is our Righteousness” in ESV and others.

“Jehovah-rohi” (Psalm 23:1). Translated as “The LORD is my shepherd” in KJV and ESV and as “Jehovah is my shepherd” in the ASV.

“Jehovah-shammah” (Ezekiel 48:35). Translated as “The LORD is There” in KJV, ASV, ESV.

The video shows us that God in his nature is far, far beyond us and is powerful, awesome, loving, patient and good. He is not human because he, unlike us, is immortal, eternal, perfect, pure, righteous, truthful and promise-keeping. His attributes determine what he does and how and why he gets involved with our lives. He acts in our time-space history. He is fully aware of our needs and situations. He cares about us. He is touched by our pain and suffering and he works to do something about it. At the burning bush, God said to Moses,

I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, . . . behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:4-10)

In his first letter, the Apostle John says that “God is love” (I John 4:8, 16). God expresses his love by seeking our best and saving and serving us. God loved us before we knew he existed. His love for us teaches us to love one another. Whoever loves the Father must also love his children. John writes,

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (4:7-11, NIV)

The great, active and giving love of God for us models how we are to love one another. John explained,

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (3:16-18)

What this means is that “God talk” is not just “talk” about a far away, uninvolved, isolated, and uncaring deity. The God revealed in the Bible is a personal God who loves us, cares for us, reveals himself to us and is involved in our lives. We are to love one another the way that he loves us (John 15:12). We are to be “God-like” in the way we live with others. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Paul encouraged believers to live like this when he wrote, “Let all that you do be done in love” (I Corinthians 16:14).