In the previous blog, we discussed the history of the word LORD & YAHWEH. We learned where God first introduces his name to Moses and to the Israelites. In this blog, we will take a closer look into what the Israelites did afterwards and how it was translated into today’s current translation, LORD. We will also look at how this applies practically, to you.
Life After the Introduction to YAHWEH
After the Burning Bush, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promise Land. The Israelites wanted to honor God’s name. They did not want to speak it or even destroy written forms of His name. Instead of saying YAHWEH out loud, they would say Adonai. This was an ancient-Hebrew word for lord. In that instance, it was meant to be lower case. In the previous blog, we explored this more. For more detail, see part one of this blog. This way of honoring YAHWEH Name was continued from generation to generation. When YAHWEH was later translated, it was translated to the modern-day LORD. The Israelites were so concerned that someone may even accidently say this word, they came up with a visual reminder to say ADONAY. They created a word from two, existing words. They took the consonant letters of YAHWEH and the vowels of ADONAY to create YAHOWAH. However, they would not say YAHOWAH out loud. This was an aid to remind His people to say ADONAY. The consonant letters YHWH is where we get LORD.
To truly understand why this information applies to you and your relationship with God, is understanding blasphemy. Once you fully understand blasphemy, it will assist you in not committing it. Let’s first define blasphemy:
According to Merriam-Webster’s definition, blasphemy is:
“the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God”
That’s a pretty broad definition. Just insulting God is enough to commit blasphemy. So what’s insulting God? We can look at a few spots in the bible where blasphemy is happening.
Leviticus 24: 10-23. The story of Blasphemy and its penalty. This is a story of the son of an Israelite woman and Egyptian man. This man went into the camp (where the Israelites lived) and fought. During the fight he cursed the Name of God. This was blasphemy and a clear case of it. The punishment came during this passage too. They took this man to Moses. God then told Moses this man’s punishment. He was to be stoned to death. Pretty harsh for uttering a few words, but that’s it. God created you; he made you from nothing. Even when you choose to turn from God so many times, He still finds a way for your sins to be forgiven. God can see this man’s heart and everyone’s heart. This man may have had no remorse or no care.
Another example is in Isaiah 36. This story is where a foreign king questioned how can the LORD (YAHWEH) save His people (Isaiah 36:20). This foreign king was used to winning. He assumed this God was like every other god out there. That was a mistake. Further, in chapter 37, God delivered his people from this foreign king. This too, was blasphemy. Are we seeing a common theme yet? Let’s look into one last example.
Romans 2: 17-23, explains another form of blasphemy. Paul writes to the romans about law and how to keep it. Paul explains that those who know His law and still break His law, are blaspheming.
If you haven’t caught on yet, the common theme in these three examples is insulting God. God is our creator and He wants our love and commitment to Him. I won’t lie, God has a tall order for anyone. Being a man or woman after God’s heart is difficult, and it is impossible to be sinless. Actually, from the very start, we are all sinners; we are born from sin. That is why Jesus’ story is so amazing. He was born of a virgin. He lived a perfect life.
The Good News
You might look at these examples and want to run for the hills. Who wouldn’t? I know it’s a sin to hate someone, yet I have. It’s a sin to lust after someone, yet I have. No one is perfect. We don’t have to be. Jesus died for our sins. We just need to give our pain and struggles over to Jesus. I struggle with this more than anything. Not having control is hard, but I can’t save myself or save my family. Jesus is the only one who can save me and who can save you.
As I have stated before, I have found the inspiration from numerous sources. I want to ensure I credit the sources I have found when researching this topic. It is important to understand that these organizations are separate from CCAG. They may not do or say exactly what CCAG feel is right. These were merely sources and used for research purposes only.
The Bible Project