The Name of God
They shall call Me my Father and shall not turn away from Me – Jeremiah 3:19
God’s name, which is referred to as the “Tetragrammaton,” has been designated in several forms throughout the history of God’s written word.
God’s name was originally pronounced “Yahweh” from the four consonants of the Hebrew “YHWH.” This holy name was considered by the Jews to be too holy to pronounce, so in its place the words ‘Adonai,” meaning, Lord, or Elohim for God were used instead. The Latin word for God in the Vulgate is Dominus.
The name for God, “Jehovah,” was introduced in the late medieval period and is a combination of the consonants of “YHWH” and vowels that were added to it by the Masoretes translators of the Hebrew text.
When the name Jehovah was derived for use as God’s name, man was in a sense naming God. Is it proper for man to name God? Man was instructed by God to name the animals and everything that had been created by God, but God declared to Moses that He was the “I Am.” The original “YHWH” is believed to relate back to God’s declaration of His name to Moses in Exodus 3:14. God named Himself.
In Jeremiah 3:19, God tells us that He desires to be called ‘Father” and this is reiterated by the Lord Jesus. In His sermon on the mount Jesus refers to God as Father seventeen times. Therefore throughout the New Testament we see that God is called, “God the Father.”
In Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane He also calls His Father, “Abba,” a Hebrew word which is a more intimate form of Father. The English equivalent would be “Daddy” or “Papa”.
It is obvious from the Scriptures that God’s desire is for His people to call Him Father and to also relate to Him as a loving Father.
For those who have been abused by their earthly fathers it may be very difficult for some to relate to God as a father. So for these ones and all of us who may have misconceptions about who God really is, He sends another Child, a Son, the image and representative of our Father.
Jesus said, “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father,” John 14:9.
In Jesus’ life we see the Father, touching, healing, comforting and ministering His truth and parental correction through His Son. We can see Him gathering the children into His lap, smiling and laughing with them. We also see a just God with holy standards, yet filled with loving compassion. Then we see the willing sacrifice of one Son to save many sons and daughters.
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, 11 Corinthians 5:19.
And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty, 11 Corinthians 6:18.
Through Jesus, the Messiah, those things that have separated us from the intimacy of a loving parent/child relationship with the God of the universe, the sin stains on our little faces, hands and hearts are wiped away through faith in the death and resurrection of God’s Son, the image of the invisible 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.
Through this faith we are gradually transformed into the image of the holy Child Jesus, and with Him we can also call the God of the universe the name He desires to hear from the mouths and hearts of His children He loves so much.
So we come to Him with our prayers and needs, with our bruises and wounds for Him to comfort and heal, calling out in love and perfect trust, the holiest name there is for God; “Abba, Daddy, our Father”.
Copyright 2011 by H.D. Shively