Jehovah, A Name We Should Use Or Not?

Centuries ago the Jews began removing the name from their scriptures believing the name was too holy to be repeated. Christians took up the same practice in their copies. But was it the right choice?

Over the many manuscripts that exist, most of which was written before this decision was made, the scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) had around 7,000 entries of what is known as the tetragrammaton. The tetragrammaton is 4 Hebrew letters that stand in for God’s name. In Hebrew vowels were often left out of words but the meaning was still there. Example, I could write wtr and you would probably get water. Better still if I wrote I need wtr, it would be even clearer. It’s like those different posts you see online where things are written backwards or with numbers in place of some letters and yet you can still read it.

Now in some cases, such as with the tetragrammaton, we don’t have any idea what those vowels are. So it’s there a lot, but we don’t know how to say it. But keep in mind we don’t know how to say Jesus’ name either, or many others in the Bible. Do we stop using their names?

Another thing to consider, how do we get to have a close relationship with someone if we don’t know their name? And in the case of Jehovah, since His name is so full of meaning, isn’t it important to know and use it?

I came across a scripture this week that really hit home for me. In most Bibles it is going to say LORD, but originally it was the tetragrammaton, it’s found at Exodus 3:15 where it reads, “Then God said once more to Moses:
“This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” Of course the key to this is two fold. First, originally, it says his name is “Jehovah.” (the tetragrammaton) And second it says, “this is my name forever and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

So surely if Jehovah had his name written down so many times, we pronounce other names we do not actually know, and we want to have a relationship with Him, then doesn’t it make sense to use his name. Make your relationship with Him personal. He knows your name, and he wants you to know His.

God’s Justice

A lot going on in the world that makes us question the justice of man. Of course George Floyd was the tipping point, but there was much before that. I won’t talk about government policy or protests, I remain neutral, though that sounds completely wrong from what I mean. I just don’t try to change human government because I know that whatever humans try to accomplish, and many of them are well meaning, they fail due to their own imperfection and the imperfection of others. Imperfect people create imperfect governments. The Bible says, “All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm.” That is found in Ecclesiastes 8:9. This I think we can all agree on right now, and in history as well.

What I do want to talk about is God, who’s name is Jehovah (Psalm 83:18), and his justice. For starters let’s consider that God has a kingdom, or government, that will eventually rule over the earth as in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) The king of that government is God’s son Jesus. When things happen like they are happening now Jehovah feels our pain. When George Floyd was trapped under the knee of that officer Jehovah was crying for him. A good scripture to show that is Isaiah 63:9, “…During all their distress it was distressing to him.”

When it comes to God and his justice there are just too many scriptures to list how his justice is perfect. Justice is in fact one of his cardinal qualities. But here are some: Deut. 10:17,18, 32:4, Psalm 7:17, 9:7, 33:5, 37:28, 89:14, 97:2, and I could (and did) go on! But of course we wonder as did the prophet Habakkuk, how long??? (Hab. 1:1-4) Jesus answered that question at Matthew 24:36, “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father.” Okay, that didn’t help much did it? It makes you think it could be forever away…or maybe there is a way to know it is very close at hand?

To discover how close or far away it is Jesus left us some prophecies to help. I would encourage you to peruse the following scriptures and see if you think the “last days” are very close. Matthew 24:4-14, Mark 13:5-10, Luke 21:8-12 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5. When you read these scriptures ask yourself, “Am I seeing this today?” That will answer how close we are to Jehovah’s justice.

When that justice comes, the unrighteous and the wicked will be swept away by Armageddon and those left will walk into a world ready to be made into a paradise and fulfill God’s original purpose. But how do we get there. With that I can only say, study your Bible! And get help in studying your Bible. (Acts 8:26-31)

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Israel: The Division of the Land; Joshua Chapters 13-19

This is one of the tough sections to read in my opinion. So many names that are very difficult to pronounce. When I read the Bible I try to engage myself as much as possible. I read out loud, so that is speech and hearing and then of course I am looking at the words. It is so tempting to start skipping names, I mean really what does this have to do with me? Well, today I figured it out.

For Jews it is very important to keep track of their history and heritage. In Joshua’s time on through to Jesus’ day they kept track because that would help lead to finding the Messiah. But even after all their records were lost in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. (A.D.) they kept up the records best as they could. In fact, before the internet and ancestry.com, if you wanted to try and trace your history one of the best places to go was to a temple or synagogue!

But as a Christian there is a great deal of meaning for me today! It shows how God, or Jehovah (God’s personal name; Ps. 83:18) acts. For example, the tribe of Simeon’s allotment was placed inside the borders of Judah. Why? Judah had more than they needed. So to keep things fair it was lessened by giving some to another tribe. So Jehovah is fair. Everyone gets their fair share. How wonderful! But still what does that have to do with us?

Many people don’t realize this, but the Bible teaches of a time when only righteous people (past and present) will live on the earth. And the earth will be a paradise, just as it began. Well, enough for me to say it, but better if the Bible does the talking here.

Earthly paradise proofs:

  1. Righteous people on earth: Ps. 37:10,11
  2. Paradise: No death, Rev. 21:4; No sick, Isa. 33:24; No blind or lame, Isa. 35:5,6; A resurrection, Jn. 5:28,29; No hunger, Ps. 72:16; Animals get along, Isa. 11:6, 65:25.
  3. These promises will come true. Why, they were what Jehovah promised in the beginning and God doesn’t change. Nu. 23:19, Malachi 3:6.

Now back to my original question, how does the account in Joshua affect us? Because what Jehovah originally purposed was an earth full of righteous people in paradise conditions, and because we can bank on that, there will come a time when we will have our own home on our own land. Jehovah will no doubt divvy up that land up in a fair way and I would count on our own desires being taken into account as well. Me personally, I want to live in the mountains. But, wherever he puts me I know he will have looked into my heart and it will be where I will be happiest.

So yes it is hard to read the names of those people and those cities, but it does help me keep in mind that when the earth is rid of all badness what we get will be good and fair for us.

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What it Means to Me to Be One of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Community, no let me change that to family. We are all over the world. We are unified in our beliefs, we support each other, we comfort and console one another, we encourage one another, we have each others backs, we would go so far as to die for one another if necessary. (Jn. 13:35, Mt. 22:37-39, Pr. 17:17, Ro. 12:10, 1 Cor. 10:24, Ac. 20:35, 1Th. 5:14, Jn. 15:13)

Belief in something bigger than myself that, if you take the time to look at, makes more sense than anything else. (Ac 17:11, 1Th. 2:13, Ja. 3:17, 1Jn. 4:1)

Purpose, I don’t come to your door to bother you. I don’t write condolences to obituaries to insert myself into your life and into your pain, I don’t write letters of encouragement to keep the post office running. I do it to put out a fire. A fire you don’t even know is burning, but it is. I do these things to give you a gift, to share a wonderful, beautiful life with you. Each person I bother, each person I annoy, I care deeply about. (Eze. 9:4, 2Pe. 2:7, 8)

I am not wrong. I was told recently that what I do is wrong. I am not. I follow in the footsteps of the only perfect man to walk the Earth and stay the course. I am not wrong. (Jn. 18:37, Jn. 8:30, Jn. 14:6)

I know how to have fun without offense. I will not hurt your ears or your eyes with obscenity. I consider others around me, I consider God even more. (Ps. 19:14, Php 4:8)

Comfort, I suffer from bipolar disorder and an anxiety disorder. Sometimes I am in a sheer panic and I have to run to one of my safe places. I also have fibromyalgia, but I always have comfort with me. Prayer number one, the Bible number two, and truly concerned friends number three. I’ve been rescued by these many times. (2Cor. 1:3, 4, Ro. 15:5, Eph 6:21, 22, 1Th 4:18)

Joy, for me this is more deep-seated than happiness. It is something way down that makes you suddenly smile for seemingly no reason. But there is a reason. The reason is the value Jehovah finds in me. It just wells up suddenly and with great power. I have worth to the one who is beyond all worth put together. (Gal 5:22, 2Cor 13:11, Ec. 5:19, Ps.64:10, Php. 4:4)

You don’t hurt my feelings. When you slam the door, or refuse to talk, say you have no time when really you do, when you hide, none of these things hurt my feelings. I wish you would talk. I care as much about what you have to say as I do about you. I want you to care about what I have to say because it might just help you get through this messed up world. (1Cor. 3:9)

Surety, I did not make my choice lightly. In fact it is impossible to do so. Some think we are a cult, but a cult is easy to get into and hard to get out of. We are the opposite. I have compared, I have studied, I have made application and have seen it at work. I am left with no question and no doubt. (Ac 17:11, 1Th. 2:13, Ja. 3:17, 1Jn. 4:1)

Gasping for Life

Had a nice thought last night. My dog gets the hiccups or backwards sneezes or whatever anyone wants to call them. They look and sound horrible, like he has had his air cut off suddenly and he is gasping for life. Whenever this happens I jump to his side and start to stroke him and try to soothe him so they will at least slow down if not stop. I felt so sad because I couldn’t, on my own, make them stop. He too had to act, he had to calm down and trust it would stop if he let me help him relax. Finally they did stop and I started to think about my reaction and my feelings. And then I thought about Jehovah.

When I am struggling, be it for hope or joy or patience or whatever I might need at the moment, but can’t find it, Jehovah jumps to my side. He is desperate to help. Now Jehovah can do anything so why is he desperate? In our lives he can only help us if we too take action. He provides us with everything we could possibly need, first and foremost His word the Bible. But so many other things too: broadcasts, meetings, literature, the elders, the friends, prayer, personal study! All of this has been given to us to help us when we are gasping for life. And you can trust exactly what you need is in there and Jehovah will guide you to it. But you have to act. You must or you will continue in your struggle.

Time in this system is short. Life is getting harder and harder and our gasping is happening more often. So we need to trust. We need to trust in Jehovah, that he has us and will give us what we need. But we also need to ACT! We need to pray, we need to study, we need to make ourselves firm in faith. Don’t give up when we are so close.

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