Pastor Doug Newell, IV
Exodus 34:1-7 Moses was about to take a hike to the top of the mountain; he was summoned to a meeting. God wants him to present himself on Mount Sinai; alone. Early in the morning, Moses hikes up the mountain with the stone tablets and the Lord descended in the cloud and before him and proclaimed the name of the Lord. In most English translations, the word LORD is in all caps.
The translators use this as a clue that the Hebrew word being translated is not “adonai” which means lord, but it is the name of God. When you see LORD in all caps, that is what is called the “tetragrammaton” which is a really fancy way of saying “four letters.”
The four letters referred to are YHWH, which is the name of God. Ancient Semitic writing did not have vowels, so there is debate about the pronunciation of God’s name (Jehovah or Yahweh) but there is no debate on what it means. God’s name means “self-existent one.” God has no beginning and no ending. He is “I AM that I AM (Exodus 3:14), Alpha and Omega, the first and the last (Revelation 1:17-18). Before there was an Earth to stand on, a Heaven to declare His handiwork, before there was an angel to praise his name, there was God – from everlasting to everlasting, there is God (Psalms 90:2).
The God of the Bible is self-existent. The Bible begins with “In the beginning God…” There is no attempt to prove Gods existence or a list of reasons why you should believe that God exists, but presupposes you know that He does and then begins to reveal truth about God.
And in His eternal existence, he was self-sufficient.
The Trinity did not need you or me to complete Him or make Him happy. He was not lacking in any way, like we are because it is God that created us and gives us all that we have and need (Acts 17:23-25). And to give you bang for your buck this week, I’ll give you another good word: aseity. This means, as J.I. Packer well defined, “[God] has life in himself and draws his unending energy from himself.”
This is an awe inspiring thought. We all need other people. We needed parents to bring us into the world and we needed someone to care for us while we were infants. We required for someone to teach us to talk and help us to walk. No one is self-sufficient.
But God is! God always has been and always will be. God has not changed, or grown in wisdom or knowledge. He has not grown more powerful or less. This is a basic foundation of the truth of the God of the Bible. Hallelujah (which means “Praise Jehovah.” Hallel means “praise” and Ja is the shortened form of tetragrammaton)!
“For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” (Psalms 95:3)