Bible Study

This is a copy of the Sunday School Lessons presented to an adult class each Sunday.

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States

Retired, Lobbyist in Washington,DC - Management - BS Chemistry and various continuing education courses

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bible Study - Name - YAHWEH Our GOD - Exodus 6 and 15 - December 2, 2012

Bible Study – Name – YAHWEH Our GOD – December 2, 2012

This is lesson one (1) in our series entitled, “What’s in a Name?”

Our scripture for this lesson is Exodus 6:2-8; 15:1-3, 11-13.

Our series is entitled “What is in a name?” When I was growing up a person’s name was important. I have heard many times, “We may not have money but we have our name and that is more important than money, so do not do anything to ruin it.” There was great pride in being family. It is sad to say but in many areas gangs have become the new family.

So what is in a name? We can know someone by their reputation – good or bad. I recall, when I was a teen working at a gasoline station, the brother of a well respected man asked if I would cash his check. Knowing his brother as a very well to do man, I said yes. Only to learn in a few days the check came back “Insufficient Funds.” I tried to contact the man who had given me the check. I could not locate him. In checking, I learned that this man was writing bad checks all over town. I went to his brother who gave me the money with a stern warning, “I will cover his check this time but never accept a check from him again!”

It is important that we not just know about a person but to know that person. In our study, we will explore the nature, character and attributes of GOD as HE reveals Himself to others. Do we know about GOD based upon our own experience or is it head knowledge? That is where the rubber hits the road because it is easy to have false assumptions about GOD when we have head knowledge. Christians need to experience GOD through obedient service as led and directed by the Holy Spirit.

In our study, we will see some of the attributes of GOD as revealed in HIS relationship with those who follow HIM. In our lesson today, we will see that GOD told the Israelites what HE would do and HE did it.

The Bible reveals that Abraham had faith in GOD and obediently followed HIM by faith from the land of Ur to the land that GOD would show him. We know that Abraham did not always do the right things but we do see the patience and forgiveness of GOD. We see the Spiritual growth of Abraham as GOD challenged him to offer his only son, Isaac, as a burnt offering. We know that GOD was testing Abraham and he passed. Abraham believed in GOD to the extent that if Isaac had been burned to ashes, GOD would have raised him from the ashes. It is easy to read about various people in the Bible and study their journey and see how GOD interacted in their lives. It is often very difficult to relate to GOD’S interaction in our lives when HE is testing us but these are the times of Spiritual growth.

In this first lesson, we will see the character of GOD revealed through HIS interaction with Moses and the Israelites. Early in the learning process GOD revealed HIS name to Moses. HE confirmed the attributes of HIS name by action. Let’s explore!

Let’s read Exodus 3:1-18: (Background – Moses encounter GOD. GOD called Moses. Moses asked GOD HIS name. Moses had fled Egypt, after killing an Egyptian, to the land of Midian, where he shepherded sheep. GOD called to him out of a burning bush. GOD got Moses’ attention.)

Moses and the Burning Bush

1 Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. 3 So Moses thought: I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up? 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”“Here I am,” he answered. 5 “Do not come closer,” He said. “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then He continued, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. 7 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings. 8 I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the territory of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 9 The Israelites’ cry for help has come to Me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 He answered, “I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship God at this mountain.” 13 Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: •Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation. 16 “Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised you that I will bring you up from the misery of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey. 18 They will listen to what you say. Then you, along with the elders of Israel, must go to the king of Egypt and say to him: Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go on a three-day trip into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God.

GOD got Moses attention and spoke to him. HE identified Himself as the GOD of his father, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. GOD reveals what HE wants Moses to do. Moses asks GOD to identify Himself. GOD does so as we see in verses 14 and 15. GOD wanted the king of Egypt to know HIS name as Yahweh, the GOD of the Hebrews. Egypt had many gods and were considered the greatest of gods. GOD wanted all to know that HE was the true GOD and HE would reveal it by delivering the Hebrews. The Hebrews never lifted a hand. They obediently followed GOD and GOD delivered them. Let’s fast forward to Exodus Chapter 6. 

Let’s read Exodus 6:2-8:

God Promises Freedom

 2 Then God spoke to Moses, telling him, “I am •Yahweh. 3 I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as •God Almighty, but I did not reveal My name Yahweh to them. 4 I also established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land they lived in as foreigners. 5 Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are forcing to work as slaves, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 “Therefore tell the Israelites: I am Yahweh, and I will deliver you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and free you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am Yahweh.” 9 Moses told this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and hard labor.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible referred to as the Pentateuch. GOD revealed the things that have been recorded in Genesis to Moses. In verse 2, we see that GOD spoke to Moses directly. HE told Moses that HIS name was Yahweh. The correct spelling of HIS name is YHWH but the Hebrew scribes considered GOD’S name so Holy and divine they would not write or say “YHWH.” Instead they placed the vowel from “adonai” in HIS name, which means Lord. The Hebrew text does not contain vowels and the correct pronunciation of “YHWH” is not known. Notice that GOD began and ended HIS message to Moses by telling him “I AM Yahweh” verses 2 and 8.

There are many names for GOD based upon the manifestation of HIS power. Yahweh is the name GOD used in reference to HIS chosen covenant people. Since the Jews have rejected GOD’S promised Messiah, JESUS, Christians have become GOD’S chosen people. One day the Jews will also be restored to being GOD’S chosen people because they will acknowledge CHRIST as the Promised Messiah. Messianic Jews today acknowledge CHRIST as their Messiah and Savior. I know this may raise questions in some of you.

GOD revealed that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not know HIS name as YHWH but they knew HIM as “I am the LORD”, which means “I myself (am) Yahweh.” HE is the same GOD they worshipped. This reveals the eternal nature of GOD.

GOD keeps HIS promises and covenants that HE has made with HIS people. HE promised the Israelites that HE would free them from Egyptian bondage and slavery. HE would redeem them, which means that HE will purchase them back from the Egyptians by HIS power and mighty acts. When they witness HIS power and action, these manifestations will define Who HE is and see that HE is trustworthy. Once trust is established, those who have witnessed these things should willingly and freely honor and worship HIM with full confidence. Yet, when tough times came into the lives of the Israelites, we know they did not look to GOD and HIS ability to provide and care for them. Don’t we do the same today?  No matter how many miracles GOD does in our lives, when we get in trouble our first reaction is to reach out to something or someone other than GOD.

The Israelites knew the value in a name. GOD wanted them to know what HIS name meant as they encountered all of the activity during their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and slavery and journey to the Promised Land.

HE revealed HIS name. “I AM Yahweh”, which is HIS personal name and means “I AM THAT I AM” OR “I AM BECAUSE I AM” OR “I AM WHAT I AM AND WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” When I first read this scripture many years ago, I thought to myself, “Now that is total supremacy.” GOD is and will never be any different. What you see is what you get. There is no shadow of turning because HE IS and will always BE. Talk about being consistent and sovereign. GOD is consistent, sovereign, all knowing, present everywhere and all powerful.

Verse 5 reveals that HE knows what is going on everywhere, which is an attribute. HE is not confined to a certain locality therefore HE is not a regional or cultic god. HE is the GOD that knows what is going on in real time in every place.

GOD made it clear that HE would bring about all that HE had told them. Their ultimate destination for HIS chosen was the Promised Land, which HE had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. How could HE make such a promise? It was because HE was Yahweh. HE could not give them any better assurance than to certify what HE had told them than to use HIS personal name, YAHWEH. Through the deliverance of the Israelites they will witness first hand HIS power, protection and abilities.

GOD had opened the sea which allowed the Israelites to cross on the dry ground and escape the impending/pursuing Egyptian army. After the Israelites were safe, they saw the sea close-in on their enemy, killing their pursuers. This is captured in Exodus 14:30-31:

30 That day the Lord saved Israel from the power of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, the people •feared the Lord and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.

This led into the song that Moses and the Israelites sang in our next scripture. When we witness the handiwork of the LORD it stirs our hearts into adoration, praise, respect, worship and thanksgiving.

Let’s read Exodus 15:1-3:

Israel’s Song

1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord. They said:
I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength and my song;a  Or mightHe has become my salvation.b  Ps 18:2; 59:17; Isa 12:2; Hab 3:18This is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.c Gn 28:21; Ex 3:6,15,18; Isa 25:1
3 The Lord is a warrior;d Ps 24:8; Rv 19:11•Yahweh is His name.e Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18


Yahweh had done exactly what HE said HE would do. HE was faithful to HIS promises. HE is highly exalted above the notion that the gods of Egypt were the greatest. They saw GOD as the One true GOD and HE alone had delivered them. When we encounter GOD and take the step of faith to embrace HIM it is an overwhelming moment. Here is a critical moment. Is our encounter a moment of relief because we have been delivered from a situation or because we have embraced GOD?

When we are on the mountain top of a Spiritual experience we are excited about the handiwork of GOD. But be careful because often we go from the Spiritual mountain top to the Spiritual valley. They had just come out of the Spiritual valley such that they wanted to return to Egypt. When GOD delivered them from the pursuing Egyptian army, they were excited. It is in the Spiritual valley where our greatest Spiritual growth occurs. It is in the valley where trust and obedience is formed as we journey with GOD through the relationship we have with CHRIST.


Let’s read Exodus 15:11-13:

11 Lord, who is like You among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness,m  Dt 3:24; 1Kg 8:23revered with praises, performing wonders?n Ps 77:14; Isa 6:3; Rv 4:8
12 You stretched out Your right hand, and the earth swallowed them.
13 You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.o Ps 77:15,20; 78:54

The Israelites are upbeat on GOD and HIS faithfulness. They acknowledged HIM as being greater than any so called gods of the Egyptians. HE was greater than any spiritual power such as angels, authorities or heavenly powers. They acknowledged HIS holiness, which resulted in reverential honor and respect for HIM.

GOD knew that more was to be learned about HIM. HE is always in a teaching mode. Christians never arrive at final graduation until they depart earth to meet HIM in heaven. At the instant Christians see CHRIST, they will be like HIM because they will fully know HIM. 

Christians can think of their lives as being delivered from the bondage and slavery of sin at the instant they accept CHRIST as their Savior. They are on a journey to the Promised Land, Heaven. There will be many circumstances along their journey just as the Israelites experienced. It is through these circumstances that we build an intimate loving personal relationship with CHRIST. It is through our relationship with HIM that we move from having head knowledge about HIM to having heart knowledge of HIM. It is not easy but HE is always with us every step of the way. Our ultimate destination is to go to heaven, where GOD intended for us to be in the first place.

Sin separates us from GOD and that is why GOD allowed HIS Only SON to come to earth to be born and live as a human. HE was tempted in all ways as humans are tempted yet without sin. Living a sinless life made HIM the perfect sacrifice to pay in full the debt for sin. HE willingly and freely gave HIS life through HIS shed blood to pay in full the debt for sin. How do we know that HE paid the sin debt in full? It is because GOD raised HIM from the dead to live forever in HIS glorified body. HE is the example and the first to conquer death because HE defeated sin. It is impossible for any human to accomplish this but whereas we cannot do this for ourselves, faith in CHRIST accomplishes it for us. HE died in our place.

Do you recall our last lesson?  Paul was speaking in the Areopagus. In Acts 17:31 he stated - 31 because He (GOD) has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man (JESUS) He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”f


GOD will judge every person based upon the righteousness of CHRIST. We may think, “Oh my, that leaves me out.” Now, do you want the Good News?” Let’s read 2 Corinthians 5:21 – He (GOD) made the One (CHRIST) who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


This is why JESUS revealed in John 5:24 this fact:

24 “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life c Jn 6:53; 12:25; Ac 13:48; 1Jn 2:25 and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

 Do you want the security of eternal life? Ask CHRIST to forgive you for your sins and for HIM to come into your life. When you do, HE will and you will pass from sure death to sure eternal life with HIM. You will become GOD’S child through the miracle of rebirth. Your Son-ship or Daughter-ship will never change. Salvation is GOD’S free gift to you through HIS Only Son, JESUS. Ask CHRIST into your heart now, eternity is only a heartbeat away. Blessings.  


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