Millions and Millionss of Words
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:22-25, 29-31)
Millions and millions of words would not be enough to describe the infinite glory of the Creator. Though we were to write continuously every day, it would not be enough. Yet, the Father desires that we come to know Him and His love for us that we might enter into an intimate relationship with Him and He with us. Thus He spoke to Moses, and the other prophets, and the poets, and gave them understanding of His relationship to us through His name. That name, YHWH, was unfolded over time as the expression of His nature and what He will be to us. He is our rock, our fortress, our healer, our helper, our righteousness, and salvation and much, much more. Though we can never describe His majesty with mere words, through the unfolding of His name He reveals Himself and what He will be to us.
But the revelation of the name was mere foreshadowing of His ultimate revelation in Jesus Christ. In the person of Jesus, He put Himself directly on display that we might know Him fully. As the gospel of John declares, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." The revelation of God's nature, given through His name, was made manifest before men in the person of Jesus. The knowledge of the Creator through His name was a great mercy given to ignorant man. Yet great as that gift was, it was not the greatest gift the Father gave:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
The Father gave His son and the Son gave His life. By faith in that precious blood of Jesus alone we are cleansed, healed, redeemed, saved and made righteous. Nothing can be added to that blood to increase our righteousness. The name given was the beginning of God's revelation but the redeeming work of Jesus is the focus point of it all.
Why then is it that so many spend so much time arguing about the "true name" of God? I have seen millions of words written on the Internet arguing endlessly about the proper name and pronunciation. What should have been a great blessing has become a means of division and discord and spiteful condemnation! Endless, tedious arguments using quotes out of context, misrepresentation and pseudo-linguistics, all of it designed to berate and condemn others who do not speak or write with the same words as the author. It is absurd to think that the way someone pronounces a name, our does or doesn't use a particular name for the Creator has anything to do with salvation. Is God to be confined by words? Preposterous! The Creator cannot be described, limited or boxed in by words. The words given to man describe only what the mind of man can comprehend. To think that with our words, even millions and millions of them, we can somehow define the totality of what God is, is nothing less than arrogant foolishness and blasphemy.
To those who do this, I say you are engaging in sorcery and idolatry. You have taken the name of God, given to us for our benefit, and turned it into some magic incantation. You make it seem as if the way one pronounces a name from an ancient language will somehow add righteousness to a man's soul or create some special favor with the Father. With endless arguments and disputations, you have worshipped your own knowledge of words instead of the One the words reveal.
Worst of all, you spit on the cross. There is nothing that can be added to the precious blood of Jesus that will increase a man's righteousness before God. To say that the name that is used or the way it is pronounced is essential to salvation is to sneer and mock at the gift of God and diminish that sacrificial gift to something less that sufficient for man's salvation. It is by our faith on the efficacy of the blood of Jesus alone that we are made righteous. The words one uses add nothing to it.
Can a repentant man not simply open his arms and cry out in heartfelt thanks, "FATHER! I love you and thank you for your gift! Take this child of yours into your arms and fill my heart with your undying love!" Is that not enough? Does anyone really think that the name you use or the clothes you wear or the food you eat will add anything to the propitiation for sins by the blood of Jesus? Then why, oh why, are people so obsessed with these things? We don't need millions and millions of words of argument to gain an understanding of this. All we need to do is repent, give thanks and praise, then take hold of the hand of the Lord and walk with Him as He leads us back home.
Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: (Psalm 104:1-3)