Our God is not only Yahweh, but Jesus: not only the God who is, but the God who saves. And because he saves, we get to know him by another name, one that may be the sweetest of all.
Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6)
In conversation, prayer, and even evangelism, many of us default to using two titles to refer to our Creator and Redeemer: God and Lord. We are not wrong to use these titles, of course — Scripture does so over and over again. But we might go astray if we slowly allow them to eclipse the names that God has so graciously revealed to us.
We may even go so far as to say that a vocabulary where God and Lord predominate is slightly sub-Christian. For, as Paul reminds us, among pagans “there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’” (1 Corinthians 8:5). But Christians are not interested in adding simply one more God and Lord to the world’s pantheon. Rather,
For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
When we say God, we mean Father; when we say Lord, we mean Jesus. The wonders of our salvation and glory are hidden in these two names. But to feel the weight of them, we first need to recall the name that came before either of them: Yahweh.
The God Who Is
There at the burning bush, as Moses trembled with bare feet on holy ground, God spoke: “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:15). Hidden beneath the word Lord (rendered in small capital letters in most English translations) is the name we know as Yahweh, which is related to the verb mentioned in the previous verse: “I am” (Exodus 3:14). The God of Israel is the God who is.
The claim contained in this name could not be more sweeping. He is Yahweh, the one who always and forever was, and who always and forever will be. He is Yahweh, Maker of all matter, Sustainer of every cell. He is Yahweh, the Lord whom no one can manipulate or control. He is Yahweh, God over the so-called “gods” of Egypt and the idols of every other nation.