Sunday, July 17, 2022

Names of God: Jehovah, The God Who is Infinite, Just, & Judge

Today we talk about the name of God found most often in the Old Testament, that is the name Jehovah.

There is a lot of rich meaning within the name of God Jehovah. The Hebrew word for Jehovah derives from the Hebrew word for “being” or “to be.” It’s also virtually identical to the Hebrew word for “life” or “to live.”

God is fundamentally self-existent, that’s the first thing we learn from this name of God. Everything in the universe, from you, to plants to animals, to products, buildings, everything has a parent, or a builder, or something that it came from. This goes all the way back to the first cat, the first pine tree, the first human. I was born from my parents. My cat came from two other cats. The tree in my front yard came from an acorn that fell in the ground or was placed there 50 years ago.

But it’s logical to think that if we go back in time, to the beginning of the universe, the beginning of all things, there has to be one supreme being who made all things, out of nothing.

There has to be an uncaused first cause. That is who we believe our God is, an infinite being, a self-existent being, infinite, with no start, no end, outside time, outside space, beyond everything tangible. The self-existent one who says, I am who I am.

Exodus 3:13-15 says, “Moses said to God, ‘Suppose 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?” Then what shall I tell them?’

14 God said 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 to the Israelites, “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.” ‘This is my name for ever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”

He’s in total control. That’s very comforting. It’s also scary for me. When I was writing this message I found myself afraid. God is real. He controls everything. He has total power. If he wants to toss me into hell, there’s not a single thing I can do about it. If he wants to guide me into heaven, I can’t stop him from bringing me there when I die. God has total infinite power.

This brings us to our second concept of what the name Jehovah means. God is the righteous moral judge of us. He is always observing, every choice we make, every thought we think, and every word we speak. And he will judge us righteously, either through the perfect righteousness of Christ, or based on your own deeds and your own sins.

Psalm 89:13-15 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face

The name Jehovah tells us that God loves us, but it also reminds us God’s love is conditioned on his moral nature. God is the judge of the universe. And we are accountable to Him for how we live our lives.

If we steal something, that breaks God’s moral order. If we lie, or hurt someone, we break God’s moral order. If we sin, we find ourselves justly exposed to the wrath of God. Which is hell. And hell is permanent.

One famous preacher said it like this in his sermon title, We’re sinners in the hands of an angry God. It’s a very dangerous situation. Because sin has to be removed from everything. God is going to make everything good again. He’s going to fix Earth.

And we can either join in on that, or we can get thrown out with the rest of the sin of the world. If you want to remain in your sin, there is a place for you, it’s called hell. It’s the only place where sin can exist. Under God’s eternal wrath.

Jehovah is the God of the moral order. He is the God who is the righteous judge. And if we one day stand before in sin, after we die, when he judges us guilty, we will declare in response, in complete agreement, “amen.”

That’s why we should fear the Lord. We should fear Jehovah. We should respect Jehovah. We should remember Jehovah will judge us, and live innocent in Christ Jesus our savior, all our days on the Earth. God made everything. God made us. He owns us. And he can do with us as we he desires. But God is perfectly holy and right, his judgments will be right. And if we’re found guilty, and sent to hell, we’ll know in our hearts that his judgment was right.

That’s why it’s so important to repent of our sins and put our faith in Jesus. Are you practicing sin in your life? Are you stealing? Are you living sexually immoral? Are you watching porn? Are you manipulating friends and family? Are you thinking wicked thoughts? Are you hating others? Are you refusing to forgive people who have hurt you? Repent now. Repent means to change. To turn away from something. Turn away from those sins now. Ask God for forgiveness in christ and begin to live differently. Pray right now, he will forgive you and then tell him I repent, He then forgives us, and we start living differently.

Jehovah is the righteous judge of all people. Moses said, “Just and right is he” and “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” said Abraham to the Lord.

And it says in Leviticus 19:2 “You shall be holy; for I Jehovah your Elohim, am holy.”

The angels and living creatures always cry out before God: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”

Nathan Stone, author of Names of God says it this way, “It is this righteousness of Jehovah against which man sins. And a righteous Jehovah whose holiness is thus violated and outraged must condemn unrighteousness and punish it. It is Jehovah who sends man forth from the garden, for Jehovah is of purer eyes than to behold evil (Hab 1:13). Jehovah “created man to enjoy and to exhibit His righteousness.” So He demands righteousness and justice and holiness from the creatures made in His image. It is as Jehovah that He looks upon a wicked and corrupt earth and says, “I will destroy.” It is as Jehovah that He rains fire and brimstone upon an iniquitous Sodom and Gomorrah. It is as Jehovah that He is angered so often again a sinning, wicked Israel. It is Jehovah who says to Moses: “Whoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book (Exodus 32:33).

But as Jehovah he is also love. His love makes Him grieve and suffer for the sins and sorrows of His creatures. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love,” says Jeremiah of Jehovah (31:3). In the Book of Judges, we forsook Jehovah and served the elohim of the peoples about them, Jehovah’s anger brought grievous punishment upon them, Jehovah’s anger brought grievous punishment upon them; but of the same Jehovah it is said: “His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel” (Judges 10:16). “in all their afflictions he was afflicted” says Isaiah 63:9 in a context full of the love and pity of Jehovah… But while as Jehovah His holiness must condemn, He is also Love, and His love redeems; and He seeks to bring man back into fellowship with Himself. So, as one writer says, “Wherever the name ‘Jehovah’ appears, after man has fallen from original righteousness, what see we-but that God is ever seeking the restoration of man.”

Jehovah though he is a God of perfect righteousness, self-existent and terrifying, He is also God who finds a way to remove our sins. We stand guilty, and so God comes himself to pay off our debt, as Jesus Christ, God with us, lived perfectly in a sinful world, and suffered and died on the cross to pay our penalty, and give us new life.

So repent of your sins, and put your faith hope and allegiance in Christ. Serve Him all your days. And you can be free from sin, and you’ll be righteous in Christ, and then you’ll be ready for paradise, the new life. The new eternal life. That’s Jehovah, he makes a way for us. Most people still reject that way, they choose hell by rejecting Christ. Don’t let that be you. Choose eternal life with Christ. Then you’ll be free forever, from sin and death. No hell for you, instead, eternal life.

Jehovah is eternal, all powerful, a just judge, and a merciful God, who offers us a way to get back to paradise. Choose Jehovah today, and live. Or, reject Jehovah, and choose death. It’s before you. Make your choice.