Sermon: Knowing and Reflecting the Name of God Intro: 1. Can anyone know God? a. God can be known through creation (Psalm 19; Rom 1:20) b. What do you know from creation? There is a God, nothing more 2. God" is designation, not a name 3. Tonight we will talk about the name of God I. What is significant about a name anyway? A. Gen 11 - Tower of Babel: Let us make a “name” for ourselves - Reputation, character 1. There are several examples: 2. Elvis, Churchill, Jesus, Jezebel - All have a "name" B. “Family name?” - Many concerned with preserving honor of family name C. Name and character go together 1. Name him Jesus (Yeshua - deliverance, or salvatioin) 2. Gen 17:4 - Abram (great father) to Abraham (father of multitude) 3. Gen 32:28 - Jacob (overreacher) to Israel (strives with God) 4. Mt 16:17 - Simon to Peter (rock) D. Does God have a name? II. (Ex 3:1-15) - God gives his name with an explanation A. What does his name reveal about his character? 1. I am who I am - Evasion? Is he saying that his name is not important? 2. No, because he gives his name 3. Perhaps God's full character cannot be capture in ONE name - Sermon series given on the "names" of God B. Could be translated: I will be who I will be 1. Same word used - "I will be with you" in 3:12 2. God is free to be who he wants to be, to choose his course of action 3. Ex 33:19 - I will show compassion on whom I will show compassion C. Name "Yahweh" is an archaic third person of "I will be" (Hayah) 1. Translated - "He will be" or "He is" 2. Could be a causative - He who causes to be 3. Unlike pagan God's who cause nothing, God causes to be 4. What does God cause to be? D. (Exodus 6:1-8) - What Yahweh caused for them 1. God does not sit idly by 2. God does something in interest of relationship III. God gives us his name so we can enter into a relationship with him A. He no longer has merely a designation - "God" 1. Similar to my wife, I don't call her by her designation - "woman" or "female human" but by her name 2. Yahweh is used about 5,000 times, Elohim about half that in the O.T. B. Many not aware of no of times Yahweh used 1. Translators follow an old Jewish custom - Adonai for Yahweh 2. Render into English as "LORD" in all caps C. Some people call an intimate relationship with God a paradox 1. Because of God's unique holiness 2. Moses on HOLY ground, Moses to take shoes off 3. 1 Sam 2:2 - There is no one holy like the Lord 4. Is 55:9 - For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts D. So can humans have a relationship with God? 1. Exod 33:20 - You cannot see my face, no man can see me and live! 2. Is God so holy, that he is out of reach? IV. Is it possible for God to come near without destroying us? A. God manifests himself by fire, smoke, whirlwind - God’s “transcendence” or other-ness B. ILL: Cistine Chapel, Michaelangelo’s paiting the “birth of Adam” 1. Picture shows man reaching, barely able to touch 2. Expresses something of the distance, due to holiness C. But God did come VERY near 1. Samson’s Parents - Judg 13:2-23, thought he would die 2. Gideon - Judg 6:11-24 - Gideon thought he was going to die too 3. At Sinai - Ex 33:18-23; 34:5-9 - Self-proclamation of character a. Compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth, forgives iniquity, transgression and sin b. Not leave guilty unpunished, visit sins of fathers to the third and fourth generations c. But lovingkindess to thousands 4. (Deut 5:22-26) - Amazed that God appeared, and they live! D. God came to live among them. - Temple is where his name dwells (Ps 74:7; Dt.12:11) E. Condemnation of Israel, result was exile 1. They had forgotten the name of Yahweh - Isa 52:6 2. They had profaned his name among the nations - Ezek 36 - Social injustice, exploitation, greed, idolatry, human sacrifice - Nations look, and what do they think of Yahweh? - They had forgotten name of Yahweh - went into EXILE 3. Isa 40:1-11 - The Lord is coming again! 4. When he came, called his name "Immanu-el" God with us! 5. He came and was with us in the flesh - Jn 1:14 F. It is important to know what it means to be called by his name V. So, what does this all mean for us? 1. God’s name and glory dwelt in a tabernacle, temple, then a human body in Jesus 2. Where is God living now? - 1 Cor 3:16 - You (pl) are a temple of God - 1 Cor 6:19 - Your body is a temple of Holy Spirit 3. God’s name still dwells in his temple, but a temple made without human hands Concl: 1. Do not forget his name. Do not forget who you are, who your father is 2. God wants to to carry on the family name in honor 3. (Dt. 28:9-10) - The Lord will establish you as a holy people to himself....so all the peoples of the earth shall see you are called by the name of Yahweh a. You have been adopted and given a new name! b. Look at your life, does God want his name associated with that c. God want us to honor his name 4. Is God’s name honored among the nations (in our community) through us? a. Are we known as a bunch that speaks the truth in love? b. Are we known by our compassion, loving in deed and in truth c. Do we reflect God’s character? Do we glorify his name or profane it?