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Devotional Names of God

HaShem – the Name

Christopher D. Hudson

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Calling God by the name “The Name” was a way of honoring God’s holiness (devout Jews considered it blasphemous to refer to him as YHWH).

“The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses.” Leviticus 24:11

In biblical times, you weren’t given a name just because it sounded interesting or unique. On the contrary, your name spoke of your origin, identity, or destiny. For example, Moses means “drawn from the water” and Samuel means “God has heard.”

What about God’s name? As we’ve seen in these pages, the Bible lists dozens and dozens of divine names and descriptions, each one giving insight into God’s nature. Perhaps the most intriguing of them all is HaShem which means “The Name.”

Calling God by the name “The Name” was a way of honoring God’s holiness (devout Jews considered it blasphemous to refer to him as YHWH).

Calling him “The Name” was also a way of saying “our God needs no introduction.”

It acknowledged the truth that God’s identity and nature are far too lofty and grand to quantify. The name HaShem became generic shorthand for all that God is.

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The simple truth is our God is indescribable. He cannot be labeled, certainly not by the limited abilities of humankind.
If asked, how would you describe God to an irreligious friend?

Prayer:
God, thank You for being so immense that You cannot even be named. I don’t fully understand all the aspects of Your character, but please reveal more of Yourself to me. Amen.

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