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Is Yahweh worthy of our allegiance?

The first commandment is to have no other God before Yahweh. Is Yahweh worthy of preeminence?

The Book of Psalms contains many commands to praise Yahweh. Is Yahweh worthy of praise?

Jesus said the greatest commandment is to Love Yahweh and that the greatest love is to lay down your life. Is Yahweh worth dying for?

The last two verses of Genesis 4 communicate a profound truth about Yahweh that differentiates Him from every other living thing. This truth does not completely answer whether or not Yahweh is worthy of allegiance, but it does form part of the answer to that question. Let’s start our study of this truth by reading Genesis 4:25. The word “Seth” and the word “appointed” are the same Hebrew word. What does this tell us about the significance of a man’s name?

Gen. 4:25 ¶ Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.”

Seth’s name was not chosen at random, nor was it chosen because Eve liked the sound of the word. Seth’s name was chosen to communicate the fact that he was a replacement for Abel. This is true of names throughout the Bible. Names in Biblical culture were chosen to communicate facts about a person’s existence. Now let’s read verse 26. Notice the word “name” in this verse, particularly the second use of the word.

Gen. 4:26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.

When you see the word LORD in all capital letters in the NASB or the ESV, the Hebrew word that was used in the original text is the word Yahweh. Yahweh is the personal name of the God of the Bible. So Genesis 4:26 could be translated this way:

… Then men began to call upon the name Yahweh.

This verse tells us that after Enosh was born, men began to use the name Yahweh to refer to God. Names meant something in Biblical culture; therefore, when men began to use the name Yahweh to refer to God, they were communicating something about God. What were they communicating? In order to answer this, we need to understand some grammar.

The English verb To Be is conjugated like this:

I am (1st person singular)

You are (2nd person singular)

He is (3rd person singular)

We are (1st person plural)

You are (2nd person plural)

They are (3rd person plural)

The word Yahweh is the Hebrew equivalent of He is (3rd person singular). Why did men start using the verb “he is” to refer to God? Think of it this way. As human beings, we tend to be interested in our roots. We want to know the names of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Imagine being Adam and Eve’s grandson and you start tracing your roots. Enosh came from Seth. Seth came from Adam. Adam was created by God. Where did God come from?

Unlike every other living thing that was either born or created by God, God Himself was not born nor was He created. Yahweh has always existed. Thus, when men asked where God came from, they realized that He has no beginning; rather, He is. Therefore, men began using the verb “He is” (Yahweh) to refer to God to express the truth that God has no beginning; rather, He simply is.

When we ponder whether or not Yahweh is worthy of praise, obedience, and allegiance, let’s start with the truth expressed by Yahweh’s name. Yahweh is unique among all living things in that He is the only living thing without a beginning. Every person, every plant, every bird, every fish, and every land animal has a beginning. Yahweh does not have a beginning, Yahweh has always existed. He is.

 

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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”