God’s Proper Name


Some time ago, I learned that the proper name of God is Jehovah.  A name so precious, so holy, that the Jews would not even say it aloud.  Because of this, there is much controversy about how it is pronounced.  No one is really sure.  Jewish tradition puts forth the notion that it is pronounced as a breath. Breathe in like a whisper…Yah, breathe out as a whisper…Weh.  When I first heard that in a Bible Study, I had goose bumps all over my body.  It felt so right.  I began to breathe his name on purpose as praise, as prayer, as remembrance through the day of who He is and what he does for me. 

Then I began to breathe His name, Yah…Weh…and add praise for one of His attributes.  Yah…Weh…Elohim, my Creator.  Yah…Weh…Adonai, my LORD.  Yah…Weh…El Shaddai, the all sufficient source of blessings.  I began to understand what the Bible means when it says to pray without ceasing! (Thessalonians 5:17)

Last week a friend gave me the book Breath put out by Asbury that teaches the same concept.  Below are some quotes from that book.

“The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

(From the earliest days the human community ceased to breathe the Breath of Life, choosing instead to inhale the toxic oxygen of sin and death, dooming themselves to something akin to terminal lung cancer; an exilic breath-less-ness. Now in the tormenting hands of their Babylonian captors, they are as a desolate valley filled with dry, lifeless bones.)”

Ezekiel cries out to the LORD asking Him to do something because he alone can bring life to dry bones.  The dry bones represented the dry dead faith of the Israelites, but can also be a picture of our own disbelief and dry dead faith.

“YAHWEH told Ezekiel to “prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

So Ezekiel prophesied as he was commanded. And as he was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. He looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Yahweh told Ezekiel to “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”’ 

 So Ezekiel prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Yahweh said, ” Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’”

Yahweh pronmised to breathe His breath into them to bring life into the dead faith of the Israelites that they might be brought back to true worship of Him.  Will He breathe His breath into those of us who are dead in our sins? 

Fast forward to a fishing village in Galilee.  It is resurrection day evening. The Disciples are hiding out behind locked doors for fear of the Jews.  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them.

Jesus said, ” Peace be with you!”

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

And with that he breathed on them, and said, ” Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 209 Mar 2011 by jill.sims,

 We were created with the breath of God in our nostrils and in our lungs.  But God would not allow His breath to remain in sinful flesh.  Genesis 6:3  (2001 Translation an American English Bible based on the Greek Septuagint) Then Jehovah God said: ‘I won’t allow My Breath to stay with these men through the age, for they are fleshly. …

 Only when we believe on Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior do we receive the breath of God in the form of the Holy Spirit. John 20:22

Well, after he said this, he blew on them, saying, ‘Receive the Holy Breath. 23 And if you forgive anyone’s sins, they will remain forgiven. But if you don’t forgive their sins, they won’t be forgiven.’ (2001 Translation an American English Bible based on the Greek Septuagint)

 As believers we have an awesome responsibility to live and breathe the breath of God as pure, holy, just, forgiving, and loving agents of God.  Each breath we take should be giving God the praise and honor He deserves as our Creator and Redeemer.

 Breath prayers as described in the Asbury Reader are a lovely way to do this.

 9 Mar 2011 by jill.sims,

Breath prayers for Reader: A breath prayer follows your breath, in and out, and can be carried with you throughout the day. The ancient practice of breathing a minimal, focused prayer becomes a simple way of praying without ceasing, by rooting attentiveness to God in the ever present movements of bodily life. Such prayer is both present to the moment and transcendent in scope.

Go to the reader and read each day through Lent season.  Practice reading and breathing the word of God through the day.  Let us be blessed with the breath of God, His living word.



1 Comment

  1. Sue Bishop said,

    June 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This is so awesome. I must get ink cartridge and print this out along with the other lessons and get a notebook and start my study along with you. You are guided by our creator, God, to do this blog and I will pray as you continue on. Sue Bishop

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