June 16, 2019
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers. Happy Father’s Day to our Heavenly Father… His personal name is Yahweh.
Sunshine for the Soul-The Treasure Hunt
“Like a father has compassion on his children, so Yahweh has compassion on those who fear him.”
Psalm 103:13 (WEB)
Almost ten years ago, Billy and I left our home-town where we both had lived for over forty years to pursue an adventure! We both had attended grade school, middle school, and high school there, and after we were married in 1979, we chose to live in Waco to be close to our family. We went on to raise our children on our ranch just outside of the city. Having lived there for four decades, there were few places we could go without knowing someone…or someone knowing us-or at least experiencing some sort of facial recognition! That’s just how a relatively small town functions.
After our children were married and established, we set on an adventure and moved to a new community, a much larger community…and suddenly, our experiences in public places dramatically changed. For the first time in our adult lives, other than when we traveled, we experienced a world of unrecognizable faces, and silent greetings of occasional eye contact and a smile. Suddenly the first-name relationships were virtually non-existent. Unless someone wore a name-tag, or had their name tattooed on a visible part of their body, we didn’t speak peoples’ names, and there was silence in return. In other words, our ‘first-name basis’ relationships, always cherished and beloved, remained in Waco. We entered into a new, unexplored-often silent territory of crowds, trusting—hoping there would be potential for new relationships, while maintaining those we treasured in our home-town.
It is amazing to me what I learned from this experience when my perspective changed. When Billy and I began to connect and to invest in our local church in our new community, we both began to recognize people and connect their names and their faces. We all know the intrinsic value of calling people by their name, and in being recognized by name as well. Honestly, I had taken all of this for granted.
While it was wonderful to have people approach me and call me by my name, I also realized something else that I had never appreciated before our move. When, someone approached me, and introduced themselves, telling me their name, it confirmed to me that they were willing to make themselves vulnerable and available to be known by me. Knowing their name, because they introduced themselves to me, was the first step toward knowing them personally…in friendship and community. Communication, introductions, and conversations tear down the initial barrier between two strangers, and initiate the opportunity for casual friendship, and perhaps a more meaningful personal relationship. I like to call this ‘personal and intentional positioning.’
The more I experienced this ‘personal and intentional positioning’ as our acquaintances increased, especially in our church, the more I discovered how ‘personal positioning’ exemplified the character of our God and His desire to have relationship with you and with me.
GOD STEPPED DOWN
Centuries before Billy and I relocated, centuries before you began your journey, God engaged with His creation in very personal and intimate ways. When the Israelites found themselves enslaved in a hostile country, desperate for a Deliverer, a Redeemer, God, stepped down, into the life of Moses. And this God, the God of Israel, paid a personal visit to Moses, calling him by his name, in a seemingly unlikely place and time. God appointed Moses to deliver the Israelites out of bondage, and toward the promise God had given to Abraham, the promise which would eternally affect and bless all people on earth.
This God, bearing all of His characteristics and attributes positioned Himself and intentionally introduced Himself to Moses, calling to him, and identifying Himself by His personal Name…introducing Himself as… Yahweh. God intentionally became personal and intimate, engaging with Moses in a miraculous relationship. We are told in Exodus 33:11 that God spoke to Moses face to face as a person speaks to a friend. God, Yahweh, already knew Moses by his name, and His purpose was to be known by Moses and all of His people. His purpose today, is to be known by all people, by all of us.
God Stepped Down and Introduced Himself…
This past week, we continued our Treasure Hunt in Psalms and discovered that David was the author of the Psalms we have studied thus far. We remember that King David composed over one half of the one-hundred-fifty Psalms. In your study this week as you continued your list of the attributes of God, you may have discovered a common thread running through each one of Psalms written by David. As you look closely, David knew God’s personal Name and addressed the Most High God in a personal and intimate way. David called Him Yahweh, His Hebrew name; and LORD (all caps) being the English rendering of God’s personal name. My friends, David was on a First-Name Basis with the LORD…Yahweh!
The Treasure Hunt
Some of the most beautiful treasures we find in the Book of Psalms are the heart-felt, authentic, transparent, passionate expressions of the authors toward the LORD-Yahweh. David had experienced the God of Israel personally and grew into a deep and intimate relationship with Yahweh. Yes, David was clearly on a First-Name Basis with the LORD God. David poured out his heart and emptied his soul as he approached the King of Kings, the Most High God…disclosing his most personal thoughts, his fears, his concerns, his desperation, his weakness, his sinfulness…and laid it before Him, in total assurance and confidence in Yahweh.
The study of and Journey in Psalms provides insight and opportunity for the reader, the student to discover for themselves ‘Who their God is’. Just as God positioned Himself to be known by Moses, the patriarchs, and the Israelites, the LORD God, Yahweh, positions Himself to be known by you and me. He has given us His Word, the Bible, and He Keeps His Word. “For the word of God is alive and active…” Hebrews 4:12. And God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, positioning Him, to establish relationship with us, both intimate and everlasting… “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” John 1:14.
Today, on this Summer Study, I pray that we recognize and embrace the truth that our God wants to have an intimate relationship with each one of us. He wants us to have more than just knowledge of Him, or information about Him. He already knows each one of us by name, and He waits, intentionally positioning Himself, prepared to introduce Himself to us, and to establish a personal, intimate, and eternal relationship with you, with me.
And as we grow in relationship with our God, may we also remember that we are His ambassadors to others who may not be on a First-Name Basis with the LORD, Yahweh. May we intentionally position ourselves, wherever we go in our daily lives, to introduce ourselves to others, and call them by their name when they introduce themselves to us…and then, may we speak into their lives and show them and tell about Yahweh, our amazing and loving God, who wants to be on a First-Name Basis with them…He waits for them…He waits!
I pray that we all continue our Journey in Psalms…and experience more intimacy with Yahweh, our LORD. Enjoy your Journey…as you Treasure Hunt!
Love you in Jesus,
The Treasure Hunt-Week Three
“I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.”
Psalm 119:11 (HCSB)
Read a Psalm each day and journal your answers to the questions below.
*Saturday-Write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for what the LORD has done in your life. What do you feel like you can share with Yahweh? Continue your list of the attributes of God.
Questions for each day:
Record what you learn about God and His relationship with David?
What do you learn about the LORD’s character?
Have you personally experienced this particular attribute or character trait of the LORD? If so, how?
What treasure have you discovered about your God? What have you entrusted to Him this week? Has your relationship with Yahweh changed? If so, how?
Enjoy your Journey as you unpack God’s Truth and His Word. May you discover and experience The Greatest Treasure…your own personal, intimate relationship with Yahweh, your LORD!