Sunday, July 13, 2014

The nature of God

The ABC’s of knowing God better: the letter “N”

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” – Exodus 3:14 (NKJV) 

“But who do you say that I am?” – Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 16:13 (NKJV)
Back in December, when I first got the idea for this series, “The ABC’s of knowing God better,” I was enthusiastic about using the alphabet to describe an indescribable God, to catch a glimpse into His many-faceted nature, to delve into Scripture to learn more about the One who calls us to know Him, love Him, and serve Him.
I promptly recorded my thoughts, jotting down at least one word for every letter of the alphabet. Well, almost every letter. Two letters had me stumped: N and X. I figured when the time came to write about that letter, I’d have a word.
I didn’t.
So I posed the question to my Facebook friends: “What word beginning with ‘N’ do you think describes God?”
Here’s what they said:
“Never-ending love.” (Jeanne)
“Near, nurturing.” (Ann)
“Ineffable.” (Jodie)
“I know this is an ‘I’ word, but it is silent!” Jodie said. She posted a link to the definition. According to the free Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary, ineffable means “too great, powerful, beautiful, etc., to be described or expressed; incapable of being expressed in words; not to be uttered.”
Intriguing, considering God’s name, Yahweh, was written in all caps without the vowels (YHWH) because the Hebrews believed God’s name, which reflected His nature, was too holy to be uttered or written out. Even today you’ll run across “G-d” instead of God.
While we’re on the topic, the name Yahweh (Jehovah) is a form of the verb to be, which is translated "I AM" in Exodus 3:14 when God revealed Himself to Moses. According to the Children’s Ministry Resource Bible, it signifies “the present One, He who is.” The Amplified Bible translates this verse as “I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.”
Okay, I’m off on a tangent, but I’m an etymology freak and am fascinated with the origin and history of words. There is much in this short verse, “I AM WHO I AM,” (actually a proclamation) to meditate on for a lifetime and never quite grasp the full meaning.
Moving on . . .
Teresa had a list: “near to my heart, never judgmental, never tired of my neediness, most important NOUN in my life! Never-ending, nurturing, nourishing.”
New life. (Margo)
Necessary. (Cass)
“The word new came to my mind,” Sue B. wrote. “He is new every morning! He always has new and wonderful things planned for us.”
Harry posted, “Nice,” and Susan wrote, “New creation.”
Wow! Ask and you’ll receive!
What about you? What word beginning with “N” do you think describes God?
Dear God, You may be indescribable, but You are not unknowable. You bid us to come to You so You can lavish Your steadfast love and faithfulness on us. How awesome is that? Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Job 38–41:11

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