LORD OR JEHOVAH
THE second name of God revealed in Holy Scripture, the name "Jehovah," which we translate "Lord," shews us qualities in God, which, though they are contained, can hardly be said to be expressed, in the first name, "Elohim." (Note: I may perhaps say here, for those who do not read Hebrew, that, in our Authorised Version, wherever we find the name "God" or "Lord" printed in capitals, the original is "Jehovah," (as in Gen. 2:4, 5, 7, 8, &c.; Gen. 6:5, 6; 15:2; 18:1, 13, 19, 22, 26; Ezek. 2:4; 3:11, 27; Obad. 1:1.) Wherever we find "God," (as in Gen. 1 throughout, and in countless other passages,) it is "Elohim." Where we find "Lord," (as in Gen. 15:2; 18:3, 27, 30, 31, 32; and constantly in the prophecies of Ezekiel,) it is "Adonai." Thus "Lord God" (in Gen. 2:4, 5, 7, 8, and elsewhere,) is "Jehovah Elohim;" while "Lord God" (in Gen. 15:2, and Ezek. 2:4, and elsewhere,) is "Adonai Jehovah." I may add that wherever the name "Jehovah" stands alone, (as in Gen. 4:1, 3, 4, 6, 9, &c.) or is joined with "Elohim," (as in Gen. 2:4, 5, &c.,) it is always written in Hebrew with the vowel points of "Adonai:" where "Adonai" is joined to "Jehovah," (as in Gen. 15:2; Ezek. 2:4, &c.) "Jehovah" is written with the vowel points of "Elohim." For the Jews scrupulously avoided pronouncing the name "Jehovah," always reading "Adonai" for "Jehovah," except where "Adonai" is joined to "Jehovah," (as in Gen. 15:2, and like passages,) in which case they read "Adonai Elohim.") For the name "Elohim," as we have seen, in its very import and by its plural form, spoke of One whose very Being involved a covenant-relationship, which never could be broken. "Jehovah" on the other hand, as we shall see, shews One, who, being Love, is righteous also, and must therefore judge evil, wherever it exists, and at whatever cost, whether to the creature or to the Creator. Of course God is the same God, whether seen as "Jehovah" or "Elohim;" but "Elohim" gives us only one view, blessed as that is, of God our Saviour. We must know Him as "Jehovah" also, if we would know ourselves, or what it costs the blessed God to make us "partakers of His holiness" (Heb. 12:10).
Let me try to shew more exactly what the difference between these two names is, and how the One unchanging God, who in Himself is perfect Love, may, as we apprehend Him, appear in very different aspects or characters, either as Love or Truth as "Elohim" or "Jehovah." St. John tells us, "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16). This is what He absolutely is. But in the expression of love we may see that love is righteous also. As to His Being, God is Love, and "Elohim" declares this. "Jehovah" reveals Him as the Truth; and Truth is not so much the Being of God as the Expression of His Being. And as apprehended by us these appear different, though in themselves they are and must be one. Some may not yet see this. But all I think will see how Love must shew itself in truth and righteousness. Thus the selfsame Love in its Being and in its Expression may seem different. If we think of its Being, we shall see a will which cannot change, because it springs from and rests on being and relationship. If we think of its Expression, we shall see how variously it acts, and changes, or seems to change, in virtue of certain qualities or conduct in the loved one. A father's and still more a mother's unchanging love illustrates the first, a love which cannot change, spite of faults and failings in the loved one. This is love in its Being. But the Expression of this love varies in virtue of certain qualities in the beloved. If therefore a child rebels, or a friend deceives, or if a wife becomes unfaithful, there will be a breach of love. You must, much as it may pain you, part from them, and judge the evil; for if you do not, you countenance their evil doings.
Now Holy Scripture presents us with both these views of God. We have first the view of "Elohim," who, in virtue of His Being, in the might of love in virtue of relationship, cares for and works on His fallen creature, lost and fallen as it is, because it is His creature, and He is Love, and therefore He can never leave it nor forsake it. This is the view of God so fully shewn us in the first chapter of the Bible, and recognised and illustrated wherever we read of "Elohim" and His doings. But there is the second view, as to the Expression of love, namely, love in its relation to certain qualities in the loved one; and this it is which the name "Jehovah" so wondrously reveals everywhere; shewing that God, who is perfect love, is and must be a "God of truth" (Isa. 65:16), and that in all truest love there must be righteousness. And with creatures such as we are the result is plain. If in God there is perfect love, such love in its expression must regard conduct and quality; in other words, if there is in His love an element of righteousness, there may arise a breach between "Jehovah" and His creature; and if the creature sin, there must be a breach and separation.
Here then we meet with the first, and perhaps the greatest, of these apparent antagonisms in God, of which, not Scripture only, but Nature also, is so full everywhere. God surely is love; but if He loves only in virtue of quality, how can He love, what can He have to say to, sinners? Must He not hate us for our evil? On the other hand, if He only loves in virtue of relationship, what becomes of His righteousness, which must abhor and judge evil? It seems a hard riddle. But without this apparent antagonism we could not know God. For to creatures in our present state, who only see things as they appear, the full truth, or things as they are, can only be taught by the union of apparent opposites. The view we first need of God is to see Him as "Elohim." With this name therefore God begins the revelation. But fully to know God, something more than this is needed. So long as only this view of Him is seen, there can be no proper knowledge either of righteousness or sin. For in "Elohim" what we chiefly see is One whose love works with and overcomes all, and whose will prevails, whatever the hindrances. More than this is needed: even the knowledge of righteousness and sin, and how our sin, which is the opposite of righteousness and love, wounds, not the creature only, but "Jehovah." All this comes out in the knowledge of the second name of God, which Holy Scripture reveals "to make the man of God perfect" (2 Tim. 3:17).
This name "Jehovah," which thus supplements the primal name "Elohim," is first brought before us in the second and third chapters of the book of Genesis. In these chapters God is always "Lord God," in the Hebrew, "Jehovah Elohim," except where the serpent twice speaks of "God" to Eve (Gen. 3:1, 5), and where the woman parleys with the serpent (Gen. 3:3). In both these cases, Eve and the serpent omit the name "Jehovah," and only speak of "God," as if they would shut their eyes to all except His covenant relationship:—"Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" and "God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, nor touch it, lest ye die." All this is significant, as throwing light on the temptation. We are however now looking rather at the import of the name "Jehovah." And this name, like "Elohim," carries within itself its own meaning. It is formed of two tenses of the Hebrew verb, (Havah,) "to be," (Note: See Parkhurst's and Gesenius' Lexicons, under the word.) and means, "One who is what He is," thus containing the substance of the well-known words to Moses, "I AM THAT I AM" (Exod. 3:14). For these words, "I am that I am," are the expression of what God is. And this, if I err not, is the special and exact import of the name "Jehovah." "Jehovah" is the expression of God's being. And because He is true being, though He is love, He must be just and holy also, for evil is not true being, but the negation or privation of it. (Note: The great answer of the early Church to the Manichaean error always was, that evil is τὸ μὴ ὄν, that is, not true being; therefore not eternal. God is true being; ὁ ὤν. So Athanasius, Orat. c. Gentes, c. 4 and 6; Basil, Hom. "Quod Deus non est auctor malorum," c. 5; Gregory of Nyssa, Orat. Catech. c. 28; and Augustine, De Moribus Manich. lib. ii. § 2 and 3, and Confess. lib. vii. c. 12.) If we do not see, we may yet believe, that "I AM THAT I AM" involves all this; for touching "Jehovah," Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord" (Isa. 6:2, 3; and Rev. 4:8); and He says Himself, "Be holy, for I am holy" (Lev. 11:44, 45). "Jehovah" therefore is One, who "being what He is," "loves righteousness and hates iniquity" (Psalm 45:7), and finds in all evil, if it exists, something antagonistic to His nature, which, because it is not true, must be opposed and judged. But this recognition of something to which He is opposed, and which opposes Him, opens a depth which is never seen until we know "Jehovah." What this possibility of a will antagonistic to His own involves, not to the creature only, but to "Jehovah," is here told as only God could tell it. It is a wondrous vision, but it is most distinctly presented wherever "Jehovah" shews Himself; not least in those early chapters of Holy Scripture where this name is first revealed to us.
Let us then look more closely at the second and third chapters of Genesis. Man as well as God are seen here in an aspect very different to that which is set before us in the first chapter. There after the "waters" and the "earth" by the Word of God had "brought forth the moving creatures which had life,"—literally "the moving creatures which have a living soul," (Note: Heb. נפש חיה; literally translated "living soul," in the margin of the Authorised Version, Gen. 1:20, 30.)—"God created man in His own image," and "set him to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and over all cattle, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Gen. 1:26, 28). But in the second chapter, where "Jehovah" appears, man is shewn as "formed of the dust of the ground," (Note: Three different words,—namely ברא "created;" עשה, "made;" and יצר, "formed,"—are used, surely not without a purpose, as to God's work, in Gen. 1 and 2. The first, probably connected with בר, "a son," is to "create," or "generate:" the second is to "make" out of existing materials: the third is to "mould" or "form," as a potter moulds the clay. All these three words occur in one verse, in Isa. 43:7:—"I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.) then there is "breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives," (Plural in the Hebrew: נשמת חיים,) and man became, (what the creatures had been before him,) a living soul" (Gen. 2:7). (Note: The word here translated, "living soul" is exactly the same as that used respecting the beasts, in Gen. 1:20, 30. The text describes the genesis of what St. Paul calls the "natural" (or psychical) man. See 1 Cor. 15:44-46; and 1 Cor. 2:14. If I err not, Gen. 1:27 speaks of the creation of the "spiritual" man.) This is not seen until "Jehovah" is revealed. Then, having "become a living soul," man so "formed" is at once put under law. Instead of "God blessed him," as in the first chapter (Gen. 1:28), we have now, "Jehovah God commanded the man" (Gen. 2:16, 17). Can we forget here the Apostle's words, "The law is not made for a righteous man" (1 Tim. 1:9)? After which "every beast and fowl is brought to man, to see what he would call them;" but among them all "for Adam there was not found a help meet for him." What had taken place I do not fully know, but this at least is certain, that whereas, when "God created man in His own image," He said that "all was very good" (Gen. 1:31), "Jehovah Elohim" now first says, "It is not good" (Gen. 2:18); and the result is, that the man is thrown into "a deep sleep,"—a sleep which the Church has always viewed as figuring the cross and death of Christ, (Note: So Augustine, in Psalm 127 (E.V. 128) § 11; and in Psalm 126 (E.V. 127) § 7. This interpretation is common to nearly all the Fathers.) for indeed all sleep is the brother of death,—after which the man originally made in God's image, is divided, the woman taken out of the man, so that we have division where till now there had been oneness.
So much as to the altered view here given of man. What is shewn of "Jehovah" is, if possible, even more significant. Every word presents Him as One who marks quality and looks for righteousness. Even in Paradise He has, beside the "tree of life," the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" also (Gen. 2:9), thus from the very beginning calling attention to the difference between these. Then, as we have already seen, He puts man under law, saying both "Thou shalt," and "Thou shalt not" (Gen. 2:16, 17), with a warning and threat that disobedience must surely bring judgment. And then, when man disobeys, "Jehovah" pronounces judgment, sending him forth from Eden to eat bread by the sweat of his brow, until he return unto the ground from whence he was taken (Gen. 3:17-19); yet not without hope, for in the very judgment there is a promise of deliverance:—"The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head" (Gen. 3:15). But the vision throughout is of One whose love is in virtue of quality; whose will therefore can be obeyed or crossed, and whose will actually is crossed, by His creatures, though not with impunity; and who therefore, (if one may say so,) is subject to His creature's acceptance and rejection,—for He may have His Paradise stripped and emptied of its heir,—and so may be affected by the destructions which sin brings with it into God's creation. Oh, what a picture these early chapters of Genesis give us of "Jehovah." He makes for the man whom He has formed a Paradise, with every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. He puts him there to walk in converse with Himself. Because He is Himself holy, He gives man a commandment, which is holy, just and good. And the serpent's word is preferred to "Jehovah's." So Paradise is emptied of its heir: "Jehovah's" work is marred: His will is crossed: His holy law is broken.
Such is the first record we have of "Jehovah," every detail of which marks the view of God which this name reveals everywhere. All that Holy Scripture further records respecting this name only emphasizes its contrast to "Elohim," and reveals more fully those characteristics of "Jehovah" which the story of the Fall brings out so clearly. Take the fourth and fifth chapters of Genesis as an example, the former of which speaks only of "Jehovah," except where Eve says something of "another seed" (Gen. 4:25); the latter no less exclusively of "Elohim." In the former we have the record of the woman's seed: in the latter, the generations of the Son of Man. Throughout the former we are told of the woman "conceiving," and then of her varied seed, which is set before us as marked by varying tastes and qualities. Thus we read, "Adam knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain; and she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. ... And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch, and he builded a city. And unto Enoch was born Irad. ... And Lamech took two wives, Adah and Zillah; and Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents: and his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron" (Gen. 4:1-22). All this variety of quality in the woman's seed, in strictest conformity with the name under which it is revealed, is set before us under "Jehovah," who loves in virtue of quality, and who therefore "has respect to one," while to another He "has not respect" (Gen. 4:4, 5); who accepts one, while He judges and rejects another. How entirely different is the other record, in the fifth chapter, where we have the generations of the Son of Man, under "Elohim," where no reference is made to quality, but only to relationship; the one great fact, repeated generation after generation, being that the man "begat sons and daughters," and "lived" so long, and then "died" (Gen. 5:4, 7, 10, 13, &c.). Every word is distinctive and significant. It is thus also in the judgment of the Antediluvian world: how marked is the revelation respecting "Jehovah." We read, "And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. And Jehovah said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man; yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created ... and it repented Him that He had made man." What is all this in substance but a repetition of what we saw in Eden? Jehovah is righteous: He must judge evil. But the sin of man crosses and grieves Him. If His creatures suffer, He too suffers. So it is added, "And it repented Jehovah that He had made man, and it grieved Him at His heart" (Gen. 6:3, 5, 6, 7). Need I shew how all this differs from the vision of "Elohim"? "Jehovah" loves righteousness. If sin come into His creation, it crosses Him, and therefore must be judged.
I cannot go into all the details, yet I may perhaps notice in the record of the Flood, how the names "Elohim" and "Jehovah" are again and again interchanged in a way which cannot but strike a thoughtful reader. For instance, in Genesis 6:8, we read, that "Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah," while in the very next verse it is written, that "Noah walked with Elohim." For "Jehovah" is the "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord," before whom even the heavenly cherubim "veil their faces" (Isa. 6:2): He Himself says, "No man can see my face and live" (Exod. 33:20): while in "Elohim" the revelation is of a love in virtue of relationship. Noah therefore and Enoch may "walk with Elohim, and beget sons and daughters" (Gen. 5:22); but "Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah," for "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations" (Gen. 6:8, 9). Again, in Genesis 6:5, we read, "Jehovah saw the wickedness of man, that it was great upon the earth. ... And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created;" while only a few verses later (Gen. 6:12-18), we read, "And Elohim saw the earth, and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way. And Elohim said, I will destroy them with the earth: make thee an ark of gopher wood; for with thee will I establish my covenant." Here the righteous "Jehovah" says only, "I will destroy;" while when "Elohim" utters the same words, He adds directions as to "the Ark," and a promise as to the establishment of His "covenant." Every word is characteristic. So again, in Genesis 6:22, we read, "Thus did Noah according to all that Elohim commanded him;" while in Genesis 7:5, we have, "And Noah did according to all that Jehovah commanded him." But here again the context shews the reason for the change of name. For in "Elohim's" command only "two of every living thing were to be taken into the ark" (Gen. 6:19), for these "two" would continue the race, according to the will of Him who loves in virtue of relationship. "Jehovah's" added command is, "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens" (Gen. 7:2), for "Jehovah," the truth-requiring God looks for sacrifices. Therefore after the flood, "Of every clean beast Noah offered burnt-offerings to Jehovah" (Gen. 8:20), when righteous judgment had purged the earth of its pollution.
But Israel, to whom this name was especially revealed, is the great illustration of what "Jehovah" really is, though here, as in every revelation, eyes are needed to see, and ears to hear, what Holy Scripture sets before us. The revelation however is most distinct, whether in the Law, the Prophets, or the Psalms. Hear first the Law. In it "Jehovah" always speaks as the One who loves righteousness, and requires His own likeness in His people:—"Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. And thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deut 6:4, 5; see too Deut. 10:12; and Josh 22:5); that is, Thou shalt be like the Lord thy God. Every word is a demand for a love like "Jehovah's" own, and testifies of a requirement of righteousness and love in the beloved. This is the thought all through the Law, in its threatenings and promises as much as in its commandments. Therefore we read again, "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently to my commandments, to love Jehovah your God, and to serve Him with all your heart, that I will give you the rain of your land in due season, that thou mayest gather in thy corn and wine and oil" (Deut. 11:13-14). "But if ye will not obey the voice of Jehovah, but rebel against His commandments, then shall the hand of Jehovah be against you, as it was against your fathers" (1 Sam. 12:15). Indeed the great offence of Israel, after being redeemed by "Jehovah," "to be a nation of priests and a holy nation to Jehovah" (Exod. 19:6), is that they are not a holy people, and that they do not walk as the people of "Jehovah," the truth-requiring God (Amos 3:2). And all that is enjoined, whether as to "the offerings of the Lord," or, "the priests of the Lord," or, "the temple of the Lord," or, "the altar or table of the Lord," in a word all the appointed service of "Jehovah," expresses requirement,—a requirement which is for our good, yet a requirement to be satisfied, and which calls for ceaseless sacrifices, even to the pouring out of life, and of giving our best with gladness to Him. Sacrifice therefore even unto death,—a shedding of blood, that is a pouring out of life, in His service, in the sweet-savour offerings as much as in the sin and trespass offerings,—very specially marks the worship of Jehovah. His people must be holy:—"Ye shall be holy, for I, Jehovah your God, am holy" (Lev. 19:2). And again, "I am Jehovah your God. Ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, for I am holy" (Lev. 20:24-26).
If we grasp, even in measure, the meaning of this name, "Jehovah," we may better understand what "Elohim" said to Moses, "I am Jehovah, and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them" (Exod. 6:2-3). God had always been "Jehovah," but in the character which this name declares, that is, as the God whose love would be in virtue of certain qualities, even His elect, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had not as yet known Him. To them He had been known rather as "Elohim," that is, in covenant, or as "El Shaddai," that is, God Almighty. Not until the redemption out of Egypt, when He gave the law, and said, "Be ye holy, for I am holy," was the full import of the name "Jehovah" revealed to Israel. Eve had known it (Gen. 4:1), for she knew judgment. Noah too knew it (Gen. 9:26), for he had seen the Flood. But the life of faith, and sonship, and service, (and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, figure these,) (Note: See Types of Genesis, pp. 159, 160.) often goes far before it fully knows "Jehovah."
So much as to the revelation of "Jehovah" under the Law. But the same love of quality is no less seen in what the Prophets witness of Him:—"If a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, and hath walked in my statutes and kept my judgments, he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord Jehovah, ... but he that doeth not any of these duties, ... he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him" (Ezek. 18:5, 9, 11-13). This is the ceaseless witness of the "prophets of Jehovah" (1 Sam. 3:20; 1 Kings 22:7; 2 Chron. 28:9). They cry aloud and spare not, lifting up their voices like a trumpet, to shew Jehovah's people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins (Isa. 58:1); saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3); and yet "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4, 20). For "I, Jehovah thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments" (Exod. 20:5-6). This testimony never changes. The Psalms are full of it:—"Upon the wicked, Jehovah shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Jehovah loveth righteousness, His countenance doth behold the upright" (Psalm 11:6-7).
And yet with Israel, even as in Eden, and with the world before the Flood, while He most inflexibly inflicts judgment, we are shewn again and again, what so few think of, that sin grieves and wounds "Jehovah," and that He also suffers, if His people are disobedient. He Himself is pained by the destructions which sin must bring with it. Unless we see this, we do not know "Jehovah." But here, as throughout the whole record of "Jehovah," the testimony is most clear. Again and again, when Israel sinned, "the anger of Jehovah was kindled against His people, and Jehovah sold them into the hands of their enemies;" but it is not Israel only that is "sore distressed;" for of "Jehovah" also it is written, "And His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel" (Judges 10:6, 7, 9, 16). So, again the Prophet declares, "Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves" (Amos 2:13); that is, He is pressed and burdened, and goes groaning. So again the Psalmist says, "Forty years long was I grieved with this generation in the wilderness" (Psalm 95:10). "In all their afflictions He was afflicted" (Isa. 63:9). Who can measure the anguish of His words:—"How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? My heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together" (Hos. 11:8).
We are slow to see all this. And yet if Jesus Christ really reveals "Jehovah:" if He is indeed "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person" (Heb. 1:3): if He is, as the Apostle says, "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15): then His cross and sufferings shew, not only that sin brings death and sorrow upon men, but (if we may say it) sorrow and trouble also on "Jehovah." Christ's cross is the witness of "Jehovah's" cross, though by His cross He conquers all. "Surely He hath borne our griefs" (Isa. 53:4). Was it no grief to Him that His people rejected Him? "When He was come near and beheld the city, He wept over it" (Luke 19:41). Was He not crossed? He makes a feast, and none will come but those who are compelled. He says, "Come, for all things are now ready; and they all with one consent began to make excuse" (Matt. 22:4, 5; Luke 14:16-18). Can we misunderstand His oft repeated words:—"How often would I have gathered you, and ye would not" (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34)? His complaint is, "All the day long have I stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people" (Isa. 65:2; Rom. 10:21). For a time at least His will is crossed. Oh wonder of all wonders! "Jehovah" suffers as only righteous Love can suffer.
But there is more even than this in the revelation of "Jehovah," though the crowning glory of the revelation is only yet dimly seen by many of His people. Not only is He the God who requires righteousness; not only is He Himself affected by the destructions which sin has brought upon His creature; but still more, blessed be His name, His righteousness is not fully declared until He makes His creatures righteous with His own righteousness. What we first see in Him is law, and that, because He is righteous, He must condemn evil. But we should greatly err if we therefore concluded that this could be the end, for the new covenant of grace is His also (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-12). It is "Jehovah" who says, "This is the covenant that I will make after those days,"—(that is after law has done its work of condemnation,)—"I will put my law into their mind, and will write it in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." Righteousness is not complete, if it only judges and condemns; for the devil also can condemn. The highest righteousness, while it judges sin, can never rest until it also makes the sinner righteous. The saints have always felt this, and that God's righteousness is for them, not against them; saying, "I know, O Jehovah, that thy judgments are right, and that in very faithfulness thou hast afflicted me" (Psalm 119:75). "Quicken me, O Jehovah, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness sake bring my soul out of trouble" (Psalm 143:11). "In thy name shall thy people rejoice all the day, and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted" (Psalm 89:15, 16). Because He is righteous, evil must be judged: the evil-doer must be punished. But the evil being thus judged, and the sinner condemned, the righteous God is no less righteous,—rather He is yet more righteous,—in making the judged creature a "partaker of His holiness" (Heb. 12:10). Therefore St. Paul calls the Gospel "the ministration of righteousness, which exceeds in glory," even while he declares that the law, or "ministration of condemnation," has its own, though an inferior, "glory" (2 Cor. 3:7-9). Therefore he says again, that our "being made righteous freely by His grace" is "to declare God's righteousness" (Rom. 3:24, 25). Thus, though "sin reigns unto death, grace no less reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:21). For "Jehovah" is not content to be righteous Himself. Unlike the Pharisee, who thanks God that "he is not as other men" (Luke 18:11), "Jehovah" will have the creature made like Himself, by coming into its place, and making it sharer in His own righteousness. In a word, "He is just, and (therefore) the justifier" (Rom. 3:26). "He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Psalm 23:3). For to sum up all, as the Prophet says, "This is the name whereby He shall be called, The Lord, that is, Jehovah, our righteousness" (Jer. 23:6). This, and nothing less, is "the end of the Lord" (James 5:11). He condemns to justify; He kills to make alive; that is to make the creature righteous as He is righteous. (Note: The whole of Scripture is full of this thought. See Psalm 85:16-18; 118:18-20; Isa. 26:9.) But, as I have said, there are not a few from whom this part of the revelation of "Jehovah" is more or less hidden. Even men of faith, like Abram, do not see it for awhile. It comes out after the name "El Shaddai," that is "God Almighty," is revealed, and the man of faith is changed from Abram into Abraham.
Such is a brief outline of the revelation of "Jehovah." When it is seen in its completeness, it shews, what we so slowly learn, that God's love of righteousness is for us, as much as the love which springs from, and is in virtue of, relationship: nay more, that even the judgment and the curse involve a blessing; in other words, that "Jehovah" is a Saviour as truly as "Elohim." (Note: How mysterious are Jehovah's ways. "Neither to Adam nor to Eve was there one word of comfort spoken. The only hint of such a thing was given in the act of cursing the serpent. The curse involved the blessing."—The Eternal Purpose of God, by A.L. Newton, p. 10.) It shews too how the names of God, like the Four Gospels, overlap each other, each more or less containing something of that unutterable love, the fulness of which can only be expressed from stage to stage in successive revelations as we can bear it. Certainly in "Elohim's" dividing the light from the darkness, and the waters below from the waters above, and the fruitful earth from the salt and barren waters (Gen. 1:4, 6, 9), we see something of that discriminating love which is characteristic of "Jehovah," though, as we have seen, the revelation in "Elohim" is a love in virtue of relationship. So in "Jehovah," while this name expresses true being, and reveals One, who, because He is the Truth, must condemn all evil and unrighteousness, we may yet see, even in His judgments to make His creatures like Himself, tokens of the unforsaking love of which Elohim is the witness; while in His giving His own nature and righteousness to His creatures we have still further glimpses of that vision which the following name "El Shaddai," or "Almighty," more distinctly declares to us. For God's perfections are inseparable. All really are in all, though we learn them by degrees, and as our need calls for the growing revelation.
I will only add here, that when "Jehovah" is first revealed, as in the second and third chapters of Genesis, His primal name, "Elohim," is always added also, except, as we have seen, where the woman or the serpent speak, who speak only of "Elohim." Every act and word is of "Jehovah Elohim;" to shew that, though He is all that "Jehovah" expresses, One who is righteous and must judge sin, He never ceases to be "Elohim" also, who loves unforsakingly, because He loves in virtue of relationship; that therefore to the very end, even if man falls, there is "hope for him in God" (Psalm 3:2; 42:11), who says, "There is no Elohim besides me: look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else;" who yet says, in the same breath, "I am Jehovah, a just God and a Saviour;" and again, "Surely shall one say, In Jehovah have I righteousness and strength. ... In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory" (Isa. 45:21-25). The names are often intermingled, but always with a purpose, to bring out something distinctive in our God, the knowledge of which adds to His people's strength or gladness. "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Jehovah, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day, and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted" (Psalm 89:15, 16). Shall we not then pray with Moses, "I beseech thee, shew me thy glory," when, as with Moses, "Jehovah passes before us," and proclaims His name,—"Jehovah, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty" (Exod. 33:18; 34:6, 7). Shall we not say with the Psalmist, "I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live:" "I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge" (Psalm 104:33; 91:2).
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