This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 102:12 ‘Thou, O Jehovah, wilt abide forever; Thy memorial name unto

This Week’s Focus Passage: Psalm 102:12

‘Thou, O Jehovah, wilt abide forever; Thy memorial name unto all generations.’

On five occasions, each being in the older Testament, with four in the book of Psalms, is the term ‘memorial name,’ or ‘holy memorial name,’ used, while it is made use of just once in Hosea 12:5, where we read, Even Jehovah, the God of hosts; Jehovah is his memorial nameThe first from the Psalms, is 30:4; the superscription being, A Psalm; a Song at the dedication of the house. A Psalm of DavidVerse four directs the believing reader to; Sing praise unto Jehovah, O ye saints of his, and give thanks to his holy memorial name. Our term, or rather, God’s term, is next found in Psalm 97:12; where we are instructed by God, the Holy Spirit, to, Be glad in Jehovah, ye righteous; and give thanks to his holy memorial nameOnce and again, we read this blessed expression, his holy memorial name. There is also, in Psalm 102, a superscription, directed by God the Holy Spirit, who led men of old to pen His Word; A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before JehovahAnd then, in verse 12, our focus passage this week, But thou, O Jehovah, wilt abide forever; and thy memorial name unto all generations. The fourth example is the thirteenth verse of Psalm 135, which has been supplied with no superscription, declaring this repeated affirmation; Thy name, O Jehovah, endureth forever; Thy memorial name, O Jehovah, throughout all generations. 

Surely, the origin of this terminology, is most likely that to be found in Exodus 3:15. This pericope which shares, with the reader of Scripture, this blessed dialogue between God and Moses, begins with Moses tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. As Moses is busy keeping his father-in-law’s sheep, and we are informed that, he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, unto Horeb.—vs. 1. And it is at this point, that he saw a burning bush. We are expressly told, that the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush was not consumed. This was Moses’ introduction to God; indeed, God called him oiut of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. It is at this point that God calls him to draw nigh, but first take your shoes off your feet, for you are about to stand on holy ground. 

God then informs Moses as to Who is speaking with him, telling this keeper of sheep, that He is the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses is afraid to look upon God, and therefore hid his face. But God begins to give him his call to duty, he offers to explain the history [we are tempted to say, mystery] of this call, when He informed Moses, 

I have surely seen the affliction of my people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry, by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanite. And the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 

And in relatively short order, God comes to the point, when He reveals His will further, to Moses, in the following express statement;

Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

‘I will send thee,’ God has instructed this Egyptian taught shepherd. This is that point where Moses, rather famously, inquires of God, ‘who shall I say sent me?’

Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto MosesI AM THAT I AM: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 

We are provided with options, in a footnote, regarding I AM THAT I AM. The options are; I AM BECAUSE I AM, or, I AM WHO AM, or, I WILL BE THAT I WILL BE. The point being affirmed in each case, that the God of their fathers is the GREAT I AM; i.e. I AM hath sent me unto you. A footnote is also inserted regarding this specific, ‘I AM.’ The Hebrew is Ehyeh. “from the same root as Jehovah.” The answer, then, to the question of Moses, ‘Who shall I say hath sent me,’ say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah hath sent me unto you.

The varieties of expression uttered by the psalmists in our four examples, each denote, that Jehovah is His memorial Name. It seems rather strange that there is to be found in nearly all the English translations of the Word of God, not even one, or in some copies, just one, or a few, uses of the name, Jehovah. We understand that this ‘phenomenon’ is to be explained by the Jewish superstition of not uttering that ‘holy Name.’ Nevertheless, it is not that easy to grasp how that the overwhelming preponderance of English translations continue to eschew the rendering of Jah, or, Jahweh, to be Jehovah. Even in the best known Psalm of all, the 23rd psalm of David, we will not read, but in the 1901 American Standard Version, as follows, in vs. 1-2;

Jehovah is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters. And verse six; Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever. 

 And while we do not find the name, Jehovah, in the New Testament, we certainly do find wonderful allusions to it, from the lips of our Savior. Jesus has pronounced that He is the ‘I Am’ on many occasions. He told His hearers, I am the Bread of Life, I am the True Vine, I am the Light of the world, I am the resurrection and the Life, and more. Indeed, we may read, in John 8:58, Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I Am.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church 


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