Pete’s Letter: What’s in It?September 18, 2019
The Rulebook Vs. The PlaybookOctober 2, 2019
For our third Putting Green, I continue my push to reset your perspective on the Bible so that you will read it more. Not more in terms of quantity, necessarily, unless you are like many of my friends who barely read it all. If that is the case, then yes, read more. But my thrust is for you to read the scriptures with more richness, with more depth, and with the proper perspective—that this is a loving God speaking to you, personally.
It is fascinating to me that in Genesis God introduces himself to us with two different names. In Genesis 1, he calls himself God, but uses the Hebrew name “Elohim.” This means “Creator God.” This makes perfect sense because the first chapter is all about the creation of the universe.
But in chapter 2, at verse 4, the creation account takes a slight shift. The new focus is on the story of man. Would it surprise you to learn God uses a different, far more relational name as he tells us the story of his creation of … you?
He now refers to himself as “Yahweh.” Your Bible likely translates it, “LORD God.” Yahweh is the personal God, the relational God. Same God, mind you, just an additional nuance. He is now telling us the history of his story, as it relates to his creation of us, so naturally, this relational God adds a relational nuance to his name.
Why? Because he is a God of personal, one-on-one relationships. The Bible is a long, often winding, and often confusing story of Yahweh’s desire to be in relationship with us.
I have been asked many times, “Why would God even create us if he knew we would experience such heartache in this fallen world?” If I turn it back to you as a parent, the answer is obvious: Why would you bring children into this world, knowing they will suffer heartbreaks, injuries, illnesses, divorces, even death?
Because you want to share the love in your heart with them. You want to experience life with them. You want to share the richness of relationship with them. Simply put, you want to love them, cherish them, and take care of them.
He does, too.
But what if someone comes along and tries to convince you the Bible is not really Yahweh’s words. And certainly not words to you personally. Or tries to convince you God is mean, angry, and vengeful. Or that there is no love in him. Or that he is all about rules, commands, and “you better do this, and you better not do that, or else?”
Many have, you know. Perhaps you have allowed their arguments to distract you or confuse you. I totally understand. If I didn’t know him as I do, then I might be swayed by their arguments.
But Yahweh is real, he is relational, and he is reaching out to you.