Thursday, April 25, 2013

Six Names of Jehovah in Philippians

Names in Scripture often speak of the character of the person. In the book of Philippians joy is emphasized over and over. In chapter one it is joy in spite of our circumstances, chapter two joy in spite of people. Chapter three the emphasis is joy in spite of things and in chapter four we see joy that defeats worry. Sixteen times joy is mentioned in this book. But if we're going to have joy in our Christian life we have to get to the source of that joy, the joy giver Himself. The more we learn of the character of God and are occupied with Him, the more joy we will experience in life. I found it interesting that here in this book of joy there are six names of God that are emphasized. They tie in with six of the many names of Jehovah in the Old Testament. 

First of all it is important simply to look at this name Jehovah. This is the name of God as the Covenant keeping God. It is His name as the God of relationship, the God who desires to have a relationship with each of us! It is first used back in Genesis when Adam and Eve are created. Before that God is addressed as God or Elohim. After the creation of man He is addressed as LORD God, or Jehovah Elohim. He desires to have a relationship with mankind, we read in Genesis 3 that He came in the cool of the day to enjoy fellowship with those He has a relationship with. This is Jehovah! 

Going back to the book of Philippians we see that He is still interested in having fellowship with us and He wants our lives to be full of JOY. The Sunday School song says that JOY is Jesus first, Yourself last and others in between, JOY. The Lord Jesus said , that He desire that His "joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full" (Jn. 15:11) and in 1 John 1:1-4 the apostle John wrote, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life, the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." Real joy come the more we know the One who gives it so lets look at how He presents Himself in the book of Philippians: 

In Philippians 1:28 we have indication of Jehovah Nissi which means the Lord our Banner. It comes from Exodus 17:15 where we see Moses giving the alter this name after the Lord gave them victory over te Amalekites. Here (1:27-30) Paul was telling the Philippians to stand fast in one spirit with one mind and strive together for the faith of the gospel. The single mind enables us to have joy in the midst of battle. In the very middle of attacks from the enemy God proves Himself as our Jehovah Nissi, as our banner. This first name in Philippians speaks to us of Divine Protection. 

The next name appears in chapter two. Look at Philippians 2:27, here we see the Lord as Jehovah-Ropheca which means the Lord that heals you. This comes from Exodus 15:26 where He turns the bitter water sweet. In His mercy that is exactly what He is able to do in our lives. He turns the bitter experiences of this life into teaching moment for us and out of those experiences grows us for His glory. This is what read read happened to Epaphroditus in 2:25-30. In this name we see Divine Pity or compassion and we're reminded of Lamentation 3:22-26. 

The third name of Jehovah in Philippians is in 3:9, here we have Jehovah-Tsidkenu which means the Lord our Righteousness. This takes us back to Jeremiah 23:6 which speaks of the Lord Jesus in a coming day. But for us, we know that all our righteousness's are as filthy rags and Paul counted all of his as rubbish. He realized that he had no righteousness in himself. Like Paul we are found in Christ, we are accepted by God not because of anything we can do, but because of everything has done! In this name we see Divine Position! 

In Philippians 4:5 we the fourth name of Jehovah, which is Jehovah-Shammah, it comes from Ezekiel 48:35 and means the Lord is there. Paul declares, "the Lord is a hand." While in the context of Philippians 3:20 Paul might have had the Lord's coming in mind as he does in Romans 13:11-14 or James does in James 5:8. But it would also remind us of the nearness of the Lord's presence at all times as Psalm 119:151. What an impact this would make on our lives if we could keep remember His Divine Presence at all times! 

The fifth name of Jehovah in Philippians is found 4:9 in the expression the God of peace. This would connect with Jehovah-Shaloam which means the Lord is Peace. This take us back to the days of Gideon in Judges 6:24. Gideon lived in a day where there was very little spiritual strength and the enemy was destroying all the resources of the children of Israel. But Lord appeared to him and encouraged Him to be at peace. Gideon name that place The Lord is Peace. In Philippians 4:7 Paul had already spoken of the peace of God, there the thought was "supply." Here it is different, it is rather the source of the supply, the God of Peace! This phrase is used in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, "the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly." It is one thing to enjoy the provision of the Lord , but what joy we can have when we are occupied wth the presence of the God of peace. This is Divine Peace. 

The last name of Jehovah is found in Philippians 4:19, here God is seen as Jehovah Jireh which means the Lord will provide. This takes us make to Genesis 22:6-14 when Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” 

And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behindhim was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” The is one of the most beautiful picture of what God did in giving his only begotten Son. His provide for our salvation through His death. Unlike Isaac there was no subsitute for Him because He was the subsitute. So how does this connect with Philippians 4:19? I think Romans 8:31-32 has the answer for us, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 

We can break this verse in Philippians 4:19. In it we see five keys to God meeting our needs: 
My God- He is the Source, but notice we need to be able to call him MY God. It reminds us that there has to be a Personal Relationship with this great Provider!

Shall Supply-He is always onto time with His supply. Martha thought the Lord was late and said if only you had been here my brother would be alive. But He wasn't late! He is always on time! He shall supply. This is a Positive Promise. 

All your Needs-If He knows the has the very hairs on your head numbered and knows every sparrow that falls to the ground and your more valuable than sparrows (Lk. 12:7), be assured He will provide for your every need! This is the Pointed Scope of His provision. 

According to His Riches in Glory-Notice it is "according to" not out of. Think of: the riches of His goodness (Rom. 2:4), the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7) and here the riches of His glory! This reminds us of the Plenty of the Provision. 

In Christ Jesus- The emphasis here is where He is. He is the Man in the glory seated at the right hand of the Father. This is a Place of Power and wealth. So there is Divine Provision in the name Jehovah-Jireh. 

All of these names ought to bring joy to the heart of every believer and encourage us to carry on here together until He returns for us! 

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