Clouding the exact evolution of El and Yahweh as concepts (and any other aspect of belief, for neither El nor Yahweh ever existed as anything except mind images of fervent believers) is the invariable propensity of associated religions to revise their history along the way according to subsequently popular interests.
Thomas Daniel Nehrer
No attempt should be made to "reconcile" Yahweh's hardening of Pharaoh's heart (plagues 6, 8, 9, 10) with statements in the other plagues that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. The tension cannot be resolved in a facile manner by suggesting, for example, that Pharaoh has already demonstrated his recalcitrance, so Yahweh merely helps the process along, or that he is doing what Pharaoh would have done on his own anyway. Rather, 9:12 is a striking reminder of what God has been trying to teach Moses and Israel since the beginning of the Exodus episode: He is in complete control. However Pharaoh might have reacted is given the chance is not brought into the discussion. He is not even given that chance. Yahweh hardens his heart. It is best to allow the tension of the text to remain.
Belief in Yahweh doesn't come with your mind. It comes with your heart. When you only believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, it is idolatry...To have faith in Yahweh is to know that there is a realm of the spirit beyond the comprehension of our minds... Trusting in Molech... or trusting in your own wisdom and intellect - there's no difference in God's eyes. It's all idolatry.
Belief in Yahweh doesn't come with your mind. It comes with your heart. When you only believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, it is idolatry... To have faith in Yahweh is to know that there is a realm of the spirit beyond the comprehension of our minds... Trusting in Molech... or trusting in your own wisdom and intellect - there's no difference in God's eyes. It's all idolatry.
Verse 12 [of Ex. 12) tells us that the judgment of Yahweh is not only on the Egyptians but also on their deities. This is probably an allusion to the fact that Egyptians would often pray for the safety of their firstborn, particularly firstborn sons, as was the custom in many ancient patriarchal cultures. The death of the firstborn would be seen as a sign of the anger or perhaps the impotence of their gods. This is worth pondering when it comes to the death of Jesus as God's only begotten, or beloved, Son. Would Jesus' contemporaries have assumed his death was a manifestation of God's wrath? Probably so. In any event, Yahweh is showing his superiority over the spirits behind the pagan deities, and thus we should not overlook the supernatural struggle that is implied to be behind the contest of wills between Moses and Pharaoh.
Ben Witherington III
The Self says 'I AM'""as in the very grand sayings of Christ, especially in the Gospel of John, in which he says in the state of onenenss with Yahweh (which in Hebrew means 'I AM'), I AM is the way and the truth and the life""but the ego says 'I am this' or 'I am that,' thus attaching itself only to a small portion of the Vastness. (62)
The Self says 'I AM'-as in the very grand sayings of Christ, especially in the Gospel of John, in which he says in the state of onenenss with Yahweh (which in Hebrew means 'I AM'), I AM is the way and the truth and the life-but the ego says 'I am this' or 'I am that, ' thus attaching itself only to a small portion of the Vastness. (62)
I don't often want to speak. I try to be a reasonable person and to be diplomatic, but you go to that place and you see the settlements, you see what has happened to the land that was owned by the Palestinians. I have often said to my Jewish friends: "Please just remember where you come from. Remember Yahweh, who said to the Israelites, 'Treat the alien well with justice.'"
The Universal Zulu Nation stands to acknowledge wisdom, understanding, freedom, justice, and equality, peace, unity, love, and having fun, work, overcoming the negative through the positive, science, mathematics, faith, facts, and the wonders of God, whether we call him Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, or Jah.
One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna. A globalization of evangelism 'in connection' with others, and a globally 'in-formed' gospel, is capable of talking across the fence with Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim - people from other so called 'new' religious traditions ('new' only to us) - without assumption of superiority and power
One, gains an unmistakable impression that the Sky- God wanted to communicate with people of various folk religions all the time, but for His own mysterious reasons maintained a policy of restraint until the arrival of Yahweh's testimony! This is surely a powerful exta-biblical evidence for the authenticity of the Bible as revelation from the one true and universal God!
But for centuries, since the capitulation of Judah, the Jewish peoples had been almost continuously under foreign control. So, where was Yahweh all this time while his people suffered... ? Far from ever questioning the very being of such an inept deity, the conclusion was invariably reached - likely promoted by religious authorities living privileged lifestyles - that the people had sinned, had worshipped other gods, had somehow failed their side of the bargain.
Thomas Daniel Nehrer
For the first time in history, men and women are seriously exploring the possibilities of relationships based on separateness rather than togetherness. Instead of clinging to Yahweh, to a rigid set of laws established by a jealous Father-God who will rant in fury if he is disobeyed, they are simply ignoring that ranting, walking away from it, and attempting to put their trust in the irrational. In other words, they are trying to live by the spirit.
There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
David Foster Wallace
There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship-be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles-is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
David Foster Wallace
I give all the glory of all of my words to my Savior, Jesus Christ, The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, The Prince of Peace, The Mighty Counselor, The Truth, The Way, The Light Of The World, Yahweh, JAH. Abba Father, I will forever give you all glory and praise for you have given me eternal life, wisdom, and knowledge, and I am eternally grateful. ~Amen~
Leif Ericsson Leo Veness
We can be reluctant to recognize how much of our culture was literary, particularly now that so many of the institutional purveyors of literature happily have joined in proclaiming its death. A substantial number of Americans who believe they worship God actually worship three major literary characters: the Yahweh of the J Writer (earliest author of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers), the Jesus of the Gospel of Mark, and Allah of the Koran.
The list of things about which we strictly have to be agnostic doesn't stop at tooth fairies and celestial teapots. It is infinite. If you want to believe in a particular one of them - teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh - the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not. We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so.
The Jews have made him [Yahweh] the assassin of the human species, to make room for the religion of the Jews. The Christians have made him the murderer of himself, and the founder of a new religion to supersede and expel the Jewish religion. And to find pretence and admission for these things, they must have supposed his power or his wisdom imperfect, or his will changeable; and the changeableness of the will is the imperfection of the judgement.
Mastema prefers absolutes. He wants fences on the world and everything in its place, neat and tidy as a churchyard garden. God is not like that. God is boundless. For all his wisdom, Mastema cannot comprehend Yahweh's need for surprises. An omniscient Being would naturally yearn for things beyond His control, futures He could not see, wills He could influence but not command. Strange, yes. It is odd when the puppeteer desires his wooden slaves to cut their strings, yet that is exactly what He did when he granted humans free will.
Timing is a big factor in seeing our desires met, and God's timing is perfect. Do not give up on a dream if it seems impossible or out of reach. Nothing is impossible for Yahweh! However, because man has the gift of free will and continually chooses rebellion and sin over submission, the heavenly Father may need time to align events and transform hearts. It takes time to mold self-willed lumps of clay into vessels of honor and gratitude.
The humble woman is surprised by all the good that she sees around her rather than scandalized by what she cannot judge anyway. The humble woman is grateful for her successes but not disheartened by her failures. She enjoys her gifts and readily admits her mistakes. She maintains a sense of humor, whether the news from Wall Street is giddy or glum. She faces her character defects without getting discouraged. Her humble confidence in God's love and her enchantment with the kabod Yahweh shape a hedge of thorns against self-absorption and frees her for an unselfconscious presence to others.
Matter, ' Vittoria repeated. 'Blossoming out of nothing. An incredible display of subatomic fireworks. A miniature universe springing to life. He proved not only that matter can be created from nothing, but that the Big Bang and Genesis can be explained simply by accepting the presence of an enormous source of energy.' 'You mean God?' Kohler demanded. 'God, Buddha, The Force, Yahweh, the singularity, the unicity point-call it whatever you like-the result is the same. Science and religion support the same truth-pure energy is the father of creation.
It's only in the finer points that it gets complicated and contentious, the inability to realize that no matter what our religion or gender or race or geographic background, we all have about 98 percent in common with each other. Yes, the differences between male and female are biological, but if you look at biology as a matter of percentage, there aren't a whole lot of things that are different. Race is different purely as a social construct, not as an inherent difference. And religion - whether you believe in God or Yahweh or Allah or something else, odds are that at heart you want the same things. For whatever reason, we like to focus on the 2 percent that's different, and most of the conflict in the world comes from that.
Prior to the monotheistic Yahweh, the gods made sense, in that they had familiar, if supra-human appetites-they didn't just want a lamb shank, they wanted the best lamb shank, wanted to seduce all the wood nymphs, and so on. But the early Jews invented a god with none of those desires, who was so utterly unfathomable, unknowable, as to be pants-wettingly terrifying. So even if His actions are mysterious, when He intervenes you at least get the stress-reducing advantages of attribution-it may not be clear what the deity is up to, but you at least know who is responsible for the locust swarm or the winning lottery ticket. There is Purpose lurking, as an antidote to the existential void.
Robert M. Sapolsky
For the Hebrews, names provided a direct link with the Creator. They understood words as being the creative fire of God, the 'black fire on white fire' of His Law. Every utterance and every act of creation through which He revealed Himself was not only word made flesh but fire made flesh. The word for 'being', yesh, 'to exist' or 'to have substance' was flame-breathed. The word for 'fire', esh, was embedded in the word for 'being' and in the very notion of 'being human'. The rabbis were said to have asked: Why is the word for 'woman', ishah? Because she is fire, esh. Why is the word for 'man', ish? Because he too is fire, esh. They noted that when the Hebrew letters for 'man' and 'woman' came together they produced a new word as part of the union: yah, a reference to Yahweh, the Name of God.
How vigilant we must be to ensure that we don't allow our impression of Jesus to be held captive by the prevailing mores of our secular culture! Rather, it is essential that we continue to return to the Gospels to ensure that the reverse occurs: to allow Jesus to hold our hearts and imaginations captive in response to the dominant thinking of our time. For exiles trying to live faithfully within the host empire of post-Christendom, the Gospel stories are our most dangerous memories. They continue to fire our imaginations and remind us that it's possible to thrive on foreign soil while serving Yahweh, but it's the kind of thriving that often rejects popular wisdom. These stories are the standard by which we judge all other stories, all other descriptors of life today. If, after reading these dangerous biblical stories, you can't imagine Jesus the Messiah as a televangelist, strutting around on stage in a flashy suit, playing it up for the cameras, then you are forced to reject this image and seek another mode of being Christ today.