Yahweh Speaks

Read: Genesis 12:1-3

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (v. 1)

Of the many gods (elohim) in that ancient world, the only real God (Elohim) was the one that Abraham came to know. This God had a personal name; traditionally in English Bibles it is “Jehovah” or “LORD” in capital letters. It was probably pronounced something like “Yahweh.” Not till long afterwards, in the days of Moses, did people discover the full meaning of this name. But some had addressed him as Yahweh practically from the beginning (see Genesis 4:26).

The reason they could talk to Yahweh was that he had first talked to them. And the Lord who had once spoken to Adam now spoke to Abraham. We need not trouble ourselves with wondering exactly how God’s words were heard in those days, because we know how he speaks today. His Holy Spirit lights up the truths of the Bible for us, and so we hear his voice. Even more important is what he says. Always it is a message that expects a response; never mere information, let alone entertainment. In Abraham’s case it was first a command to leave his home and go where God would lead him. Abraham had to believe and therefore obey. And then along with the command came a promise of a land and descendants, which would one day come true and confirm what Yahweh had said. —Michael Wilcock

As you pray, ask God to speak to you, and listen for his answer.

About the Author

Rev. Michael Wilcock was formerly director of pastoral studies at Trinity College, Bristol, and vicar of St. Nicholas' Church, Durham. He is now based in Eastbourne, England, as a writer and speaker.