The sacred name of the Creator is יהוה. Regarding His sacred name, what seems to get the most attention is how to pronounce it. Some people think it’s “Yahweh,” others think it’s “Yahveh”; some believe it’s “Yehovah.” Frankly, there are several pronunciations advanced by different camps, each one believing they have the historical and linguistic evidence to support their preferred pronunciation as the correct one. Of course, there is a correct way to pronounce the Name and one day we shall all know it, but for now, no one can be certain beyond any doubt on just what it is. That is why I choose to refer to Him as “Creator, the Almighty, God, Lord,” and many times I prefer to use the title of “Father.”
I knew my earthly father for over fifty years, but not once did I ever address him by his first name. If someone asks me what his name is, I’ll tell them his name was “Bill.” His friends called him “Bill” but his children respectfully called him “father”, or in my case, “Pop.” When it comes to the Creator, it’s not as important to focus on how to pronounce the Name as it is to emphasize His attributes, character and, most importantly, the role He plays in our life. Regarding Him as Father, speaks to the essence of who He is and, frankly, what He wants to be in my life. As Father, He is my origin, He is my protector and provider. Most importantly, because He is my Heavenly Father, He is all of these things for eternity.
The name יהוה is believed to be a compilation of the Hebrew verb hayah היה in its past, present, and future tenses. In other words, the name of God means, “He was, He is and is to come.” However, it is not to imply that He used to be, now He is, and tomorrow He will be, but that He was, is, and will be, all at the same time. He is the Eternal One because He transcends time. Therefore, to every generation He is God, and thus the psalmist says:
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (Psalm 90:1-2)
Considering His unfathomable nature, what should we focus on? It’s too easy to get focused on technicalities like pronunciations, but might it be better if we were to focus on the essence of who God is? We might not know exactly how to pronounce the Name, but we know that when we call on Him, He will answer. How do we know this? Because He is our Eternal Father and it is His nature to respond to His children even if they don’t know how to pronounce His Name. It is critical, however, that we know Him.