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Good, Good Father

One of the things that I’ve been reflecting on lately is what to call God. This is two fold: the name of God and also the attributes of God.

There are certainly several different names to give God[1]. But I will take time to reflect on just one:

I’ve been told by assorted pastors[2] over the years about the significance of the name Yahweh[3]; we get the name Yahweh from the four asperate[4] consonants that are put together to mean the name of God in Hebrew in the Old Testament. People in that time wouldn’t even reference the name of God in its entirety because of the how holy he is; God’s name was so holy, so heavy for them.

In light of that, there are two reasons why I find that Yahweh holds so much weight in our current context. First, it comes from the fact that God is too holy for words; there is no name that I can give God that recognizes all of who he is. Even more significantly, though, is its weight because of the grace and mercy that God gives me just to utter his name. Just being allowed and encouraged to call out to my God, to use his name[5]. Wow! What love! I use Yahweh because God is not only holy, but he is also MY God, MY holy Father, MY personal savior, MY Yahweh.

So let’s say that I have now decided to call God, Yahweh. But who is Yahweh? How do I describe a God that is too holy for vowels?

When I am writing songs, I often agonize over getting just the right descriptor for God; God has already been called so many attributes that don’t seem to even remotely cover who he is. How do I describe the LORD of the universe? How do I describe in one word what he has done for me, who he is, and how he sees me?

As I reflected on this, I kept coming back to the word “good”. What a simple word; a simple word that you ascribe to a dog or a slice of pizza[6]. No, the word “good” isn’t good enough for MY God. Yet, that was the word that kept coming to mind[7].

On Good Friday, I was delivering Easter Lilies to a church as part of my new job. I heard one of the radio personal reflect on the “good” of Good Friday. She mentioned that this instance of “good” was taken from the old English way of saying “holy”.

When I heard that, my definition of the word “good” opened. I realized in that moment that “good” is not a simple word. Like Yahweh, “good” holds more weight than it seems. If “good” can mean holy, it can also mean faithful and loving, kind and compassionate and whatever other words we use to inadequately describe God.

I can confidently say, then, that God is good. But not “just” good. He is capital G-O-O-D, good. Always.

He is a good, good Father; it’s who he is. Always.

Blessings,

Gabby

 

[1] I often default to Father.

[2] Maybe some pastors reading this might want to enter the conversation in the comment section.

[3] I believe that it gets translated in our bibles as LORD (in all capitals).

[4] Some pastors have associated the use of these consonants to mean the breath of God because you have to breath out when you say them. More on this in a later blog post…

[5] I don’t need a Moses or a prophet or a pastor or clergy member. Me. I can talk to God through Jesus Christ, the only mediator I need.

[6] or the expected response when you ask someone, “how are you doing today?”

[7] I had a few friends in college these past couple of years that hated the song, “Good, Good Father” (Tomlin) because of the attempt to give God the attribute of “good” as a term of praise

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