2. Name of God: Yahweh
Yahweh means “The Lord” – Yahweh is derived from the Hebrew word for “I AM,” it is the proper name of the divine person, coming from the verb which means to “exist,” “be.” When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses was scared. He needed reassurance, he needed to know God was bigger than this problem, that He would carry them through, that even if people wouldn’t listen to him, they would listen to the One who sent him. Because His name carried that much awe and honor. He said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of you fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:13-14
God’s name, Yahweh, is one of authority. It is one that holds great power, and says to all who hear, “I AM the One, true God, follow me.” God is still the “Great I AM,” for He never changes. We can trust His loving leadership in our lives, just as Moses did. He calls us for his specific purposes, reminding us that He knows our way and He has a plan.
Yhwh, the tetragrammaton because of its four letters, is, strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. It is also the most frequent name, occurring in the Old Testament 6, 828 times (almost 700 times in the Psalms alone). Yah is a shortened form that appears fifty times in the Old Testament, including forty-three occurrences in the Psalms, often in the admonition "hallelu-jah" (lit. praise Jah). English Bibles represent the name yhwh by the title "Lord" (written in capitals to distinguish it from "lord").
In the postexilic period the Jews, for reverence reasons, did not pronounce the name but substituted for it the word adonai (lord), and in written form attached these vowels to the tetragrammaton. The resulting misguided pronunciation of the name yhwh as a three-syllable word, Y [J]ehovah, continued in English Bible translations until early in the twentieth century. Evidence from Greek usage in the Christian era points to the two-syllable pronunciation, "Yahweh."
The theological significance that attaches to the name yhwh is multiple. Judging from the etymology, but more particularly from the context in which the name is disclosed (Exod 3:12, 14; 6:2-8), the name signifies "presence." God is "with, " he is near and among his people. This overtone of presence is reiterated in the naming of the wilderness structure as "tabernacle", and in the promised name Immanuel ("God with us, " Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23). Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on him (Psalm 145:18) for deliverance (107:13), forgiveness (25:11), and guidance (31:3). Yahweh is dynamically near, but as God (Elohim) he is also paradoxically transcendent.
The name yhwh defines him as involved in human struggle. Yahweh's name is forever tied, through the exodus event, with salvation and liberation (Exod 15:1-13; 20:2-3). The salvation promise given in Exodus 6:6-8 is an expansive one, including intimacy with God and blessings of abundance, but is decidedly bracketed first and last with "I am Yahweh." The name yhwh is prominent in salvation oracles (Zep 3:14-17) and in petitions (Psalm 79:5, 9; 86:1). The salvation dimension of the name recurs in the announcement of the incarnation: the one born is to be called "Jesus" for (as an echo of the name yhwh) "he will save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21). In the name yhwh God's character as the savior of a people is revealed.
Theologically the name of Yahweh resonates with covenant, partly because in the explication of the name in Exodus 6:6-8 the covenant formula is invoked ("I will be your God and you will be my people"). The name yhwh is a name to which Israel can lay particular claim. In covenant, matters such as justice (Isa 61:8) and holiness (Lev 19:2) have an extremely high profile.
The name yhwh is anything but empty. The name carries overtones of presence, salvation defined as deliverance and blessing, covenantal bondedness, and integrity. [Bakers Evanglical Dictionary]