Saturday, April 24, 2010

Who's Jehovah and Whose Jehovah by Fenn Allen

Week 17--April 25-May 1
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 12-22; 2 Kings 1-5; Psalm 58-60
Key passages for this devotion:1 Kings 17:1

Who’s Jehovah? Is He “Circumstantial Jehovah” or Unchanging Jehovah? Does Jehovah change as our circumstances change, or does he remain the same?

Over the years, I have often asked my wife, Ann, why the lives of Christians seem little different from the lives of non-Christians. My walk has at times been very dependent on my circumstances. When my circumstances were good, I saw God and myself as good. When my circumstances were bad, I saw God and myself as bad. My life was a roller coaster ride.

My Jehovah was “Circumstantial Jehovah” instead of Unchanging Jehovah. Therefore, instead of living and trusting in Him Who is all I need, I lived dependent on feelings and circumstances to meet my every need. I lived a dependent, frustrating life instead of an independent, abundant life.

I allowed my experiences to define my reality instead of letting Jehovah’s truth define my reality. I viewed God’s words as mere rhetoric. Although everything God says He is, is true; only when I live according to that truth do I gain its benefits.

I sought to find the abundant life in many good things, but not in HimWho is the very abundant life I seek. The abundant life is not something I have to get; it is something I already have. He is the abundant life.

The proper name for the God of Israel, “Jehovah,” is derived from God’s conversation with Moses in Exodus 3 where God says to Moses “I am who I am.” Jehovah is often rendered “Lord” and is derived from the Hebrew word translated “to be.” In essence, Jehovah means “the unchanging, eternal, self-existent God who is dependent on nothing and independent of all things.”

God was saying to Moses and to us that our feelings and circumstances do not affect or change God’s reality or Who He is.

In I Kings 17, the Prophet Elijah bursts onto the scene and answers both “who’s Jehovah” and “whose Jehovah.”  Elijah’s first recorded words are spoken to Ahab, the king of Israel who “did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.”  Elijah proclaimed in truth and boldness, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

Elijah, who knows Jehovah personally, is speaking to Ahab, who rejects Jehovah with his every word and action. Elijah removes any doubt of “Who’s Jehovah?” by declaring that He is the God of Israel and that He is alive.

Elijah was saying that it does not matter who you are, Ahab, or your position, or your power, or whether you ignore and reject Him. The fact is, Jehovah is the Living God of Israel and He still reigns and He is going to prove it once again.

In addition, Elijah answers the question, “whose Jehovah” in several ways. First by the very meaning of his name “Jehovah is my God.”

Wow! Elijah does not just know Jehovah through religious teachings or through what his parents or others said about Him, but he knows this Jehovah in an intimate and personal way. Jehovah is not a far off and unreal God. Jehovah is a real and personal God. Jehovah is his God.

Elijah also declares to Ahab that he stands before Ahab because he stands before God and in God. He basically tells Ahab ‘I come to you not on my own accord or in my own power, but in the very power of the living God. And because He lives, I live and because He speaks, I speak.’

Thus, Elijah provides the only way to get off of the roller coaster of life.

So when life seems to be taking you for a ride; stop and ask and answer the following two questions:

Who’s Jehovah?
The great “I am who I am”—the unchanging, eternal, self-existent God who is dependent on nothing and  independent of all things.
    Whose Jehovah?
    He is my God and in Him I stand, and when I stand in Him I stand on a strong and sure foundation.

    The God we serve is not circumstantial Jehovah.  He is Jehovah!

    Fenn Allen has been a follower of Christ for over 35 years. He and his wife of 25 years, Ann, have 3 sons and they've been members of Crossroads for 6 years.  Fenn leads a life group, enjoys reading, learning and sharing about His Lord, exercising, and spending time with friends and family.  He feels he is beginning to understand that God loves him for his person and not his performance, and that Christ is his life.

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