Exodus 6:3 (NLT) I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.
In Exodus 6:3, God makes an interesting statement to Moses. He says, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them.” There are Jewish scholars who claim that this Scripture isn’t saying that the forefathers of the faith didn’t know that “Yahweh” was one of God’s many names. Instead, the side of God’s character that the forefathers saw throughout their lives was only El Shaddai—the all-powerful God, their sufficiency and sustainer. However, generations later in Egypt, the children of Israel witnessed the character of God in a way their forefathers did not. Yahweh—whose very name reflects that He is the source of all existence and being—showed His power in a way that completely defied the laws of nature.
Whether we realize it or not, God reveals Himself to us through different names at different times. We come to know the many facets of His character through each of these names. Sometimes the “name” family members or brothers and sisters in Christ know God by may not be the same name that we know Him by. We may grow up perceiving the Creator, at first, only as Elohim—God, ruler, and judge of the universe. When we receive salvation, we come to know Him as Haggo’el—the Redeemer. And as the Spirit of Adoption draws us closer to our Creator’s heart, we may come to know God as Abba—our Father.
Yet an infinite God has an infinite number of names. And as our life experience transforms, He continues to reveal those names by revealing His character at greater depths. Therefore, it may behoove us to occasionally pause and reflect on God’s interactions with us in different seasons. The Holy Spirit can reveal the name that God is making Himself known by at that time. By inquiring about the name that God is revealing for you at any given time, you will have the opportunity to see who He wants to be in your life now and forevermore. Even more, because God is your Father, it’s important to see how He is imparting aspects of His nature into you.