When people called God by name

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

Some years back, in 1995, Joan Osborne sang:

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?

One of Us: written by Eric Bazilian, sung by Joan Osborne on the album Relish

At some point in their history, not only did the Jewish people believe, as they still do, that God has a special, holy and personal name, but they did indeed, it seems use it to his “face” – that is, they addressed him by that name.

In Saturday’s post on the book of Exodus, I said I would add an extra post about God’s name. The scriptures use various names for God. Near the beginning of the Exodus story, however, is the encounter Moses has with God at the burning bush. (Exodus 3:1-15) There God identifies himself with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the same God that their ancestors worshipped, and is known through the stories people tell about them.

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