September 17 | Genesis 3:1-11
A Subtle Shift
by Mary Alice McGinnis
I love vacationing at the beach. Feeling the sun on my face and the power of gentle ocean waves against my body refreshes me. In an instance, I can bring to memory times of being out in the surf, chest high in the water, catching a wave as it comes in, and riding it in toward the shore. I can hear the laughter and joy of those moments. Time after time as I ride the curls of the foaming waves in toward the shore, I soon find myself quite a distance from my resting place on the beach, where my towel, chair and refreshments await me.
How does that happen? How do we so quickly find ourselves in a different place than we intended to be?
It starts with a subtle shift.
I noticed such a subtle shift as I was studying today’s passage.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made."
Notice that at first God is called the LORD God. In the Hebrew text these words are LORD (Jehovah or Yahweh) and God (Elohim).
Yahweh was the name of God, held in such honor and reverence that it was thought sacrilege to even speak His Name. It is often translated as Jehovah. The sacred Name of God, Yahweh, was the name given to Moses when he encountered God in the burning bush. Yahweh means “I AM.” It relates to God’s eternal, unchanging, perfect nature.
The word Elohim – God – points more to God’s supreme authority and rule over all things.