YHWH El Nas
Names of God – part 25
The LORD God that lifts up
YHWH is God’s actual name which he revealed to Moses from the burning bush, it implies the personal nature of God and El the creator which is immeasurably beyond us. These two names are held in contrast here, a God who is both close and strange to us.
The third part of the name here is how God relates to us:
The word Nas is translated as forgiving in this passage:
O LORD our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
But an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Psalm 99:8 ESVUK
I like the Athorized Version here where avenger of their wrongdoings becomes thou tookest vengeance of their inventions. Their inventions, the things they think about doing as well as the things they do.
There is a nice conflict here between forgiveness and vengeance. God’s vengeance is not about the people but about their wrongdoing. God tells us not to take revenge because human nature is to take revenge on the people.
But looking for the meaning of nas and the verb form nasa I came upon something, Nas does not usually mean forgiveness, it normally means lift up, as in Psalm 121 v1, I will lift up my eyes up to the hills. Nas can mean lift up or carry away. In the context of people lifting themselves up it is alwys a negative thing.
I am a little confused by this, but I hear God saying, “No matter what your plans, I have something greater for you. I want to lift you up to something greater than anything you can imagine. Trust in me, I care for you”