Exodus 3:13-15—Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.
What I love most about Scripture is how packed it is with profound truth—truth that we may gloss over and not catch if we fail to meditate upon it. The passage above is one of those sections that we could easily read and think, “That’s nice. God loved the Israelites. Good for them but this really doesn’t apply to me.” If we thought that way we would be sorely mistaken. The conversation between God and Moses above has weighty meaning.
When we introduce one another, if we think highly of the person we are introducing, or, if we want to impress our listeners, we use the best title or attributes. “I’d like you to meet Matt, he is a doctor.” Or, “This is Samantha; she was the state champion in track.” More impressively, “This is Pastor Harry, a Captain in the Navy Reserves, and the owner of two stores.”
When God answered Moses question regarding what His name was, He did two incredible things. First, He introduced Himself as I AM WHO I AM, which more literally in the Hebrew is interpreted as I WILL BE THAT I WILL BE. John Gill wrote, “This signifies the real being of God, his self-existence, and that he is the Being of beings; as also it denotes his eternity and immutability, and his constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, for it includes all time, past, present, and to come . . .” Charles Ellicott taught, “My nature . . . cannot be declared in words, cannot be conceived of by human thought. I exist in such sort that my whole inscrutable nature is implied in my existence.” Essentially God tells Moses, “My essence is enough to answer your question.”
What God does next reveals how closely linked He is to His people. First, note what God does not do. He does not apply credentials to His name to impress the Israelites. So easily He could have mentioned His work: “I AM the CREATOR”—clearly indicating that they owed their very existence to Him. To amaze them, He could have mentioned His attributes: “I AM EVERYWHERE,” or, “I AM ALL KNOWING,” or, “I AM ALL POWERFUL.” Instead, He ties Himself directly to them! He tells them He is the God of their fathers and then points out names they all knew—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Yahweh was not interested in impressing the Israelites. This Holy Father saw into the hearts of His rebellious, cantankerous family. He wanted them to know that He understood their suffering. He sent Moses as a direct fulfillment to His promises to Abraham and his offspring—to rescue them. Now, let’s apply this passage to us.
Yahweh is not interested in impressing us. He knows our nature. He wants us to know how much He understands our suffering.He sent Jesus, the Messiah, as a direct fulfillment to His promises to David, Isaiah, Micah . . . to rescue us. Jesus said, “I have come in My Father’s name” (John 5:43a). The Son of God ties Himself directly to Exodus 3:14 with the declaration that nearly got Him stoned, “Before Abraham was,I am . . .” (8:58,59). I AM is the name of God! “This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.” Something in Exodus to think about . . . in reveration!
The Bible never argues or debates; it states revelation facts. Our understanding of these facts depends on a relationship of faith, not on intellectual curiosity, and our perception of these Bible truths is granted by the Holy Spirit.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)