Monday, February 25, 2013

I AM—God's name forever

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Exodus 3:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "Then Moses said to God, 'Indeed when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you," and they say to me, "What is His name?" what shall I say to them?'
And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, 'Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you ... This is My name forever."'" Exodus 3:13-15

What a curious name God calls Himself: I AM WHO I AM. My Bible's notes explain, "This name is related to the Hebrew word meaning 'to be,' and so implies the absolute existence of God" James Carroll Tollett,  Notes on Exodus, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 80.

Another Person used I Am a lot in describing Himself. Jesus said I am...
  • Messiah - John 4:25,26.
  • from above - John  8:23.
  • before Abraham was i.e. the Eternal One - John 8:58.
  • the Light of the world - John 9:5.
  • the Door - John 10:7.
  • the Good Shepherd - John 10:11-14.
  • the Son of God - John 10:36.
  • the Resurrection and the Life - John 11:25.
  • Teacher and Lord - John 13:13.
  • the Way the Truth and the Life - John 14:6.
  • the True Vine - John 15:1.
  • Alpha and Omega - Revelation 1:8.
  • the First and the Last - Revelation 1:17.

In our reading Yahweh answers Moses' question "Who am I...?" (vs. 11) with "I AM" (vs.14). It wasn't about who Moses was or what he could accomplish (in carrying out God's assignment to lead Israelites out of Egypt) but who would be at work in and through him.

Jesus has left us with an assignment and a promise:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that  I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always (look! another I Am!!) even to the end of the age" - Matthew 28:19-20.

Dear I AM, thank You for being eternal and my one Constant. Help me to weave the realities of who You are in Jesus into my day-to-day life by the help of Holy Spirit. Amen.

MORE: You are Alpha and Omega

Bible Drive-Thru


  1. " I am" is not his name.

  2. Hi Steve,thanks for reading.

    I don't know where you're coming from with that comment, but I think the passage is clear. God identifies Himself as "I AM," which is related to the word 'to be,' (Strong's #1961) reinforcing His absolute existence. The Hebrew is the source of the English Yahweh(YHWH) which is also rendered Jehovah or LORD, which are other names by which He was/is known.

  3. I am in agreement with you in that his name is Jehovah or in the case of the Israelites, Yahweh.

    What I am speaking about is the answer that Jehovah gave Moses when he asked, "Suppose I am now come to the sons of Israel and I do say to them, 'The God of your forefathers has sent me to you,' and they do say to me, 'What is his name?"

    The Israelites already ready knew Jehovah. They were descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob ( whom had his very name changed to Israel by Jehovah). And then, there were the 12 sons of Israel, particularly Joseph, the one who made it possible for his family to be in Egypt. Moreover,
    the very name of Moses' mother Jochebed means, "Jehovah Is Glory." (Exodus 6:20).

    It wasn't t the name of their God that was lost. It was the Israelites perception of Jehovah's ability to act on behalf of his people. They had been in hard slavery for many decades with no sign of any relief. Doubt, discouragement, and weakness of faith in God's power and purpose to deliver them had very likely infiltrated their ranks (Note also Ezra 20:7, 8). When considering that the Egyptian had gods as well and that the Egyptian had dominion over the Israelites, the Israelites did not have much faith in their God, Jehovah. They had been praying and hoping for salvation with no positive results. There was no formal structure of worship for Jehovah which left the Israelites to worship the same gods as the Egyptians. There had been no record of direct communication with Jehovah by any of his people after the death of Joseph and his immediate family.

    So Jehovah's response to Moses was in Hebrew: 'Eh·yeh' 'Asher' 'Eh·yeh'. Some translations render this as "I AM THAT I AM." However, it is to be noted that the Hebrew verb ha·yah', from which the word 'Eh·yeh' is drawn, does not mean simply "be." Rather, it means "become," or "prove to be." The reference here is not to God's self-existence but to what he has in mind to become toward other, namely, now, his people.

    That this meant no change in God's name, but only an additional insight into God's personality, is seen from his further words: "This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, 'Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation." (Exodus 3:15; compare to Psalms 135:13; Hosea 12:5).

  4. What a great explanation and added insights. Thank you steve!


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