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Exodus 3:13-15 (I AM THAT I AM)

Jan 4, 2015   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Exodus 3:13-15
I AM THAT I AM

Introduction: Exodus is loved for several marvelous stories. There is the story of the baby in the ark floating on the Nile who was tenderly received by Pharaoh’s daughter. We have the burning bush that speaks to Moses. There are the great plagues which fall on Pharaoh and Egypt.

The parting of the Red Sea is so significant that we get the name Exodus from that account. And then there is the marvelous display of God’s splendor as He speaks out the words of the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel as they stand at the base of Mount Sinai.

No sooner do they behold this sight than they famously turn from Him and make a golden calf to worship. These are but of few of the highlights which comprise this precious book. But of all of the great stories, probably the most famous single line in the book of Exodus is found in today’s verses as Moses’ continues his discourse with God from the bush.

It is so well remembered by God’s people that it is probably in the top five of all memorized words found in Scripture. Just five simple words in the English and a mere three in Hebrew. And yet they are so significant in their meaning, that we will never fully understand all that they imply.

For all eternity, the true meaning of the words ehyeh asher ehyeh will be ceaselessly revealed to us. Other than the naming of Israel by the Jabbok River in Genesis 32, I have not felt such a profound sense of unworthiness in attempting to explain the importance of the words we will look at today.

Text Verse: “For I proclaim the name of the Lord:
Ascribe greatness to our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:3, 4

To proclaim the name of the Lord is to proclaim what is beyond human comprehension. Like trying to understand the very moment of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, we cannot fully grasp the immensity of what the name Yehovah implies. All we can do is place words around the name to help form an image of who He is.

He is the Rock. All He does is perfect. His ways are just. He embodies truth in its fullest sense. He is righteous and in Him there is no unrighteousness. But in the end, they are only finite words failingly attempting to explain what is infinite – Yehovah, the Lord God.

Thankfully, God gave us more than mere words to help us understand Him. He gave us the Word, He gave us Jesus, the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. When we see Jesus, we see the Father. Thank God for Jesus who reveals to us the infinite in a form we can grasp! It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. I AM THAT I AM

13 Then Moses said to God,

Again, as we have seen several times already, the term “God” here has a definite article. “Then Moses said to “the God.” Pen that in for your future studies as it helps solidify what is being relayed. Moses has comprehended that this is “the” God. To confirm this, just as in verse 11, it says that Moses said to “the” God.

13 (con’t) “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?”

At first, this might seem like an inordinately unusual question to ask, especially because these are the covenant people. God has already identified Himself as the God of their fathers. It would seem that this would suffice. Wouldn’t they know who He is?

But there is a difference between a description and a name. In Genesis, many descriptive titles have been used. There is the general title El or Elohim which would be the God of creation; He is the Lofty One. There is the title Shaddai, the Powerful One and the One who provides blessing and fruitfulness.

There is also Yehovah, the Existent One. These are descriptive titles that have been used more as designations so far. But are they actually His name? And so what is being asked here is, “Which is the name that I use when I tell them that the promises to our fathers will now be confirmed?

Because each title represents a particular manifestation of His abilities and attributes, He wanted to know which ability would describe the One who fulfills the covenant. If the name is tied into the covenant, then the accomplishment of the covenant is assured in the name.

To understand this, think of the pantheon of Greek gods. They had lots of gods – Apollo, Athena, Dionysius, Hermes, Poseidon, Zeus and so on. If one were to go to sea, they would ask for Poseidon’s help. Moses comprehends that there is but one God. However, He has revealed Himself in various ways. Which of these is the one that is proper and fitting to rest in based on His covenant promise?

This is particularly important because, of these marvelous descriptions, some had been ascribed to idols. For example, the title elohim was a general name which went beyond the people of Israel. And even Israel itself had called out to pagan idols, calling them their elohim. To properly identify God was therefore most important.

Moses’ understanding of God has identified Him as the One, true, covenant God of Israel. And so, he is asking what name would be appropriate when calling out to Him? This is certainly the case, because the name he will be given in the next verse is a name which has already been used many times in the book of Genesis – Yehovah. However, in Exodus 6, the Lord will say this to Moses –

“And God spoke to Moses and said to him: ‘I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.'” Exodus 6:2, 3

The title of “Lord” or “Yehovah” was known to them and it was used often. But it was used as a descriptor, not as His name. From this point on, to His people it is His name. And it will be used over 6000 times in the Old Testament. The name is what is tied to His being and it is what allows the human apprehension of Him, limited as that may be.

14 And God said to Moses,

There is no definite article in front of the word God here. It is understood from the text that there is one God and that this one God is who is speaking to Moses. Again, following the definite article when it is used and when it is not used in Scripture gives a much clearer picture of what is being relayed.

It’s a shame that translations don’t include it. Even though the definite article is used quite often in Genesis and Exodus, it is left out in large part from many other books. And yet, it is used many times in others.

For example, the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles use the definite article nearly 100 times, or a full quarter of the times it is used in the Old Testament. Why would that be? The reason is that they detail the history of the kings, both good and bad kings, along with their interactions with the surrounding nations with their false gods.

The word of God is being specific when necessary because from specificity comes understanding. In this case, no definite article is necessary because it is already understood that He is the only God. Here we are, looking at the very words of God as He attempts to reveal Himself to us and yet we may miss important details.

If so, then our understanding of Him will be less than what it should be. What a shame to come to worship Him and learn about Him and then quickly pass through His word without the most careful consideration of it.

The chances are that you will never go through any given passage of Scripture in detail more than once or twice in your life. With that as a probable truth, then to attempt to search out every detail with zeal will certainly be a source of rewards when you stand before the Lord on that great day of judgment.

And who is this Lord to whom we are accountable?…

14 (con’t) “I AM WHO I AM.”

ehyeh asher ehyeh – I AM WHO I AM. What God speaks to Moses in these words reveals the very nature of God. And yet, more is left unknown than we could ever know. Described in Revelation 4 are four living creatures which are at the very throne of God. They see Him continually and yet they never cease in glorifying Him. Here is the passage –

“Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

‘Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!'” Revelation 4:6-8

These four creatures, full of eyes in front and back, never rest day and night as they proclaim words of astonishment – “Holy, holy, holy.” He is the Lord God Almighty, the self-existent One who was and who is and who is to come.”

From moment to moment and for all eternity, something new is revealed from Him to their eyes. In their utter astonishment at the ceaseless, endless glory which emanates from Him, they can do nothing but proclaim His surpassing greatness.

What do the words, I AM WHO I AM mean? Or, is that even the best translation of the words ehyeh asher ehyeh? The Pulpit Commentary says that in I AM THAT I AM “No better translation can be given of the Hebrew words.” I agree.

When someone asks why we do something particular, how often do we say, “Oh, I am who I am.” It leaves us with the impression that we are the way we are simply because of who we are. There is nothing to imply that we are self-existent. In fact, it can be inferred that we were created to be who we are. “Oh, I am who I am… because that’s the way I was made.”

But I AM THAT I AM, implies self-existence. There is being in an of Himself, no beginning, no end. Thus, it implies eternality, and immutability. There is what could be considered a more literal rendering though. A scholar named Geddes translates the words “I will be that I will be.” If you have an NIV, they even footnote it this way.

However, despite being more literal, it is less idiomatic because it lacks the simplicity of the Hebrew. In other words, just because something is more literal, it doesn’t always convey the idea in the way that is intended by the Hebrew itself.

I AM denotes existence in and of oneself, “I will be” doesn’t necessarily convey that idea. In that case, it is as if Jehovah is ever-ready to be, but not necessarily that He is. The simplest conveyance of His nature isn’t that He will be, but that He is.

Once its understood who He is, then who He will be follows naturally from that thought. If “He is that He is,” then from there we know who He will be – always – because He never changes. But in not changing, that takes us back to the proclamation of the four creatures before the throne.

If they are forever proclaiming His holiness and yet He is unchanging, then His holiness is beyond what the finite mind can grasp or understand. No matter how long we behold the Lord, there will always be more of who He is which can be revealed.

No matter how much we see of Him and no matter how much we learn of Him, even forever and forever, it will still be infinitely less than what we will be able to learn about Him. Thus I AM THAT I AM is a term given for our benefit, but not our ability to comprehend.

Another scholar, Boothroyd, translates these words as “I am because I am.” But the word asher which he translates as “because” is being used as a relative pronoun, not a subordinating conjunction. God isn’t who He is because of anything. He is the First Cause of all things; He Himself is without a cause.

He is a Necessary Being. If He was caused, then He could have simply not been. If He could have not been, then there was a point when He wasn’t. And if this were true, then He would still not exist because anything that once didn’t exist would only begin to exist through something which exists already.

But if He is God, then there would be nothing before Him to bring Him into existence and there would then be no God. If there were no God, then there would be no thing. But there Moses is, standing in front of the burning bush being told that the voice from the bush is That which is without a cause and thus He is the cause of all other things, including the bush, including the fire, and including Moses.

The Hebrew is translated in its best sense into the English words I AM THAT I AM. The Greek translation of the Old Testament translates this as Ego eimi o’ on – I am the existing Being. This explains the Hebrew more than it translates it, but it gives a good sense of the words.

As an exciting highlight to the passage, there is a pattern found here which is centered on this very verse. During a Bible study some years ago, we were going through this passage and my mother happened to be the one reading the verses that day as I explained them.

After talking about a verse, she started reading again and then said “Oh, I’ve read that already.” I said, “No that’s where you should be, but that tells you that there is probably a pattern which is hidden in the text.” Anytime you have a repetition, it is there to reveal something.

And so we went through the passage and out came a chiasm, centered right on the proclamation I AM WHO I AM. In itself, the pattern shows the covenant keeping nature of God towards His people as is revealed in the very name that He speaks.

Exodus 3:8 – 3:17 – I AM WHO I AM
The God Who Sees Promises Deliverance (8/22/2011) (Susan Garret and Charlie Garrett)

a 3:8(a) a land flowing with milk and honey
b 3:8(b) to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the
Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
c 3:9(a) the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me
d 3:9(b) I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.
e 3:10 I will send you to Pharaoh
f 3:12 this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you
g 3:13(a) The God of your fathers has sent me to you,
i 3:13(b) What is His name?
j 3:13(c) What shall I say to them
x 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
j 3:14(b) Thus you shall say to the children of Israel,
i 3:14(c) I AM has sent me to you.
g 3:15(a) The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.
f 3:15(c) This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all
generations.
e 3:16(a) Go and gather the elders of Israel
d 3:16(b)I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt
c 3:17(a) I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt
b 3:17(b) to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the
Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites
a 3:17(c) a land flowing with milk and honey

So… as you’re reading the Bible, if you come across something which seems repetitive, make note of it and take the time to see if you can bring out a pattern. There are literally thousands of these and other types of patterns in the Bible. Each helps us to understand the passage more clearly and to grasp what the intended meaning of that passage actually is.

14 (con’t) And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

It is I AM who has commissioned and directed Moses to the children of Israel. The name is the assurance and thus the assurance lies in the name. It is a sign and a token to the people that Moses is the selected one and that Yehovah is the Source of the selection. The name will also ensure the outcome.

The name Yehovah, or Yahweh, which we translate as LORD is derived from a form of ehyeh which is used in this verse. It means to fall out, to come to pass, to become, or to be. And so with these words, God has confirmed that He is to be known to His people by the name Yehovah specifically.

This name, Yehovah, carries that same meaning – Being, He Is, or He Will Cause To Be. According to Abraim, to a Hebrew audience the name Yehovah may have looked very much like “He Who Causes ‘That Which Is’ To Be.” As He is uncaused, then all things that exist were caused by Him.

He then is the First Cause of all things; the unmoved Mover; and the Giver of existence. It is this same Giver of existence who is described in multiple ways in the New Testament. Paul’s words of Colossians 1 show us that he understood Yehovah of the bush to be the Lord Jesus –

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:16-18

In that He is self-existent and that all things come from Him, then that means that all things are actually encompassed by Him. There is no place where we are, or could be, outside of His Being. David in the Old Testament understood this –

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10

Paul in the New Testament used this same argument to convince those in Athens of this truth. While standing in the Areopagus, he cited one of their own poets, Aratus, to show that this is actually a universally understood concept; something that anyone can grasp –

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.'” Acts 17:26-28

The name I AM, or its form Yehovah, implies an absolute uniqueness. If He is the Giver of existence, then there is none other that gives existence and therefore none other like Him. Isaiah’s words show this to be true –

“I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:5-7

The name also implies eternality. He is outside of time, having created it, and therefore though He interacts with it, it has no effect on Him, rather it is affected by Him. This is seen in Jesus’ word of John 8 to the leaders of Israel –

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:56-58

This is also confirmed in the letter to the Hebrews. Despite the divine Jesus interacting with time, He is outside of time and thus unchanging in His being –

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Again though, it is appropriate to connect Yehovah of the Old Testament to Jesus of the New. As Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so it is with Yehovah. Malachi 3:6 tells us with the words, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”

There can be no escaping what the Bible proclaims. If Yehovah is the self-existent, eternal, and unchanging God, and yet Jesus is self-existent, eternal, and unchanging, then He must be God incarnate. The obvious nature of the words of the Bible can only mean this.

Though many attempt to diminish the implications of what the Bible teaches, they only do it to their own detriment. John made this perfectly clear when He wrote the opening words to his gospel account –

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5

The existence of Christ is independent of creation, it is without conditions, and it is an existence from which everything else is derived and on which all else is dependent. The enormity of the words spoken concerning Jesus are equally as vast, awesome, and terrifying at those spoken to Moses from the bush at Sinai.

And yet, there is more to the name. The name I AM THAT I AM explains who Jehovah is in His ability to speak prophecy and then to fulfill prophecy. If He is the Creator of all that exists, and if He is outside of that created existence, then He can see all of that existence simultaneously – past, present, and future.

Throughout the Bible, God speaks of the future and then fulfills that which He spoke. In Genesis 15, He said this to Abraham –

“Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” Genesis 15:13, 14

When the promise was made, it was sure to be fulfilled. Nothing could thwart it and nothing could change it. That time has now come to pass for Moses and He will fulfill what He has spoken. Israel will be brought out. And to this same group of people, another promise was made about 2600 years ago. Through Ezekiel, He said these words –

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,‘ says the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:12-14

Sure enough, in our own lifetime, this promise which was made to Israel during their first exile, long before they had been dispersed the second time has now come to pass. He can speak the future because to Him the future isn’t the future. It’s merely a part of what is laid out before Him.

And so that brings out yet another aspect of what I AM THAT I AM implies. As the words of the Lord through Ezekiel note, “I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it.” Because His words are guaranteed to come about, they can then be relied on.

In other words, He is faithful and true to each and every word that He has spoken and every promise that He has made. It can be no other way. Not only does He speak, but that which He speaks is a covenant in and of itself. His word cannot fail to occur. It is an inviolable word; a guarantee; and an unbreakable commitment.

Isaiah says that His faithfulness is like the belt on His waist, and John calls Him Faithful and True. All of this is tied up in the name Yehovah. These things are because they cannot be any other way. And still one more aspect of the name comes forth.

Because He is and because He is “He Who Causes ‘That Which Is’ To Be,” then He is the source of all blessing and all that blesses. He is an inexhaustible, ceaseless, endless fountain of joy. We try to imagine what heaven will be like, but no matter how much we imagine, it will always fall short of what we can imagine.

When we behold the Lord, we will behold the very Source of all that has been or ever will be, including heaven. To see the face of the Lord then is to see the fullness of any expectation that we have had, have now, or ever will have. From Him will flow joys and delights that will never end. Thus David rightly said –

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

What more could one truly seek or desire than to behold the beauty of the Lord; the One from which all beauty is derived; the One from which all wisdom is attained; the One from which all joy streams forth; and the One who has eternity in His grasp and offers it to those whom He favors?

15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel:

Again, there is no definite article in front of God. It is understood that this is the one God and the only God and so there is no need to identify Him as “the” God. And so elohim said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel.” The words are intended for the covenant people as a covenant sign.

The words which He speaks are words of covenant surety.

15 (con’t) ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.

The term, “The Lord God” is Yehovah elohe. The word ehyeh or “I AM” spoken in the preceding verse is modified here into Yehovah. This is done by substituting the third person for the first person, but the meaning remains unchanged. Connected to this is the extended thought that He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

The line is defined through them. The line of Abraham may include the son Ishmael, but it isn’t of the line of Ishmael. The line of Isaac may include the son Esau, but it is not of the line of Esau. They may be included in their father if they belong to the Lord God of their father, but the line is not through them.

*15(con’t)This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’

The name is Yehovah elohe, the Lord God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. It is given for all generations. But this might bring us to ask why this name isn’t given in the New Testament. The reason is that the Greek translation of the Old Testament renders Yehovah as kurios. This is then translated as Lord. In the Old Testament, it is generally spelled with all capital letters, signifying Yehovah.

In the New Testament, the Greek word kurios continues to be used when speaking of Jesus as Lord. But the thought of the One who Is, or the Existent One also continues in several ways in the New Testament. Jesus is called the Word of God, implying that He is the Existent One.

Also in Revelation, the term “Him who is and who was and who is to come” is used when speaking of Jesus on several occasions. And so the title continues in Him in this way and thus it is “His memorial to all generations.” In Hebrew, the term is l’dor dor or “to generations generations.”

Adam Clarke’s thoughts on this verse are worthy of being quoted –

“While human generations continue he shall be called the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; but when time shall be no more, he shall be Jehovah Elohim. Hence the first expression refers to his eternal existence, the latter to the discovery he should make of himself as long as time should last.”

I am the One who created all things
And by Me all things are held together
My works are that of which the angel sings
Stretching out the heavens, they go on forever

I am the Lord who called Abraham so long ago
I am the One who renamed Jacob Israel
I spoke from the burning bush to Moses, you know
And of Me David in the Psalms does tell

I am the Word of God, who was and is and is to come
And I offer the water of life; be pleased to partake of some

II. I AM Implies I Will

Concerning behavior as a way of identifying things, Abraim says –

“In Hebrew Scriptures … entities are reckoned solely after their behavior and not after their appearance. An entity is a behavior, not that which executes the behavior.”

To understand this, just think of how we use our own language. If we see a picture of a pig, we would say, “That’s a pig.” The appearance of the animal is how we reckon the thing. However, if we see someone gorging himself on food, the common expression we would use is, “That’s a pig.”

And so we see the pig in this isn’t the actual appearance, but rather the behavior. This is how things are named and identified in the Hebrew mind. It is a dynamic language of action in order to identify. Here’s a question, “If you have a horse, a cow, and a swallow, which two of them are the most alike?”

In our language and way of thinking, we would say that the horse and the cow are certainly more alike. We do this because the appearance defines the thing. However, the Hebrew word for horse and the Hebrew word for swallow are the same. It is the word sus.

The reason goes back to the behavior of the two. The verb sus denotes being swift or to flash by. A cow is an inactive fellow who chews on grass, plods along in the field, and then stops to chew on his cud. Rather dull and mundane is the cow.

But a horse, like a swallow, flits about. It darts to the left and it darts to the right. They both act with an unbridled freedom and an attitude that marks them as anything but mundane. In fact, Job describes the horse in this way –

“Have you given the horse strength?
Have you clothed his neck with thunder?
20 Can you frighten him like a locust?
His majestic snorting strikes terror.
21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength;
He gallops into the clash of arms.
22 He mocks at fear, and is not frightened;
Nor does he turn back from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against him,
The glittering spear and javelin.
24 He devours the distance with fierceness and rage;
Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded.
25 At the blast of the trumpet he says, ‘Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
The thunder of captains and shouting. Job 39:19-25

If the word sus implies swiftness, then we know that the horse and the swallow will be swift. The word kelev means dog, but the word is used to describe the behavior of people who act like dogs in the Bible – treacherous people, male cult prostitutes, and so on.

So what does this have to do with the great I AM? In understanding the name, we can more fully understand the behavior from which the name is assigned. In Deuteronomy, Moses reminded the people of Israel about what they saw on Mount Sinai. There he said this –

“And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice.” Deuteronomy 4:12

Just like He spoke to Moses out of the fire in the bush which wasn’t consumed, He also spoke to the people of Israel out of the fire on the mountain. He went on to explain to them that because they saw no form, it tells them that Yehovah is not like anything in creation and therefore no created thing could represent Him.

The name Yehovah then defines His character. It is not an appearance, but a behavior. If behavior is what defines, then we can better perceive who Yehovah is. His name is I AM THAT I AM, and so it implies that.He.will.

I don’t know how much this helps you yet, but just think on it. Reflect on the name, reflect on the things Yehovah has spoken, and reflect on the Person He revealed Himself as – Jesus. And then reflect on those things He has spoken directly to you.

If He is then anything He says must be – even if it hasn’t happened yet. Jeremiah told the people of Israel that their captivity would last 70 years. The fact that the Lord revealed this to them was an absolute guarantee that the exile would end after 70 years, even if it hadn’t happened yet.

Daniel understood this completely, and so he didn’t pray to the Lord that it was time to return the people to the land after 57 years. Rather, he petitioned the Lord when the 70 years were completed. EW Bullinger, reading the Bible almost 80 years before the reestablishment of Israel, knew that they would be reestablished as a nation after 2520 years and it came to pass just as he surmised.

The point of this is that if I AM has spoken, He will. If Jesus is I AM, and He is, then He will. And so your commission today when we get done, is to take time to read the last page of the Bible. It won’t take five minutes of your time.

And when you’re reading it, don’t look at is as a “future maybe” but as an absolute certainty. The voice from the burning bush, the voice from the burning mountaintop at Sinai, and the voice of the Lord who called out “It is finished” from the cross of Calvary are one and the same voice.

It is His voice that spoke out the words of the Bible and so those words reflect not appearance, but behavior. They are faithful, they are true, and they are inviolable. Nothing can thwart them, nothing can change them, and if they pertain to you because of your faith in Jesus Christ, then they are an absolute guarantee.

Have faith in this, look beyond the pains, the trials, the heartaches, and the times of depression. Lift your eyes to the hills from whence cometh your help – even to the heavenly Mount Zion to which we are headed.

Finally today I’d like you to consider your position with the Lord. Are you one hundred percent sure that the Lord of Creation, the self-existent, unchanging, and eternally glorious Lord will receive You according to the promises He has made to His children?

You can be sure by a simple act of faith in Jesus Christ. If you have never made such a commitment, please let me tell you what you need to know so that you have the blessed assurance of eternal life in His promised paradise…

Closing Verse: The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

Next Week: Exodus 3:16-22 (Expected Resistance; Assured Deliverance) (9th Exodus sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

I AM

Then Moses said to God
“Indeed, when I come to the children
Of Israel after to Egypt I trod
And say to them then

‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you
And they say to me in this way
‘What is His name? How do we know its true?
What shall I to them say?

And God said to Moses, in this way
“I AM WHO I AM, this I tell
And He said, “Thus you shall say
To the children of Israel

I AM has sent me to you
Be certain that these words then are true

Moreover God to Moses did tell
Thus you shall say to the children of Israel

The Lord God of your fathers is who
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac
And the God of Jacob, has sent me to you

This is My name forever for acclamations
And this is My memorial to all generations

The name of the Lord is the surest guarantee
That what is proclaimed will certainly come about
As we read the Bible, we can the future see
All things He proclaims, and in them have no doubt

And so through trials or troubles let us not be downhearted
Rather, let us lift our eyes to God’s holy hill
The raging ocean will surely be parted
And the path through it will be peaceful and still

We have this hope because of the Lord Jesus
Who has done all things marvelously for us

Hallelujah and Amen…

 

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