Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
– Exodus 3:13-14
I’m starting a teaching series in College and Young Singles this weekend on the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus in the book of John. I can’t wait and I hope it goes well. I’m going to start with the passage above, as an introduction, with it’s surrounding context.
There’s so much here. So much. Two things jump out at me on just a cursory re-reading of this passage.
1. The people of Israel are truly without a shepherd. They feel abandoned, and they have no foundation, They don’t really know the God of their fathers very well. Moses is concerned, and he needs a name.
Does that speak to you? How alone are you in the universe when God is such a stranger to you? But even in their loneliness and desperation the Hebrews have cried out to the God they barely knew, and He has heard them.
2. In answer to the “What’s your name?” question, God answers “I am who I am”. I don’t have anything very profound to say here, other than just to say that God is cool. And I don’t mean cool in the acid-washed, frosted tips, ipod buds in your ears, shirt untucked, tat with a gotee way. I mean it in the “when I read that, my jaw drops and I say ‘wow . . . that’s cool'” way. God said “I AM”, because what better way is there to describe the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, creator-God, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End? He is. And because He is, we are.
And the sooner we acknowledge that, the better.
I’m looking forward to this.