Exodus 3:13-15 and Revelation 21:6-7
Moses said to God, “Suppose 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?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said 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 to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, 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, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:13-15)
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev 21:6-7)
In John 8:58 Jesus said to the people, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, the people picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away.
What’s in a name? The Courier Mail reported (05.09.2009) that when the State of Queensland was about to be named, Queen Victoria preferred the name British Colombia, but was won over when her adviser said that “the colonists would find particular pride” in the name Queen’s Land. The Courier Mail then commented, “One hundred and fifty years on and all we need say is, ‘How right he was’.” We understand the pride, stories and meaning people attach to names.
In Exodus 3, the significance of God’s name “I AM WHO I AM” is to assure Moses and Israel that God will be at work in Israel’s unfolding story, a story that will ultimately lead to Jesus. When they call upon his name, they call upon One who has acted to rescue them from slavery in Egypt and continues to act in their story. We now call on God in the name of Jesus, who many times said “I am”, including, “I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Hebrews 11-12 summarises the story of faith through the Old Testament and says we live at the climax of that story, and so urges us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3) The I AM who ultimately came as Jesus, has by his name assured us that he has acted to save us in Jesus’ death and resurrection. His name urges us to persevere in living for Jesus – to not give up. Because he now rules as God and King.
Head: Do I understand that Jesus is the great I AM who spoke to Moses and the great I AM who saved us in his death and resurrection?
Heart: Will my heart’s hope be in Jesus, his death and resurrection, and so persevere in living for him?
Hands: What circumstances and relationships tempt me to grow weary and lose heart? How can looking to Jesus help me in those circumstances and relationships?
Prayer: I praise you, the great I AM who spoke to Moses and rescued Israel from Pharaoh. I praise you, the great I AM who saved me from sin and death in Jesus’ death and resurrection. I confess there are circumstances and relationships that tempt me to grow weary and lose heart. I look to you now as I bring to mind those circumstances and relationships. Please cause my heart’s hope to firmly relying on Jesus, his death and resurrection. Please enable me to persevere in living for you today. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: The One Who Made Us One