God replied to Moses, "I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you." Exodus 3:14
What is your favorite name to be called? If you are an aunt or uncle, do your nieces and nephews have a particular name that they call you? Maybe your friends call you by an abbreviated version of your name. If you have grandchildren, do you have a special grandparent name? Maybe your family has a specific name that they call you. I have been called a lot of names throughout my life, some I loved and others I really did not care for. I am sure you have had your share of names, too! Names are fascinating to me, and in Scripture, names have always held significant meaning, especially God's name.
We are talking this week about God's personal name: Yahweh. God first introduced this personal name to Moses. At this point in life, Moses had been adopted by the daughter of the king of Egypt. He had been exposed to the Egyptians' horrible treatment of the Israelites, who were slaves in Egypt. He had also fled from Egypt to Midian to escape punishment for killing an Egyptian who had brutally beaten an Israelite slave. When he was in Midian, God appeared to him miraculously by speaking to him through a burning bush. Suddenly, Moses heard God's voice calling out to him. In this interaction, God called Moses to go to Egypt and ask the king to free the Israelites from slavery. As God spoke to him, Moses asked God who to tell the Israelites had sent him to rescue them from slavery. Next, in an act of love and kindness, God revealed His personal name: Yahweh. The Hebrew name Yahweh is translated in English as "I AM." That was all that Moses and the Israelites needed to know. God simply is. He was not created. He always has been, and He always will be. This is the God who was going to be with Moses and with the Israelites.
I'm do not know what you are facing today, but I do know that God, who has revealed to us His personal name, "I AM," is with you. He will work in your life and be with you through everything that you are facing. Will you lean on Him?
Louie Giglio teaches that because God's name is "I AM," our names are "I am not." Spend time today writing in your journal or notes below, reflecting on God's name. What does God's personal name mean to you? Next, reflect on your name ("I am not.") What does your name mean to you? What does God's name mean to you in light of your name?
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”
But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
God replied to Moses, “I am who i am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations.
“Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’
“The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord, our God.’
“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.”