Am, not was.

Tim said to our group, “Think about God. Think about the various names God uses to describe himself. Pick one of those. Reflect on it.”

Tim wasn’t talking about different gods. The sun god, the rain god. He was talking about the odd tendency in the Old Testament to find different roles or elements of God’s character to show up in names. God our healer, for example. Or God our provider or King of kings and Lord of lords. I have a friend who specialized in finding and teaching about these names.

In response to Tim, I started thinking. Nothing clicked. Until I hit, “I am.”

It’s the name that God uses when Moses is leading sheep in the desert during his first forty years of wandering. (The forty years leading the sheep known as the people of Israel was actually the second time Moses wandered). Moses notices fire, watches the fire, realized the bush that is burning is not burning up. He approaches the bush. And God talks with him. God tells Moses that it’s time for deliverance from Egypt, that Moses will be the leader. After a bit of Q and A, Moses says,

“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?”

And God says,

I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

And God means, “You are afraid that if you refer to a god of the past, they will say ‘where has he been for the last 400 years?’ But tell them I’m not ‘I was.’ “I am” is still here.”

Still is.

2 thoughts on “Am, not was.

  1. Frank Reed

    The great I AM.

    Thank you so much for reminding me of the complete-ness of our Lord. I AM is simple direct and all encompassing. There is nothing stated like ” I am God” or “I am the God of (fill in the blank)”.

    Instead we get the definitive statement that implies the three O’s (His omniscience, His omnipresence, His omnipotence) with no qualifiers. You take it or leave it. Jesus would later say you are either for me or against me. So does this name.

    Praise Yahweh, the great I AM. I may be theologically ‘out of line’ with using both names like that but I can say with 100% certainty that my heart is right. Man, that feels good. Thanks,Jon.


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