Text: Exodus 3:13-15
“13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
This is the most frequent and most personal name for God in all the Old Testament and it is seen in our English translation as LORD (having each letter capitalized). The Jews had such a reverence of God and even fear of ever taking God’s name in vain that they would rather say adonai in place of Jehovah. And so our faithful translators distinguished Jehovah and adonai with the corresponding translation “LORD” for Jehovah, and “Lord” for Adonai.
The name Jehovah denotes His existence. It stems from the root word (היה) hâyâh (translated “I am”) which means “to exist” or “to be.” The significance of His name “I AM” is simply that God exists. As simple as that may sound, think of the number of people that live as though there is no God. Of course there are those who are atheists, and so they really believe that there is no such being as God. The Bible in contrast affirms or declares this truth rather pointedly: “In the beginning God…” (Gen. 1:1a). The Bible has never been wrong, especially in regards to its prophecies. Therefore to deny God’s existence is futile. However true that may be, living as though there is no God is just as futile. Many want God’s blessing but not God Himself. And how ridiculous, and arrogant it is to ignore such a God, when, in fact, He does exist.
Another significant point to consider is that His name “I AM THAT I AM” means that nothing created God; that all His power and attributes He owes solely to Himself. Nothing outside of God formed or made God. The Psalmist declares “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah:” (83:18). This means that there is nothing or no one greater than God. He existed eternally. Nothing existed outside of God. God in all His fullness and beauty was present with Him in His eternality (see also Isa. 26:4). Therefore true holiness, beauty, power, and virtue rest solely on God. That means, to quote the Apostle Paul, “…in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.” That means anything in this fallen world that captures our eye gate as being beautiful, and what is commonly be attributed to nature is so, only because of nature’s God, or as we know Him as the great “I AM.” beauty is rooted in God, and not left to the subjective eye of the beholder. Beauty is what God is, it is what He says, it is what God wants, and not what defiles man and offends Him.
His name also denotes immutability. God is immutable. He does not change. Malachi 3:6 says “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” God does not cope, and nothing catches Him by surprise. He is infinitely more than we could ever imagine Him to be. God is unchangeable because He is perfect.
Praise God for the revelation of His name “Jehovah,” and what a comfort it is to know that God is the one true and living God, who exists, and existed in eternity, who will never change, and yet He reaches down to man, desiring to lift him up to Himself.
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