(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
The incident pictured above is from Exodus 3:2 through 4:
And the angel of the LORD appeared to [Moses]...in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush...and behold, the bush burned with fire, but...was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will...now see...why the bush does not burn.” ...So when the LORD saw..., God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
The LORD then commissioned Moses to go back to Egypt, from which he had fled forty years before after murdering an Egyptian (see Exodus 2:11-15), and lead the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan! Moses argued…
- Exodus 3:11 – “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and…bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
- Exodus 4:1 – “…suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’ ”
Exodus 4:10 – “O my LORD, I am not eloquent…, but I am slow of speech and… tongue.”
- Exodus 4:13 (Easy-to-Read Version) – “O Lord, send someone else, not me.”
God won out, and Moses went back to Egypt, and proved to be an able leader under God’s command! But I purposely left out one of Moses’ main arguments because it is what I will emphasize in this Gem – Exodus 3:13 through 15:
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you....The LORD 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, and this is My memorial to all generations.’”
I AM is often translated today by the words Yahweh or Jehohah. Both come from the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH. The Latinized version is JHWH. To make it easier to be read and pronounced, the vowels of the Jewish word for Lord, which is Adonai, were added (with a bit of variation). The result was YaHWeH (Yahweh) or JeHoWaH or JeHoVaH (Jehovah). YHWH (translated I AM) means “the self-existant One” or “the One by whom all things exist” – the One who always has been, always is, and always will be! Hebrews 13:8 puts it this way, “…the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
God further identified Himself as “I AM…the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob….” (Exodus 3:15). Jesus used this designated name of God very effectively in His ministry:
• Traditionally, there are seven great “I AM ” statements that Jesus applied to Himself in the Gospel of John (The Jubilee Bible has the right emphasis by capitalizing “I AM ”):
✞ John 6:35 – “I AM the bread of life; he that comes to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes in me shall never thirst.” ✞ John 8:12 – “I AM the light of the world; he that fol- lows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” ✞ John 10:9 – “I AM the door; whosoever enters in by Me shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.” ✞ John 10:11 – “I AM the good shepherd; the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” ✞ John 11:25 – “I AM the resurrection and the life; he that believes in Me, though he is dead, yet shall he live....” ✞ John 14:6 – “I AM the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes unto the Father, but by Me.” ✞ John 15:1, 5 – “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman....I AM the vine, ye are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”
- But there is more in John’s Gospel (Jubilee Bible):
✞ John 8:24 – “...if ye do not believe that I AM, ye shall die in your sins....” We are cautioned to believe that Jesus Christ is the very Jehovah God of the Old Testament! ✞ John 8:28 – “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then ye shall know that I AM....” The crucifixion and resur- rection prove Jesus is Jehovah God! ✞ John 8:58 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abra- ham was, I AM.” Abraham lived 2,000 years before, but Jesus was already the self-existing Jehovah God, forever before Abraham!
- The Jubilee Bible also capitalizes “I AM ” as Jesus applies it to Himself in Matthew 14:27; 22:32; Mark 6:50; 12:26; 13:6; 14:62; and Luke 22:70.
- The Sadducees believed “…there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit…” (Acts 23:8). In Luke 20:37 and 38 Jesus refuted their theological error concerning the resurrection by quoting Exodus 3:15:
Now even Moses showed in the bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live unto Him.
“I AM…the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…” (Exodus 3:6 – Jubilee Bible).
✞ “I AM,” not “I was.” ✞ “For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live unto Him...,” and all will either live (or exist) throughout eternity, experiencing eternal life with the Lord, or existing in eternal death in Hell! ✞ It is as if God is saying in Exodus 3:15 concerning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “Though these three partri- archs died physically long ago, to Me, they are still very much alive...and always will be!” (see Luke 16: 23-25).
What does all this mean for us today?
- Whatever characteristics we read of God, either in the Old Testament of the New – He is still the same! And upon this we can depend!
- Considering all the I AM’s in John’s Gospel, it is as Paul said in Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
- As Christians, we are headed for an amazing future!
✞ “...absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:8). ✞ Jesus, at the resurrection of believers, “...will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himelf.” (Philippians 3:21). ✞ “And thus we shall always be with the Lord...” (I Thessalonians 4:17), with our Christian loved ones in His eternal kingdom!
He is “I AM ”!