January 29, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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.”’”—Exodus 3:13–15 (NIV)
In The Power of God’s Names, Dr. Tony Evan’s tells us, “In Scripture, a name often connotes purpose, authority, makeup, and character. In fact, a person’s name is frequently seen as an equivalent of that person.”
It’s clear God places great value on names. So, when Moses asks God what name he should give the Hebrews if they ask who sent him, God’s response is one of the most important moments in all of history. Why? Because it’s the first recorded instance of God telling anyone His name: “I am who I am.”
Now, did you notice Moses didn’t question God’s name or ask for any clarification? The implication here is that I AM wasn’t a new or unknown name. Moses and Israel must have known this name in relation to the Lord. It’s also where we get the word Yahweh or Jehovah, which is regarded as a shortening of the whole phrase I am who I am (’eh·yeh ’ă·šer ’eh·yeh) and a running together of the clause into one word.
So, what does this reveal about God? A few things:
Pause: Why does God give Moses this name for Himself?
Practice: Who is the great I AM to you? What do you need Him to be in your life today? Search Scripture this week and find how God already is exactly what you need and pray this truth over your life.
Pray: Heavenly Father, the great I AM, Jesus the Lord, I thank You for being everything I need and for giving me everything I have. I glorify You, and I magnify and bless Your holy, good, and perfect name. I lift up Your all-encompassing name and surrender every part of me to You, my God and Savior. Have Your way in me, send me, and be with me. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.