September 24, 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.”’”—Exodus 3:13–14 (NIV)
Think about how valuable it is to know someone by name. When someone remembers my name, I always feel honored and seen. Even if they don’t know me super well, when someone even just says, “Hey Samy,” I immediately feel a wave of happiness wash over me because they had the kindness to use my name. Hopefully, you can relate to this feeling, too. The reason our name’s carry such value to us is because they’re often the face of our identity. Our name is attached to who we are and what we love. When someone knows our name, and we know theirs, the door to building trust is opened.
In today’s Scripture, Moses is talking to God in the desert at the burning bush. This is where God gives him the mission of going to save the Israelites from Egyptian captivity. Moses proceeds to ask God a question that seems kind of unusual to me. He basically asks God, “If the Israelites ask me what is your name, what shall I respond to them?” I’ve never even considered asking God what His name is. The name of Jesus is the name I associate with God, but I also just use the words “Lord” or “God” or “Father.” The Israelites; however, referred to their God with different names based on the different attributes or occasions they wanted to emphasize. For example, they often used the name El Shaddai, which we translate as God Almighty. In this instance; however, God’s answer to Moses is more than just an attribute of who He is.
God answers Moses by saying, “I am who I am.” Only God can describe Himself in this way. As the Creator of the Universe, God reminds Moses that His identity is not contingent upon anything else other than Himself. As our Maker, God is the one who gives all of us our identities, but His identity rests within Himself as the matchless one.
In Hebrew, God would have used the term “ehyeh” for “I am,” and from this came the name Yahweh which the Israelites would continue to use as God’s name forever. The significance of God’s name, Yahweh, is that He establishes Himself as both a personal God and an incomparable God. He is present in our lives, yet also outside of the bounds of time and humanity.
So, what is so majestic, powerful, and wonderful about our God being Yahweh? Well here are some more Scriptures that tell us who Yahweh is:
John 4:24: Yahweh is spirit.
1 John 1:5:Yahweh is light, in Him there is no darkness at all.
Numbers 23:19: Yahweh is not human. He does not lie or change His mind.
Psalm 116:5: Yahweh is gracious, righteous, and full of compassion.
1 Corinthians 10:13: Yahweh is faithful. He provides a way for us to endure.
Psalm 50:6: Yahweh is just.
Micah 7:18–19: Yahweh is merciful and forgiving. He doesn’t stay angry forever.
Exodus 34:5–7: Yahweh is slow to anger and abounding in love.
Deuteronomy 6:4–5: Yahweh is one. He alone is God.
Praise be to Yahweh! May we spend the rest of our lives getting to know Him for who He truly is.
Pause: What was your perception of the word Yahweh before this devo? How has it changed and what do you appreciate about this name now?
Practice: Write down some of the qualities of Yahweh that you appreciate. Thank Yahweh for those things in prayer
Pray: Yahweh, You are who You are. No one can define You outside of who You already are. Thank You for being present in my life. Thank You for being outside of all boundaries and limits I have on myself, because that’s what makes You God! Thank You for being compassionate and gracious yet just and holy! I’m in awe of who You are and that You still choose to love me when I’m so unworthy. Thank You for making me worthy through the sacrifice of Christ. I love You forever Yahweh. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.