I Am Who I Am.
There is no other way for God to describe himself to Moses. He is the incomprehensible one. He is ineffable. He is eternal and we can’t get our limited minds around this limitless God.
So when Moses goes back to the people, he is supposed to say, “I Am has sent me!”
God unpacks the depth of his name for us.
Here’s how God expresses that:
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.’”
The people remember Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. These are the fathers of the Hebrew people. It was to these men that God communicated his will, and his desires, and his promises. God didn’t have to offer them a name, because then knew him personally.
The patriarchs gave God authority over their lives by believing him and pursuing him in obedience. That’s what the patriarchs were known for: their faith in God!
As we’ve see, the great I Am was with the people from the beginning. I Am’s presence with the people was seen in Egypt as God prospered them and prepared them to be a great nation!
I Am is faithful to his promises. Because God is who he always is, his promises remain the same.
I Am Keeps His Promises.
When God tells Moses, I Am has sent you, he’s telling him that nothing has changed about the covenant and the promises I made to Abraham.
God is good and his goodness has not been abated with the passing of time. His memory of the promises he made long ago has not deteriorated in the least bit. All is firm and secure.
“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’”
God made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that were irrevocable. Everything that has happened up to this point has been done in order to get God’s people to the promised land.
God is not working against the circumstances. God is creating the circumstances necessary to to get his people, all of his people, out of Egypt and into the land he promised their forefathers.
If God’s people had not come into Egypt in the time of Jacob, they would have starved to death. They came in and settled in the fertile Nile delta with it’s rich grazing pastures. They prospered and multiplied. If one Pharaoh after another that rose up would have left them alone, they would have stayed there for not just hundreds of years but perhaps thousands of years. But there arose a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph. Do you think this was an Accident? Or perhaps providence? God made Egypt stink so badly that his people would want to leave. They would be ready to “get out of Dodge” because of the forced labor and the murder of their boy babies.
Through Moses, and the plagues, God was going to make the Egyptians ready to send the Hebrews away. Egypt would be to be so glad to see the Hebrews leave that they would send them off with their gold and silver and clothing! God was orchestrating all of this so that God’s promises, which have not changed in the least, would be fulfilled to his people.
When I AM who I AM makes a promise, his promises never fail.
Your Future Lies with I AM.
And because God, I AM, was faithful he could assure them of the future he had planned for them.
God turns from telling Moses who he is, and of the promises he made in the past to Abraham Isaac and Jacob, to telling Moses about the future.
Attached to the great I Am, is the connotation that I AM Will ALWAYS BE I AM. And that eternal I Am has created a future for his people.
The people of God have no future in Egypt. They are destined for destruction if they remain where they are. But with God, with the I Am of the past, present and future, they have a reason to set out in faithful obedience to God’s instructions.
In essence, God tells Moses, “Your Future, And the Future of the Israelites, Lies With Me.”
The gods of Egypt can not help you. Pharaoh himself is against you. The silence of God has been broken by the thunderous command of God to GO! Now, your course is set and you must leave. As the Israelites leave Egypt, God gives them a picture of the blessings the future holds for them:
“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
‘You’re future LIES WITH ME,’ God tells Moses. God gives Moses a glimpse of what is to come, and the blessing God’s people are to receive, and the resources they will have, all by being obedient to follow God in this uncertain time!