“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)
According to the internet (which is always true), the following are real names parents have given their children: Carrie Oakey, Terry Bill, Barb Dwyer, and Stan Still. Hard to believe. With a last name like Mann, we had to be careful when naming our kids.
Names are important, and some of these parent probably needed a little more time contemplating their choices. But in the Hebrew world, names were even more important. A person’s name usually indicates something essential about the person’s character or origin. Moshe’ (Moses), for instance, mean’s “drawn out” (God rescued him from the Nile River and Moses would lead out Israel from Egypt). Abram means “exalted father”…but God made him into a nation and re-named him Abraham – “father of many nations.”
Here God tells Moses that his name is “I am”…the Hebrew word Yahweh. Up until that point, God had gone by “God.” Sometimes he was Almighty God or Everlasting God, or Abraham’s God. But these were his titles, not his name. When God revealed his name to mankind it was a turning point in history. God was no longer content with a formal, stiff, religious interaction with humans any longer.
God wants a personal relationship…That’s why he gives his name to Moses…and why 13 centuries later, Jesus would take that name, too.
Join us this week as we begin our sermon series “Present Tense Jesus”…and learn about God’s name and why it is important for you today!