Who Is God?

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Exodus 3:13-15

What is his name? (v. 13)

In 24 years of leading churches, I hired many staff. The best hires went through a stated process. If anyone approached me with “God sent me to be your youth pastor,” my skepticism alarm would go off. Likewise, Moses can foresee the incredulous look in Israelite eyes when he claims to be sent by God to deliver Israel. “Who sent you? What is his name?”

I’m not sure Moses quite felt the weight of God’s answer: “I AM WHO I AM” (v. 14). In Hebrew, “I AM” relates to the verb to be, from which comes the personal name of God, Yahweh (Jehovah). I AM creates and sustains all things and is eternally present in relationship with his people. I AM makes and keeps the covenant promises. I AM is unchanging in character—the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). This Eternal One sends Moses to bring his people out of Egypt.

How does God’s name help us live into God’s mission in our lives? God sees, feels, and acts with an eternal perspective. Because he exists before creation and after history, we can trust that he will provide where he guides. The Heidelberg Catechism (Q&A 28) captures the meaning of God’s eternal presence in these words: “We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love.” —Jon Opgenorth

Prayer: Help me to trust in who you are, Yahweh, so I will walk by faith.