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Chapter 4 - "I am who I am"
"And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Bible has used many names of God. And one of His name is "I AM". The word "Elohim" was used for God. Elohim is derived from El, its original meaning being "the strong one" "the mighty one". A mighty God and "I AM WHO I AM" is really an expression of God's real, perfect, unconditional, independent existence. On the one side He is a mighty God but on the other side He has the heart of a feeding and nourishing mother. On the one side He is mighty in deeds and on the other side He cares for His children and protects His children.
We read in the Old Testament how God commanded Moses to go to Egypt and deliver the Israelites from bondage. But Moses was afraid to go and so he asks God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain." Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"(Exodus 3:11 14)
Moses goes to Egypt and talks to Pharaoh but Pharaoh was not in a mood to release the Israelites. Then we see Moses performing miracles after miracles. God sent ten plagues on Egypt and delivered His people but their problem did not stop there. Of course they came out of Egypt but when they looked back, they saw the mighty army of the Egyptians following them and when they looked ahead of them they saw the Red Sea. They got frightened and thought it to be the end of their lives. They started crying. Exodus 14:11, "Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?"
But God never left them nor forsake them. He went before them as we read in Exodus 13:21, "And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night."
"He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people."
When the Egyptian army approached them, God said to Moses in Exodus 14:16, "But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea."
We also read in Exodus 14:13 how Moses encountered the people saying, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever."
God did exactly as He told. He made a way in the midst of the sea. We read in Exodus 14:21-22, "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left."
When the Egyptians tried to follow the Israelites, they were drowned in the sea as the waters came back upon the Egyptians. And the Bible says in Exodus 14:31, "Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses."
By seeing the great and mighty works of God, Israelites sung the song in Exodus 15:11, "Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?"
Not only did He deliver the Israelites from their enemies but He also protected them, He took care of them all the days when they were in the wilderness. He walked before them and provided for them. We read that God gave them heavenly Manna and quail for their food and gave them water to drink whenever they needed. They did not lack anything. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 29:5, "And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet."
Yes, on the one side He is a mighty God but on the other side He is a God who cares for us - a God who loves us. That is the reason why He came down in the form of a man to die for us.
Jesus made it clear that He is the same God who led Israelites through the wilderness. He is the same God who is the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob.
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."
Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
"Before Abraham was, I AM" clarified that He was from the beginning and that He is the same God who has ability to redeem. He is the same God who created heaven and earth. He is the same God who walked among His people. He is the same God who was a friend of Abraham. He is the same God who was with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and all His prophets and His people. His name is Elohim who was, and is and will be forever and forever. Amen.