"I AM THAT I AM"

Fredi Winkler

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses asked for His name. The story is one of the most remarkable in the Bible.

For one thing, it states that it was the angel of the Lord that appeared to Moses; but then again, it also states that it was God. However, it wasn’t God the Father Himself, but an angel called by the name Yahweh.

The extraordinary appearance caused Moses to ask the angel for His name. The angel’s answer doesn’t recur anywhere in the whole Bible: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exod 3:14).

The noteworthy thing is that in the next phrase, the Lord is now no longer calling Himself “I AM,” but rather “He is” (in Hebrew Yahweh, as He is always called in the Bible).

This means that we can understand that the name Yahweh isn’t a name in the strict sense of the word, but a transcription of His nature. The Elberfelder (German) Bible translated Yahweh as “the eternal One.” This translation probably comes closest to the name’s meaning.

The name Yahweh actually means, “I am what I am,” or, “I will be what I will be.” If the Lord was personally introducing Himself to Moses, it wouldn’t be logical that He would say, “He will be,” but, “I will be.”

What can we learn from this name? We see that the very essence of God, in His unspeakable greatness and glory, will only be fully manifested in the future. Much of what concerns the Godhead is still a mystery to us.

When the angel of the Lord announced the birth of a son to Samson’s parents, the father, Manoah, asked the angel of the Lord for his name (Judges 13:17). The answer is a little different this time: “And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?” (v. 18).

We see that the true name of the angel of the Lord was still a mystery that had not yet been revealed.

Revelation 19:11-16 describes the Lord returning with great power and glory, and one of His names is given there: “and his name is called The Word of God” (v. 13). Verse 16 says, “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Many of God’s secrets have been revealed to us in the New Testament, but the final secrets won’t be revealed until He returns, as described in Revelation 19.

In Philippians 2:5-11, Paul speaks of the mystery of His name, which He attained because He humbled Himself for us, and then writes, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (v. 9).

Let’s be thankful for the privilege of serving the most-high Lord in the year ahead. Many thanks to everyone who supported us in the work entrusted to us by Him last year.

Therefore, I greet all the readers with my best wishes for the New Year, in the Name that is above all names.

News from Israel - 01/2020

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