Monday, March 19, 2018

"I AM": God's Divine Character

Do you remember signing yearbooks in high school? Do you remember the sentiment written almost as often as “Congrats” and “Good luck”?

“Stay the way your are.”

That was a friend’s way of saying that you were so cool, you just couldn’t get any better. You were fully accepted; complete; virtually perfect.

It was nice sentiment...but not long after graduation, we all discovered it to be quite unrealistic.

For one thing, kids are incomplete, imperfect. That’s why they are called kids and not adults. They don’t get out of high school or college and start at the top. There is an expectation of maturity from a state of immaturity.

Not only that, we cannot avoid change. We are human. We simply do not remain the same physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, etc. It is a part of our human nature...change.

Did you know that God is changeless?

I can understand the word, but I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the idea. The very nature of God is different from our human nature. Don’t think of that as a fact...think about what it means. 

Stop. Think.

You may remember how Moses had been chosen by God to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. During his preparatoin he said to God:

“Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
—Exodus 3:13-14

“I Am” doesn’t seem to be much of a name. Yet that is what God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”

How do you think that struck their minds? How was that different from the gods of Egypt? Was it just clever word play?

The name ‘I AM’ sets God apart from humanity and distinguishes Him uniquely.

‘I AM’ means the same as ‘I exist.’ That separates God from all of creation which had a beginning. ‘I exist’ separates God from the restriction and passage of time and places Him in ageless eternity.

‘I AM’ suggests that God is not strictly associated with any one aspect of creation. He is God of the sun, but he is not confined as if he is only a 'sun-God.' He is God over all with no restriction based on time or place or any other created thing.

‘I AM’ suggests changelessness. God was not one way yesterday and in some way different today. Nor is He one way today and yet may be another way tomorrow.

‘I AM’ tells us that God does not improve; He does not need to improve. He is complete in Himself. He is perfect; flawless. To say that in His divine character He ‘was’ or ‘will be’ would be to suggest that there could be a point of comparison suggesting a difference. He was not, is not, and will not ever be inferior or superior to what He is.

‘I AM’ tells us that God is the definition. He gives meaning to all that exists. All things begin with God. All things are sustained by God. All things end with God.

Moses asked to see God’s face and God passed before Moses, but He first declared himself verbally to Moses. In our English Bibles His name appears as the word ‘lord’ presented in all capital letters: LORD. Read Exodus 34. Think of ‘I AM’ as a name.

Listen as God declared Himself to Moses by name in verse six:
     The printed text reads, "The LORD God...."

Now, read His name...not a sentence...and ponder and wonder...

‘I AM’...God...