Bible Society of South Africa

I am who I am – 9 June 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

14God said, “I am who I am. This is what you must say to them: ‘The one who is called I AM has sent me to you.’

Exodus 3:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

Please read Exodus chapter 3.

In the desert while he was herding sheep, Moses saw a bush that was on fire, but the bush was not burning up. “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.” When God saw Moses approaching the bush, He said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” Desert sand becomes holy ground when God is present. The word “holy” means to be set aside, to be drastically different from the ordinary. When we speak of God as the Most Holy, we think of Him as completely different to anything we can comprehend, so different that we can only approach Him barefooted.

This leaves Moses with a very big problem. Who is this God who, by his presence, can turn ordinary desert sand into holy ground? What would he tell the Israelites who were in Egypt for a few hundred years already and might have forgotten most of what they knew about God? What name would he use that they would recognise? The answer he got to his questions was the enigmatic name, “I am who I am”. Moses you must tell the Israelites “I am” sends you to them. “I am” literally means God in action, it means God is there when they need Him most; it is he who will lead them from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. He is the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so Moses must tell the people it is no one else but the same “I am”. Deuteronomy makes it even clearer in chapter 6 verse 4 where the name Yahweh or “I am” is used in the context of the Lord alone is God.

How wonderful to know that this God, this holy “I am” is also our God, totally different, actively involved in my life, always there when I need him. He is the One that led me out of my own Egypt, where I was a slave of sin and worries, into his Promised Land of total peace.

Prayer: Thank you for wanting to be “I am” for me wherever I go. Thank you for being actively involved in my life every day. Amen

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