As Christians we read the Bible and we see the words, God or LORD and we believe we have a great understanding of what these means. We have read books and heard messages preached on the importance of the names of God. I myself have spent multiple services dealing with just these names. There are some great truths in understanding names such as Jehovah-Jireh, and Jehovah-Shammah. There are even wonderful truths in simply understanding the name Elohim and Jehovah. To understand who he is and what he has done through his name is absolutely wonderful. (We must establish the fact that when we use the term or name God it is in reference not only to God the Father, but to God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as well. For an individual to deny the Deity of the latter two it is the same as denying the Holy Scriptures.) Yet, there is a portion of scripture that gives a name of God that is absolutely profound. This name would become so important that when Jesus would claim it as his own, it would infuriate the religious leaders and they would desire to stone him. Let us examine a small portion of scripture in Exodus three.
We are all familiar with the story of Moses. We know that during the time of his birth male Hebrew babies were being slaughtered. The amazing story of how his mother simply trusted that God would take care of his life and released him into the care of her God. The story would go on to describe his rescue at the hand of the daughter of Pharaoh and how he was even raised in the family of Pharaoh. Yet the Bible says in the book of Hebrews that he chose to suffer affliction than be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. We know that he flees to the dessert and becomes a herdsman for his father-in-law Jethro. As he is tending to the flock he notices a bush that is burning but it is not being consumed. As he walks over he is met by the presence of the God of Abraham, Jehovah himself. Moses is told of the great commission he is to perform and upon this news he offers up his first excuse, the people are going to ask me what is the name of the God that sent you. Moses had no idea the magnitude of the answer he would receive. I believe Moses would think back on this answer many times during his life and realize the truth that he was given on this day. God answers Moses, I AM THAT I AM. He says tell them that I AM sent you. The amazing thing is this is not given to us in the normal format of names. It is not given to us in any format of Elohim or even Jehovah, yet this name would carry just as much weight.
The term of I AM THAT I AM flies into the face of every other false religion. It would stand in complete contrast of the gods of Egypt. It spoke of his independence. It meant that he was completely on a different level of any of the other false gods. It meant that just as he would proclaim, there is none like him in all the earth (Exodus 9:14). I know that this may be contradictory or even offensive to others but I would proclaim just as others have throughout history, there is no God like our God. There is no God like our Jehovah. The others are merely pail imitations that hold no life. Would you take the next few minutes to examine his independence? Look at these facts about the great I AM.
I want you to take note of this truth particularly. As you sit and read these words, your life is dependent upon certain factors. This flesh and blood that we abide in is dependent upon the correct environment. We depend upon food to sustain us. We depend upon water to hydrate us. Why, even if the weather were to turn to a particular temperature or reach a particular disaster we could be meet with death. It only takes a microscopic piece of bacteria to end our lives. The truth is life upon this earth is fragile at its best. We depend upon the correct environment to keep us alive. Yet have you considered the thought that God depends upon none for his survival. Outside of the human form of Christ, he never was presented with hunger, sickness or thirsted. There is not a strain of bacteria that could destroy him. There has never been a natural disaster that has threatened him. He relies upon none other to survive. The false gods that have been bolstered upon by man have had to find reliance upon those that created them. We serve a God that has no reliance upon any. He is independent in his own survival. The Bible is clear that in the beginning God, yet when we find ourselves at the end of the scripture we still find God. This shows me that he is not dependent upon any for his survival.
Not only is he independent in existence, but he is independent in time. We often consider the attributes of God, his omniscience, his omnipotence, his omnipresence and his immutability. Yet, I find his omnipresence amazing. As I have already mentioned he was there in the beginning and he is shown to be there when time comes to an end. We have no problem saying he has always been and always will be, but I believe we minimize or shorten his real ability. It is clear that not only has he always existed and always will exist but I want you to understand that he exists in time and outside of time. There is never a time when he cannot see. This is truly given to us in the fact that before the foundation of the world he chose us to be in him (Eph. 1:4). As he was standing there upon nothing he was able to see the fall of Adam, the flood, the nation of Israel, David and Goliath, he was able to travel in his sight all the way to our modern time and find a young teenager living in Greenville, SC that needed to be saved. Through that he saw me and chose me to be in him. Now isn’t it amazing that time holds no constraint upon him. He has never aged and never will, yet the most amazing thing is the same God that was there in the beginning is the same God that walks with me daily. What a joy to know that my God has no beginning and while these other false gods come and go my God will still be on the throne. Oh, what joy that should bring to our hearts!
This is a great thought as well. We saw his omnipresence but now we see his omnipotence. We say that he is all powerful. I am reminded of the story of the Ark of the Covenant and the false god Dagon. After the Philistines took the Ark and placed it in their temple to Dagon, they would find him each morning face down and even one morning they would find him in pieces. Each morning they would lift him up and place him back where he was. My God has never needed assistance from any one. He is responsible for creating everything we see (Hebrews 1:2). He is responsible for maintaining all we see (Hebrews 1:3). He sent the flood waters that would cleanse the earth. He delivered Israel from Egypt through he great Plagues. He split the Red Sea. He made the walls fall down at Jericho. He gave Samson his great strength. He destroyed the giant Goliath. He created a whale that would swallow Jonah. He walked in the fire with the three Hebrew men. He commanded the lion’s jaws to shut before Daniel. He manifested himself in the flesh and healed the sick, blind, deaf, lame and even raised the dead. There is nothing that my God cannot do. He has never been to weak, to sick, or even to tired. He is always capable. He is independent in his strength. Now I do not promote the modern teaching of health and wealth preaching, yet I do believe this that the very same Jesus that healed the sick, blind, lame has the very same power this day and can still heal those that are sick. Do you have a physical problem, he can heal it! Do you have a financial problem he can supply it! Do you have an emotional problem he can heal it as well! You see there is nothing that he cannot do.
As Isaiah stood there in chapter six of his prophecy he would proclaim to witness the Lord on his throne. He would write that they would proclaim there in the courtroom of heaven, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory (Isa. 6:3). We are told that he is a Holy God. If there is one attribute that God fulfills it is his holiness. His lack of sin and his separation from any other. He has never committed one sin, he is righteous in every manner. This causes us to look at him differently. We are even told that while here on earth Jesus was tempted in all manners like we are and he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Why is it so important that we have a holy God? Why is it so important that we have a God that is righteous, that has never done anything wrong? Let me show you in the next two points.
Because our God is holy and righteous this gives him the right to be the judge. You see we often stand before others with this thought in our mind, you cannot judge me. We say this because we accept the fact that deep down we have all done wrong. This is clearly given to us through scripture. We have all fell short. We have all committed sin. James would even write that if we are guilty of one then we are guilty of all (James 2:10). D.L. Moody would say that our lives are much like a chain. This chain connects God and man and represents the Law of God. He would say it doesn’t matter what link on the chain you break if you break one link, even if it is small in man’s eyes it still separates us from God. You see no man could judge me upon my standing before righteousness because he himself has found himself lacking in this area. Yet there is one in heaven who stands able and capable of judging, this is God himself. There is a truth in the Bible that shows us that we stand in condemnation as mankind and the punishment for this condemnation is death (Rom. 5:12, Rom. 6:23). This is physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. At this moment we are all on course to die at some point. We cannot avoid this fact, we will physically die (Heb. 9:27). Also because of our condemnation we are spiritually dead or separated from God while here on this earth (Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13). These two are bad enough but the truth of eternal death is even greater. We are told that there is coming a day when the judgment of God will take place. That judgment will fall on all who have not received the forgiveness of God and they will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 21:15). Yet for you and I this does not have to be our story. You see we find:
Yes, he is holy. Yes, he must judge. These are two great truths about my God. Yet, I find another great truth, he is independent in love. You see to fully understand the love of God we must grasp the reality of the judgment of God. You see even though we are sinners and stand in his judgment, even though in reality we do not deserve the love and care of all powerful God. The Truth is this, he loved us and gave himself for us (Gal. 2:20). The Bible is crystal clear when it speaks of the greatest attribute of our God and it is his love. The Bible is nothing more than a large letter expressing the love of God towards mankind. Yet the greatest is given to us in John 3:16 where we are told that God loved us so much that he gave his only begotten son. You see he loved us so much that he gave up his most priced possession, himself. Show me a greater expression of love. Show me an example where the greater being took the place of the vilest and filthiest so that they could become greater. You see he is independent in all these other attributes, but there is none like him when compared to his love.
Yet the truth is this, just because he loved you and gave himself does not gain you entrance into his presence. The Bible is clear that you must place your faith in him. You must recognize first your sin. You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and can have no place in his presence. Then you must acknowledge his sacrifice that was made for you. You must see that he died in your place. Then you must accept that gift that he is offering. You must say within your heart and confess with your mouth that without him you cannot gain entrance into heaven. If you are not a Christian today would you pray and accept Christ as your savior, relying upon him for your eternal security. Christian would you pray today and thank him for the love he has shown us. The Bible is clear when it says these words:
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”