Summary: It is a special name reserved for God that at the same time encapsulates Who He is and also describes our ability NOT to define Him. Our God is Eternal. Our God is Uncaused. Our God is Unconditioned. Our God is Independent. Our God is...
“Ego Sum Qui Sum”
Today we are continuing our sermon series in the 3:16s of the Bible. John 3:16 is perhaps the most famous Bible verse in all of Scripture. Other books of the Bible have a chapter 3 and some significant verses occur on or around the 16th verse. Today the significant verse happens to be 3:14 which is pretty close to 3:16!
INTRODUCTION… Baby Names, buzzle.com/articles/weird-baby-names.html; babycenter.com/0_most-popular-baby-names-through-history_1508595.bc; behindthename.com/names/usage/biblical
Today we will be thinking about names. As we think about names, let’s take a look at what the popular names are for babies. From what I can tell, Sophia and Emma have reigned supreme for girls’ names for quite some time. For boys, Jackson and Liam seem to be quite popular. There are unusual names which crop of every so often and I like to read those. For boys, I can imagine Gordo, Ham, Nice, Neon, and Perky being made fun of on the playground. Let me put it this way, I’d make fun of them. For girls, Bossie and Flick seem to be two that I would probably shy away from.
The 21st Century is all about technology and this website shared some names of actual babies. You could always name your child Hashtag and you can be confident they’ll always be trending. Your son Facebook would always check-in with you. Your daughter Google will be a know-it-all. Like is a weird name and Siri seems to be a natural name that should be trending up there with Sophia and Emma.
I happen to think that names mean something and are given for a purpose. Perhaps you have a family name or bear a middle name that was important to your mother or father. Names in the Bible were believed to be intimately connected to the essence of the individual (OT IVP Background Commentary, pg 80). In the Bible, names of children often reflect what God was doing in the parent’s lives at the time of their birth. Names of children also are given to signify something significant going on in the world around them. Some people received a change in name from God to match what He was doing in their lives.
Absalom son of David’s name means “my father is peace”
King Rehoboam son of Solomon’s name means “he enlarges the people”
Onesimus was a slave in the NT whose name meant “profitable”
Abram “high father” to Abraham “the father of many”
Jacob “supplanter” to Israel “struggled with God”
Saul “prayed for” to Paul “humble”
In Exodus 3 a very important name is given. In Exodus 3 we find Moses, future leader of the Israelites, tending flocks and living his life (verse 1). He finds himself out and about and is confronted with a sight he’d never seen before. He sees a bush that is on fire, but is not burned up in the flame (verse 2). Natural explanations of the burning bush abound from a bush that exudes a flammable sap to a bush covered brightly in leaves and berries. The passage tells us specifically God causes the flames to be in the bush (verse 2) and God uses the flames to speak to Moses (verses 4-21)… so I’m going to go with that miraculous explanation as to what happened. As Moses approaches the bush, he is instructed to take off his sandals because God’s presence is there and the ground is holy (verses 5-6). God explains to Moses that He has kept a watchful eye on the people of Israel and it was now time for them to come out of slavery and occupy the land promised to Abraham. God calls Moses to lead His people.
Moses does not immediately accept the job, but rather complains and offers excuses. He complains that he is a nobody (3:11). He claims that he has no authority (3:13). Later on he says he has no power to complete the task (4:1) and also that he cannot speak well in front of people (4:10). God accepts none of Moses’ excuses and meets every need he has and those he has yet to anticipate.
Amidst the back and forth dialogue of Moses and God, Moses asks a great question. Verse 13 shares with us that question and God’s answer that follows. Let’s read.
READ EXODUS 3:13-17
“Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" 15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers-- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-- has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. 16 "Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers-- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-- appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites-- a land flowing with milk and honey.'”