Summary: A sermon about how the name of God is the nature of His relationship to us.
• The heart of worship is relationship.
• Knowing God makes it easy to worship Him.
• He reveals Himself to us when we worship Him and He did the same for Moses.
• Worship is deep relationship with God.
I. HE IS KNOWN BY HIS NAME
• The story of Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai) and the burning bush.
Exodus 3:13-14,13”Then Moses 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? 14God 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.’”
• This is one of the most famous stories in the book but most of us have no idea what it is about!
• Vs. 15 - I am is all about relationship and revelation.
• When God called Moses at the bush what did he say? In verse 3?
• “Moses Moses” he called him by name. When you meet someone what do you do or say?
• Hi I am ____. And they say, nice to meet you I am ____.
• That is what happened here. God called Moses by name then introduced for the first time his name. ”I am.”
• His memorial name, not great rendering. The name to remember me by.
• This name is the heart of God. His nature is bound up here. He is revealing Himself at a level never before experienced by people.
• I am in Hebrew is, “I will be” or to be or I am – hahva.
• Same word used in vs. 12. ”I will be with you.”
• This is called the tetra-grammaton…or 4 letters…tetra 4 and gramma letter
• Used over 5000x in Old Testament as God’s name.
• It is the name Yahweh. According to Jewish tradition it is regarded as 'not to be uttered' in order never to profane it in any way.
• In Judaism it is 'Adonai', meaning 'Lord'.
• Reveals the fullness of His nature. All of God's nature and attributes are embodied in His name.
• The main concept here has to do with the elusive term "being". Some things "are", while others "are not". If you want a fancy word, this is an ontological issue.
• I'd like you to think about a coin. It exists, right? Coins have two sides, heads and tails. They are opposite but equal, in that both exist.
Philosophers say that "heads" and "tails" have the same ontological status, which is a convenient way to say that they both exist in the same degree and the same manner.
• Now what other things can we think of that are opposites with equal ontological statuses? Let's try these:
* left and right
* north and south
* front and back
* male and female
* open and closed
* sweet and sour
• However, there are many pairs of opposites that do not share the same ontological status.
• Light and dark, for one. Darkness is simply the absence of light.
• Light is. Darkness is the absence of what is. And yhwh is light. Yhwh is. Light is. Darkness is not.
• Many people have difficulty grasping this.
• Imagine yourself in a pitch dark room. You turn on the switch and light floods the room. An actual energy appears. Photons (the stuff light is made of) come out of the bulb and illumine the room.
• Turn the switch again, and the photons disappear. It is not as though something different is now coming out of the bulb which we call "darks" that are "darkening" the room the way the photons were lighting it. It's just that the photons are gone!
• "I am that I am." God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all!
• Two more points about light and dark:
• First, there is an absolute limit to darkness: 0 photons present. Light, has no limitation. There is no theoretical limit to the number of photons that can be present in a given space. So, pitch dark is the zero point, and light grows to infinity. This is about quantity.
• Second is a statement of quality. While pitch dark has only one color and shape (nothing and none), light has an infinite realm of possibilities for different colors and shapes. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
• The meaning of "I am that I am", and all of Yhwh's nature and attributes are embodied in His name. Find the ontological opposites and Yhwh is revealed by the one that is.