A few years ago I introduced a new worship song to our congregation titled “Great I Am” written by Jared Anderson. As a worship leader, this particular song for me personally remains in “the cream.” In other words, it has unique depth and richness that effectively draws one into passionate worship.
However, in a departure from the song writer’s overall intent in the writing of the lyrics (according to writer’s “song story”), I thought it important to bring to remembrance exactly what is meant by this particular name of God: “I AM.” We find in scripture a moment when Moses did not have faith and courage to do what was asked of him, and even asked God, why should they (the Hebrew people) believe me…tell me how they will know I come with authority (my paraphrase). God answers:
Exodus 3:14,15 (NIV)
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 you shall call Me from generation to generation.
Below, I have included a portion from the Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible. Concerning the context of this verse, he writes:
A name that denotes what He is in Himself (Exodus 3:14): I am that I am. This explains His name Jehovah, and signifies,
- That He is self-existent; He has His being of Himself, and has no dependence upon any other: the greatest and best man in the world must say, By the grace of God I am what I am; but God says absolutely – and it is more than any creature, man or angel, can say – I am that I am. Being self-existent, He cannot but be self-sufficient, and therefore all-sufficient, and the inexhaustible fountain of being and bliss.
- That He is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, today, and for ever; He will be what He will be and what He is; see Revelation 1:8.
- Do we ask what is God? Let it suffice us to know that He is what He is, what He ever was, and ever will be.
- That He is faithful and true to all His promises, unchangeable in His word as well as in His nature, and not a man that He should lie. Let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you.
My desire is for you to see and understand that God is declaring to Moses He is absolutely self-existent, He is in control because all existence flows from Him, and there is nothing or no one who can oppose Him. Jehovah Elohim is not just another mere god of the universe that “man” may choose to worship and follow; Jehovah Elohim is THE GOD of the universe.
Most likely we will face a mountain of opposition, face those that oppose us, those that snub their nose at God, or we will encounter a direct assault from the enemy attempting to destroy what God has called us to do. As we have now entered the autumn season of 2014, and quickly approaching 2015, I am certain many of you find yourself in a season of transition — a season where God desires to do a new work in your life. If indeed so, may the words of this song find a place in your heart:
CCLI Song # 5881491 Jared Anderson © 2011 Integrity Worship Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing (IMI))
Again, Moses faced an adversary (Pharaoh) that opposed and snubbed his nose at God, at His power, and at His authority…and when one does so, God will release His power to show otherwise. In your walk of faith, you may face the same! However, continue your journey knowing you are backed by the power and authority of the “Great I Am!”
John H. Martineau
Woodlawn Church, Royal Oak, MI