Exodus 3:13 -14 “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?’ 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.'”
The Israelites only have one God so I wondered why he asked what name to tell them.
David Guzik offers excellent insight:
3. (13-14) The revelation of God’s name to Moses.
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
a. And they say to me, “What is His name?” what shall I say to them?Rightfully, Moses sensed he needed credentials before the people of Israel. Before, he thought he had the credentials because he was a prince of Egypt. 40 years of tending sheep took away his sense of self-reliance.
i. When God revealed Himself to man in the days of the patriarchs it was often associated with a newly revealed name or title for God.
– Abraham, in the encounter with Melchizedek called on God Most High (Genesis 14:22)
– Abraham later encountered Almighty God (Genesis 17:1)
– Hagar encountered You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees(Genesis 16:13)
ii. Now, when Moses comes to the elders of Israel with a “new message” from God, it is logical to think they would ask, “What name did He reveal Himself to you under? What new revelation from God do you have?”
I never realized that God revealed himself in a new way to the patriarchs using a new name. No wonder Moses had so much doubt going back to the Israelites. I always wondered why he kept asking for sign after sign or endless reassurance. If everyone else was given an unknown revelation and I am given “I AM” the huge task ahead would feel a bit daunting. Moses would really have to rest in faith that God has already done so much for His people and will continue to do the same going forward.
When I was in middle school, the Lord healed me of scoliosis. He asked me do you think I will heal you? I said of course I think you can heal me. He said that was not what he had asked. I knew then that my faith was being tested. He was asking me if I thought he would heal me right then and there not down the road. I took a step back in my mind. I thought if I say yes and it doesn’t happen, wouldn’t that send my faith into a tailspin or doubt weather God was really speaking to me at the very least? I did say yes and I did believe. I felt nothing happen. I got in the car that night and felt doubt creeping into my mind and I felt I needed to say I was healed in faith out loud so I told my mom that the Lord healed me. She checked my back at home and exclaimed it was straight! I remember thinking, I know and at that point not really needing the proof. She took me to the doctor and had it confirmed. I went from almost needing a brace to a completely straight back. The muscles on one side are still a bit raised from the other side, but I think this is just a great remnant to remember His healing.
I write this because when I get some sort of medical scare I know He is with me, however, I still battle the mental doubts. I suppose I relate to Moses’ need for reassurance and then I feel so bad for needing it considering all that God has done already. May God increase my faith and help me to war off my doubts.