It’s with sadness that we extend our prayers to the families of the victims of the mass killing in Nova Scotia – now the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.
Please pray for God’s comfort, strength and peace for these families, the communities of Nova Scotia that are suffering during this tragic period in our nation’s history.
My last theme on the God of the burning bush series is:
The God of the burning bush is “I AM” or "I AM WHO I AM."
NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Exod. 3:13-15
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?" God 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.'" God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, '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, and this is My memorial-name to all generations."
There has been a lot of speculation about the meaning of “I Am”. In my research, here’s what I’ve come across so far:
I am too mysterious for you to grasp.
I am the ever present One.
I am sovereign and will do what I will ("He causes to be," Albright).
I am the creator God (the Hiphil Stem: רִי ְכִז ה implies causality).
I am the God who creates a relationship (i.e., covenant-making God, John Walton).
The Jewish Study Bible (p. 111) suggests it means "My nature will become evident from My actions."
The JPSOA (Jewish Publication Society of America) lists three possible options for this Hebrew name:
I Am That I Am
I Am Who I Am
I Will Be What I Will Be
This mysterious name is also expressed in several ways in the OT:
"no one like YHWH our Elohim," (Exod. 8:10; Deut. 33:26)
"no other besides Him," (Deut. 4:35; Isa. 45:21)
"YHWH is one," (Deut. 6:4)
"none like You," (2 Sam. 7:22; Jer. 10:6)
"You alone are God," (Ps. 86:10; Isa. 37:16)
"Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me," (Isa. 43:10)
"there is no other besides Me," (Isa. 45:5)
"He is the source of all things," (Isa. 45:7; Amos 3:6)
"there is none else, no other God," (Isa. 45:14)
"there is none except Me," (Isa. 45:21)
"there is no one like Me," (Isa. 46:9)
Genesis 1:1 starts out this way: “In the beginning God...”
Have you ever asked these questions about God? Where did he come from? Who is he? What is he like? How old is he? Does he have any friends? Is there a Mrs. God?
When I was first introduced to the idea that God had a son, my first question was if God has a son then who is the mother?
That question was one of the motivating factors that led me to ask more questions about Jesus – hence I invited him into my life to be my savior.
Many of you may remember Art Linkletter of the old tv show “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” He was a great author, too.
One day on the program, Art, who was a Christian man, saw a little boy drawing a picture and asked the little fellow what he was drawing.
The little boy said he was drawing a picture of God. Art then said to him, “No one has ever seen God and so how do you know what he looks like?”
The little fellow sharply answered, “I know and when I get done they will see what He looks like because they will have my picture.”
Art loved the answer. But you know, the little guy was right. We sometimes have more to do with people’s conception of God than we realize.
As I think about the patriarchs like Abraham, leaders like Moses, the prophets like Isaiah, God spent a lot of time revealing Himself and explaining to the Israelites how they should do life.
The Israelites didn’t always get it right just like sometimes we don’t always get it right.
I’ve watched all of Ray Vander Laan’s dvds, and his one main theme throughout is that the “world may know.” It was through God’s chosen people (in spite of all their failures) that He made Himself known.
And just like the Israelites, we can paint a picture to the world about who God is and what he’s like by how we do life.
We can be a living picture of him for either good or bad. What kind of a presentation do we give to the world about God?
Is our concept of God too small? Is he too hard of a task master? Is he more about rules than grace?
Sometimes we don’t always present a very clear picture of what God is like, or who he is.
In a play called the “Last Supper”, one of the characters was the Apostle Philip. Here’s a line or two that encapsulates the gospel message:
“Everything I find in God, I find in Jesus, for everything I would not want to find in God, I do not find in Jesus.”
How true as we look at the life of Christ. God is so awesome. He is immutable—never changing.
He is all knowing, ever present, loving, just, kind, and holy. He can heal, comfort, dispenses justice and redeems. I could go on and on.
The ancient Hebrews had so many wonderful descriptions of the attributes of God. They literally painted a picture of God, revealing the One who is and who is to come.
They didn’t always represent him well, but God still chose to reveal himself through them. We would call that GRACE!
Again, here’s another great acronym for GRACE:
"G" stands for the "Gift" of salvation. You and I can do nothing to earn his grace; it's a gift. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God….”
"R" stands for "Repentance." Its an ancient term meaning to turn. In our sin (hata in Hebrew) literally means “to go astray” or to “walk away”, we were walking away from God, but then we acknowledged our sin and began to follow Christ!
"A" stands for "Almighty" God. We need to develop a relationship with Almighty God…the one who loves us and who has a wonderful plan for our lives.
"C" stands for "Commitment." You and I are called to live in a committed relationship with Jesus, the Bridegroom. He died for us, he lives within us, and he's coming again to receive us to himself!
"E" stands for "Eternal" life. We receive the gift of eternal life by faith the moment we come to Christ!
Taken from "Sharing his G.R.A.C.E." by PowerPoint Ministries.
May God Bless You and May His face Shine Upon You!!