WHEN Moses in the desert beheld the burning bush God answered his question by the revelation of His name as the |I Am.| |And God said unto Moses, I am, that I am: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you| (Exod. iii:14). He who spake thus out of the bush to Moses was the same who in the fullness of time appeared upon the earth in the form of man. Our Lord Jesus Christ is no less person, than the I AM. If we turn to the fourth Gospel in which the Holy Spirit pictures Him as the Son of God, one with the Father, we find His glorious title there as the I AM. In the eighth chapter of that blessed Gospel we read that He said to the Jews, |Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am| (v:58). And the Jews took stones to cast them upon Him. In the fifth chapter we read that they wanted to kill Him, not only because He had violated the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God (v:18). They wanted to stone Him because in saying that word |Before Abraham was, I am| He had claimed that holy name for Himself, which was revealed to Moses. The Jews then, as the orthodox Jews do still, reverenced that name to such a degree that they did not even pronounce it, but substituted in its place the word |Adonai.| Little did they realize that the same |I am| who spoke to Moses out of the bush, saying, |I am;| who descended before Moses later in a cloud and proclaimed the name of the Lord (Exod. xxxiv) was standing in their midst in the form of man. And this is not the only time He used this word. We find it in the xviii chapter of John. When the band and officers of the chief priests and Pharisees came with lanterns, torches and weapons, Jesus stepped majestically into their presence with the calm question: |Whom seek ye?| When they had stated that they were seeking Jesus the Nazarene He answered them with one word |I AM.| What happened? They went backward and fell to the ground. What a spectacle that must have been. The dark night, a company of people, all on the same satanic errand, with their lanterns, torches and different kinds of weapons. And then the object of their hatred steps before them and utters one word and they fall helpless to the ground. What warning it should have been to them. Once more He asks the question; again He answers with the |I am| and with the understanding that His own should be free, He allows Himself to be bound.
He likewise called Himself |I am| in talking with the Samaritan woman. In John iv:26 we read, |Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.| This does, however, not express the original. This reads as follows: |I AM that speaks to thee.| After this mighty word had come from His lips the woman had nothing more to say, but left her waterpot and went her way back to the city. The I AM had spoken to her. In chapters vi:20 and viii:28 we find Him using the same |I am| again. In the former passage |It is I| should read |I am.|
Besides these passages in which He speaks of Himself as the self-existing Jehovah, the great |I am,| He saith seven times in this Gospel what He is to His own. I am the Bread of life (chapter vi:35.) I am the Light of the world (chapter ix:5). I am the Door (chapter x:7). I am the Good Shepherd (chapter x:11). I am the Resurrection and the Life (chapter xi:25). I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (chapter xvi:6); and I am the true Vine (chapter xv:1). But this does not exhaust at all what He is and will be now and forever to those who belong to Him. In the Old Testament there are seven great names of the |I AM| which are deep and significant. In them we can trace His rich and wonderful Grace. Jehovah. -- Jireh -- The Lord provides. The lamb provided (Genesis xxii). Jehovah Rophecah -- I am the Lord that healeth thee (Exodus xv). Jehovah -- Nissi -- The Lord is my banner, He giveth the Victory (Exod. xvii). Jehovah shalom, the Lord is Peace. He is our Peace (Judges vi). Jehovah Roi -- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm xxiii). Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord is our righteousness (Jeremiah xxiii). Jehovah shammah, the Lord is there (Ezek. xlviii).
But this does not exhaust what He is. I AM -- what? Anything and everything what we need in time and eternity.
|When God would teach mankind His name
He called Himself the great, I AM,
And leaves a blank -- believers may
Supply those things for which they pray.|
Happy indeed are we, beloved reader, if we know Him, who died for us as the I AM, if we learn more and more to trust Him as the all sufficient One and know that the I AM will supply all our need. In these days in which the person of Christ is so much belittled, attacked; He as the Holy One, the great Jehovah rejected, not by the outside world alone, but by those who call themselves after His own blessed name, let us have for an answer to all these attacks of the enemy a closer walk with Him, a more intimate fellowship with the I AM; a better acquaintance with our Jehovah-Jesus, our gracious Lord. Oh what a union is ours, One with Him the I AM, what a happy, glorious lot. Hallelujah.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come (Rev. ii:8). I am the bright and morning star (Rev. xxii: 16). What, oh what will He be for His own in all eternity!