It’s been fashionable in recent years for Christians to think of God as a snuggly, cuddly heavenly Daddy who can be our intimate, best friend. However, Exodus 3 teaches us there is a big gap between God’s existence and our existence because every human was brought into existence by another human, whereas God was not brought into existence at all. This fact differentiates God from every living thing, including us, and reminds us God is not our best friend, nor our snuggly Daddy. God is our Creator, Master, King, Savior, and Leader. God is an authority figure.
God is Yahweh
Gen. 4:25 Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said,
“God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.”
In Bible times names had meaning. Names told you something about a person. The Hebrew word that is translated Seth means appointed. Seth’s name told people he was appointed to replace Abel.
Gen. 4:26 To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD[Yahweh].
After Enosh was born men began using the name Yahweh to refer to God. Yahweh means He is. God was named “He is” because every human was brought into existence by another living being; however, God was not brought into existence by anyone. God simply is; thus, His name is “He is”.
Moses met Yahweh
Ex. 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
Ex. 3:2 The angel of the LORD[Yahweh] appeared to him[Moses] in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he[Moses] looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
Throughout the Bible God used miracles to prove His existence and authenticate His message.
Ex. 3:3 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”
Ex. 3:4 When the LORD[Yahweh] saw that he[Moses] turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he[Moses] said, “Here I am.”
God was in the midst of the bush, meaning Moses was face to face with God.
Ex. 3:5 Then He[God] said, “Do not come near here; remove your[Moses] sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
We stand and remove our hats during the national anthem to show respect. We also stand when we are introduced to a person. In Bible times they removed their sandals to show respect.
Ex. 3:6 He[God] said also, “I am the God of your[Moses] father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Moses was afraid to look at God because he knew he (and every human) did not meet God’s standards.
Ex. 3:7 The LORD[Yahweh] said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
Ex. 3:8 “So I[Yahweh] have come down to deliver them[Israelites] from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land[Egypt] to a good and spacious land[Canaan], to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
Ex. 3:9 “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me[Yahweh]; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Ex. 3:10 “Therefore, come now, and I[Yahweh] will send you[Moses] to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Ex. 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”
Moses thought he was nobody. Moses was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, meaning Moses understood the protocol of the Egyptian court and he was very well qualified to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Ex. 3:12 And He[Yahweh] said, “Certainly I will be with you[Moses], and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”
Ex. 3:13 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?”
The Israelites would ask for a name because Egypt was a polytheistic society. God’s name would tell them something about the God that Moses was claiming to represent.
Ex. 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He[God] said, “Thus you[Moses] shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me[Moses] to you[Israelites].’”
God told Moses He existed because He existed. In other words, unlike humans who are dependent on another living thing to bring them into existence, God was not dependent on another living thing in order to exist. He is self existent. The fact that God is self-existent gives God the authority to tell Moses and the Israelites and us what to do.
Ex. 3:15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you[Moses] shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD[Yahweh], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me[Moses] to you.’ This[Yahweh] is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
At that time Yahweh was God’s most sacred name and today it is still His most sacred name.
Ex. 3:16 “Go[Moses] and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD[Yahweh], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me[Moses], saying, “I[Yahweh] am indeed concerned about you[Israelites] and what has been done to you in Egypt.
Ex. 3:17 “So I[Yahweh] said, I will bring you[Israelites] up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’
Ex. 3:18 “They[Israelites] will pay heed to what you[Moses] say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, ‘The LORD[Yahweh], the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us[Israelites] go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’
Jesus is Yahweh
John 8:56 Jesus answered “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
John 8:57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
This dialogue took place 2,000 years after Abraham died.
John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
When Jesus said “I am”, He was claiming to be Yahweh. Jesus was claiming to be the one and only God who has no beginning. Jesus was claiming to be the one and only living being who is not dependent on another living being for His existence.
Since God is self-existent, He exists on a higher level than we do. He is not like other humans that we can cuddle with. God is our Creator, Master, King, Savior, and Leader. God is an authority figure.