He stood in the desert, terrified. He was afraid because he was talking to God, and God was talking to him. He was afraid because God was asking him to do the most terrifying thing he could imagine.
God was asking him to return to the place he’d fled from years ago. He was asking him to speak with the king of the country and to convince the king to release his slaves.
So he said to God: “Suppose they ask me, ‘what is this God’s name?’ Then what shall I tell them?“
And God said, “I Am who I Am.“
What is the name of the God of the Bible?
The story of God speaking with Moses from the burning bush (found in chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Exodus) confused me as a child.
I learnt later that God was doing more than telling Moses His name. He was teaching him about His character. The name “I Am” teaches us that God’s presence and His very being is an end in itself. God is. And that’s enough. He has no cause or explanation, nor does He need one; He just is.
All throughout the Bible, we read other names of God:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
– Isaiah 9:6
A few more examples are “Redeemer” (Job 19:25), “Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25), “the truth” (John 14:6). Each name of God helps us to understand what He is like.
God’s name is a tower
The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe,
– Proverbs 18:10
One way I understand this verse is that God’s name – as we learn more and more about it – becomes to us a place of refuge. As we dig deeper into His names, we learn more about His character, and our trust in Him deepens as we understand how deserving He is of our trust.
God has many names, each of which teaches us about His character, and shelters us when troubles come.
Here are some questions to get the conversation going:
- What’s your favourite name of God? What does it mean to you?
- How do you understand Proverbs 18:10?
- Can you remember a time when God’s name was a fortified tower for you?