What's In A Name? (Exodus 3:13-15)
Sunday, February 18, 2024 - Pastor Steve Webster
Locations & Times
  • GracePoint Baptist Church
    3143 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1T 1P4, Canada
    Sunday 10:30 AM
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This morning as we continue our current Sunday study series on the Old Testament book of Exodus we’re going to give some thought to God’s personal name, and its relevance to you and me today.

1. Some Background
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1, ESV

The Hebrew word (_______________), translated as “God” here, is a generic term used over 2000 times in the Old Testament for deity.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. Genesis 2:4, ESV

The Hebrew word (_______________), translated by the word “LORD” here spelled all in capital letters, is the personal name of the God of the Hebrews used more than 6,800 times in the Old Testament.

“O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” Genesis 15:8, ESV

The Hebrew word (_______________), translated as “Lord” here spelled not all in capital letters, means ‘master’ or ‘sovereign’.
2. What does God’s personal name mean?

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” Exodus 3:13, ESV

Moving from his initial question, “Who am I?”, effectively now Moses asks God, “Who are you?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14, ESV

In response to Moses asking for his name, God literally says, “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”, or “I AM WHO OR WHAT I AM”.

What we have here is a character statement about the God we worship. God says here to us, “I am, and will continue to be, what I am and forever will be.” In other words, whatever character traits, or attributes, God displays, he is that and will always be that. As human beings, we’re only sometimes what we are, but Yahweh IS WHAT HE IS always.
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people 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 thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Exodus 3:15, ESV

When God says his own name he says, “I AM WHO I AM”, but when he tells Moses to share his name with others he uses “Yahweh” meaning, “HE IS WHO HE IS”.

3. Knowing God

In a sense, the primary point of the book of Exodus is to make known the identity of the living God. But in reality the whole Bible is written to for this reason, for there’s nothing more critical in life than to come to know personally and meaningfully the God who knows us.

“Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him… John 8:48-59a, ESV

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