They Will ask – What is the Name of the Lord?
Moses had an experience regarding the name of the Lord God which is enlightening. Just as the Lord was about to commission him to liberate the Children of Israel, He taught him His name.
The former asked the latter, “When I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto them?” (Exodus 3:13).
So, Moses was ignorant of the name of the Lord until He told it to him.
“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” (Exodus 3:14).
“I Am That I Am” is not a specific name. It’s very similar in diction to either “Lord” or “God” if each is used alone. He isn’t identifiable by this phrase by itself: i.e., alone.
Nevertheless, the Children of Israel couldn’t relate to it. Therefore, to make this name of the Lord relatable to them, the Lord gives Moses an explanation for it.
What Does the Name of the Lord “I AM THAT I AM” Mean?
He tells him: “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name
Now this description of a name: “the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”, they could relate to it.
They understood it. These men are their ancestors. It means he is the God of their forefathers. So, He would also be their God.
Because they had heard all the oral recounting of their forefathers’ experiences with the Lord God, they could accept this name.
Therefore, this general or basic name of the Lord means that whomever the Lord declares that He is; He is.
Subsequently, when He tells them “I am the Lord that [heals] thee” (Exodus 15:26). They understood this name in that context.
He also reminds them that He’s their provider, banner, and keeper, etc. But none of these names
What is the Primary Purpose of the Name of the Lord?
Consequently, through all the Old Testament (OT) Scriptures the Lord God reminds and reinforces in the hearts of the Children of Israel that He is their God.
For example, He tells them constantly, “I am the Lord thy God”. This means, I’m the Lord your God.
Therefore, many times He reminds them that “I am the Lord thy God” that delivers you from Egypt and they accept this for they remember their ancestors’ stories about their exodus from that country (Psalm 81:10).
He informs them too that “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside
Later, when the Lord God became a man, Jesus Christ, he would continue to utilize this same basic name of the Lord: “I AM”.
However, to comprehend fully the meaning of “I AM THAT I AM” a specific name is necessary. The divine qualities are OK but one needs a certain name to associate it with them because neither “Lord” nor “God” is a name.
Consequently, many contextual names of the Lord litter the OT Scriptures. However, none is specific. They are all general names. But in the New Testament (NT) Scriptures, you will discover a very precise name. And you could utilize it for all occasions.
To recap, the name of the Lord God that He gives to Moses is “I AM THAT I AM”.
It means that whatever the Children of Israel needed Him to be He is that to them.
If they need a healer, He’s their healer. They need a provider, He’s their provider. And He is the first and last to them: He is their only God.
While the Jews can relate to the God of their fore-parents, the Gentiles can’t. We have no experience with them. We don’t know them for we only know of them.
Jesus Christ is also the I AM
Therefore, today they continue to use this name because it’s God’s “memorial” to the Jews for “all generations”. But what of the Greeks?
As a result, the same “I AM THAT I AM” of the OT became a man. He became Jesus Christ. Now, he is God’s memorial to the world: Hebrews and Greeks.
There cannot be two “I am the first and the last”. So, the I AM THAT I AM in the OT is the identical one in the NT. And his name is Jesus Christ.
“I AM” expresses the state of His being, but the name: Jesus Christ identifies and distinguishes him from all others.
Combining the Name of the Lord with His Being
Subsequently, the Lord Jesus Christ also declares “… I am the first and the last” (Revelation 1:17). He’s the only Lord God.
The “I AM” names are contextual ones. He could be anything you ask Him to become, (John 8:58).
Jesus Christ is bread, light, door, or good shepherd etc., for he tells us that he is all these things (John 6:35; 9:5; 10:9 & 10:11).
He even says that he is the Father (John 8:24,28).
Now we can relate to him for he is our Saviour. He is no longer the saviour of the Jews only but of all the world.
If the name “I AM” is supreme then there is no need for any other, not even for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have You Put on the Name of the Lord God?
Consequently, the same Lord God of the OT informs us in the NT concerning the name Jesus Christ. He states, through His chosen vessel:
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Note “name” and not “names“. Who has multiple names? The Lord has one name: Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39 & 2 Corinthians 4:5).
Nevertheless, the fundamental difference is that in the NT, He is the Lord God of whomever that believes in His name.
While, before and in the OT, He was only the God of the Hebrews. But now through His divine arm, He has brought salvation to all: Jews and Gentiles.
Have you believed in the name of the Son of God: the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the Saviour of the world, not only of the Jews, but of all that believe in his name.
How to put on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Today, accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. Believe in his name. And if you believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ the only proof that you do is to take it on to yourself, (Acts 8:16).
Put on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ today. Put it on by water baptism, (Galatians 3:27). Get baptized today by immersion calling on “the name” of the Lord Jesus Christ and you would have taken on his name.
It only when you are called by and have put on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you really belong to Him.