The God Who Is
Moses encountered the real, living God at the non-burning bush -- the bush that was on fire, but did not burn up. God called Moses by name there, and sent him to bring His people, Israel, out of slavery in Egypt.
Moses asked an important question: If the people ask me Who sent me, what do I tell them? Israel had lived in Egypt for over 400 years, among polytheism. The Egyptians believed in many gods. How would Moses distinguish Israel's God from the gods of Egypt?
God's answer is both cryptic and revealing. God answers Moses' question with this:
“I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14 NIV)
God's name for Himself is "I AM." I AM the God who is. The implication is that all other gods are not really God. I AM the God who exists. There is only one God. And He calls Himself I AM WHO I AM.
When I was growing up, I watched Popeye and Janie on Saturday mornings. Janie was the host. Popeye the Sailor was a cartoon character who got strength from eating raw spinach from the can, in order to save his girlfriend, Olive Oyl, from the advances of his rival, Bluto. Popeye would sometimes say, "I am what I am, and that's all that I am. I'm Popeye the sailor man." Take me as I am. That's essentially what God told Moses!
God exists. There is only one true God. God has revealed Himself in nature and in making humanity in His own image. God has revealed Himself in His interactions with people throughout history -- people like Abraham and Moses and King David. And particularly through His interactions with the people He claims for Himself - Israel.
Most particularly and fully, God has revealed Himself by taking on flesh and blood in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God-in-the-flesh taught truth, loved the broken, performed miracles, went to a cross, laid down His life for the sins of the world, and conquered death on our behalf. This is the God who is. He is a God who loves His creation so much, He'd rather die than live without us.
People believe many things about God. Some are true. God is a God of love. God can still do miracles. God accepts and forgives sinners.
But some of the things people believe about God do not line up with His own revelation of Himself. God wants me to be happy, so if I have faith, He will make me rich. Any religion will do as long as one believes it. God must be a Democrat -- or a Republican -- depending on what I believe to be true.
Because God is who He is, it is important that we read and study His revelation of Himself in the Bible to understand who He is, who we are, and how to have a relationship with Him that honors Him and aligns our lives with His will for us. Most of all, it is important to know the God who is through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
If we believe in Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross for us, and if we follow Jesus, living our lives to honor Him, then Jesus will be the basis of true truth for our relationship with the God who actually exists. We will find out who we are by knowing the God who is who He is.
I am so grateful this God who exists made Himself known to me in ways I could understand when I was a child and a teenager. I am so thankful this God who is has been faithful throughout my life to grow me in my understanding of who He is and what His purpose is for my life. And I am also grateful that I don't have Him all figured out. He still surprises me.
God is who He is, and not just who I think He is. A God who could be figured out by a puny, flawed human like me would not be God at all. Some day, I have been promised by His Son, Jesus, that I will see Him face-to-face and know Him as He really is. What a day that will be! In the meantime, I will spend my life seeking to help people get to know the God who is through His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray you will seek Him and find Him in Jesus...