And Moses said unto God, Behold, 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? 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 3:13-14
Poor Moses! God called him out of his comfort zone. . .way out! Moses was a shepherd, far more at home with animals than people (a bit like myself, actually). Sheep were easy. Sure, they weren't the smartest of animals, but at least they did what they were told and didn't complain in the process. Moses could handle sheep. He wasn't so sure about people. So he did what we all do when God tries to coax us out of our comfort zones--he made excuses.
But I'm not qualified.
But I don't have the right credentials.
But that's not really my talent.
But I don't think that's the best use of my time.
But I can't communicate well.
But I had something else in mind.
But I don't see where that would be very profitable for me.
When will we learn that our excuses aren't going to change God's mind or His will for our lives? Moses learned right there on the spot. So when the excuses didn't work, he tried to stall. "Well, the people are going to want to know Who sent me. They'll know I didn't come on my own. They'll know there's Someone greater behind this plan. They'll want to know who the real Mastermind is. What shall I tell them?"
Surely such a vast question would require a vast answer, right? Nope! God simply replied, "I AM."
I can see the look of confusion on Moses' face. You are what? The word "am" is a state of being. When it is used, it is followed by another word, the state of being. I am happy. I am tired. I am hungry. I am frustrated. I am crazy. That state of being explains how we're feeling and sometimes even who we are. I am Dana. I am a writer. I am a worrier. I am a dog owner.
But God didn't give a state of being. To Moses, it may have seemed that God stopped mid-sentence or maybe that God paused to think of the proper way to finish the sentence. But such was not the case. God had said all that He was going to say. "I AM. That's all you need to know."
Perhaps God could have even answered the question as the wizard, Merlin, did in the BBC show, The Adventures of Merlin. The eccentric old wizard was outraged when two guards questioned his identity. "Who am I?" he inquired. "What kind of stupid question is that? I am who I am, and I am who I was, and I am who I always will be."
Sounds like God, doesn't it? He is Who He is, and He is Who He was, and He is Who He always will be. He's God. There is none like Him. He has always been God. He will always be God. He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the Three in One. He is the Creator. He is the Redeemer. He is our Counselor. He is our Shepherd. He is loving. He is kind. He is just. He is merciful.
By the time God listed all of His names and characteristics to Moses, the shepherd would have died of old age. Besides, God doesn't waste words. He says what needs to be said and leaves it at that. With those two simple words, "I AM", God bespoke a fathomless message: "Whatever you need. . . I AM!"
Even the sheep understand that.