God has a name...

I love the story in the Bible where Moses asks God his name. 

God's reply--as recorded in Exodus--is "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you."

And I've been thinking about that lately.

A being so powerful that you can't name Him. He simply is.

The Jewish people have many names for God. Elohim (God), El Shaddai (almighty God), Adonai (master), El Elyon (God most high), El Olam (the Everlasting God), Avinu (our Father)...there is a whole other list that addresses God by aspects of His nature Jehovah Jireh (provider), Jehovah-Rophe (God who heals)...  But when it comes to God's personal name it is YHWH which simply means "to be." (I also love it that the Jewish tradition is not even to say the name because it is too holy. It is the reason it is spelled without consonants. Even in English, many Jewish people will write G-d. The name is never used casually. )

When raised in a religious tradition, it is easy to see God in a box. To limit Him to all the things you learned of Him or all the ways you've experienced Him. To take the list of the things He does and make it who He is. But a God who created the universe is bigger than that. He is more than our ideologies. He simply is.  Like stars or sky or vast ocean He exists. (And it really burns brain cells to think about a being more permanent than stars or sea or sky.)

And it occurs to me that the billions of people trapped on a fallen, broken planet know somewhere in our souls this idea of I AM.  Just like we all experience sky and stars, something in us is aware that there is some big truth we can't quite see. We can lose hope and put a flag in the sand that there is no god. Or we can structure complex systems of getting to him. But I believe I AM resonates...regardless of the part of the planet we grow up on or the religious system in which we are taught.

If God spoke the world in to being as described in Genesis, then it occurs to me His spirit is everywhere.  Like a resonating chord that is constant without fading, He simply is. Part of the fabric of everything. The amazing thing is that He is not distant. A God who would take time to orchestrate the release of His people through one man....a conversation in a burning bush...I AM isn't an ideology. It is personal.

We can ignore it.  (But that doesn't change the fact that it is. )  Or we can engage. (And engaging Him changes everything.)

1 comment

Unknown said...

Beautifully put...that is some powerful thinking lady!

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Maira Gall