A Name as Verb

“The Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey… The cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.  Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’  He said, ‘But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out, you shall serve God on this mountain.’

“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?’  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… 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 3:7-15

*I AM WHAT I AM, or I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; **The word LORD stands for the divine name, YHWH, here connected with the verb hayah, “to be”

“For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” Acts 11:26

Moses the murderer, and Moses the shepherd, couldn’t come to grips with being Moses the deliverer. But God had other plans, plans He had set in motion decades before. At this particular moment, in a spectacular way, He called 80-year-old Moses to a different and higher identity that what plagued or occupied him. While Moses could not see beyond his own inadequacy, God proclaimed His dynamic and powerful Name as the One who simultaneously called, led, and enabled. His Name was the verb that would propel and remain with Moses. (Exodus 2:11-15; 3:1-6)

When we are saved by grace, we take on Jesus’s identity as ‘Christian,’ and are indwelt by His powerful Spirit forever. Yet, so often in our work and days, we busy ourselves in the flesh under false or destructive names: Loser. Insufficient. Unworthy. Failure. We get trapped in wrong identities, confused and hampered from all God has called us to, and to do. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14)

Who are we? He will be with us, and He is mighty to save and perform. What is His name who calls? He IS- active, alive, involved, and working good to fulfill His purposes, forever. Would we today surrender our inertia and fear to His dynamic Name?

LORD, adorn and infuse me with the beauty and power of Your Name, that I might go where You send, and serve as You serve, all my days.

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