God is LORD, I AM, the Self-Existent One
by Gini Crawford, MSW
Do bushes really talk? Remember the Bible story of Moses and the burning bush? In Exodus 3, God remarkably talks through a burning bush, and tells Moses His formal name - I AM WHO I AM, or it could be translated, I am He Who exists. I AM is closely related to God's personal name Yahweh (Hebrew). In English Bibles the word LORD (in all capitals) is Yahweh, and is used over 6,000 times in the Old Testament.
LORD and I AM both emphasize God's self-existence.
...So that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD... Isaiah 43:10-11 NASB®
It makes sense that the One True God is self-existent, doesn't it? Being self-existent means existence derived from itself, having no other source. God doesn't need any element of creation for His existence(Acts 17:24-25). God wasn't created but He is the Creator. Before the earth was or even before the beginning of time, the LORD existed (Psalm 90:2). In reality, if it wasn't for Him, nothing would exist.
...For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible...all things have been created through Him and for Him.... Colossians 1:16 NASB®
Jesus Christ is the LORD, I AM, the Self-Existent One, Who needs no one, yet He died so you could be with Him (John 1:1-4, 9-14, 18, 29, 8:23-24, 58). It's hard for me to fully understand why the Self-Existent One would want to die for me (Colossians 1:13-22). But it definitely makes me feel loved by Him. How do you feel?
The Self-Existent One cares
Exodus 3 tells us God's formal name, but it also gives us a view of Who God is. Exodus 3:1-15 is summarized below.
Now Moses... led the flock to... the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD (Jesus Christ) appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush... When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush... Then He said, "Do not come near here ...for the place on which you are standing is holy ground..." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land... Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I... that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" And He said, "Certainly I will be with you..." "Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, '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 this is My memorial-name to all generations..." NASB®
LORD, the Self-Existent One, created all life and needs no one - yet He incredibly wanted to talk to and share His divine name with the man, Moses. While talking, the LORD reassured Moses that He sees, hears, knows all things, and will be with him. And that He will deliver His suffering people and bring them to a prosperous land.
The Self-Existent One incredibly wants to talk to us, have a relationship with us and provide for us, as He did with Moses and the Israelites. Purposely go to Him in prayer. As you can see from the story of the burning bush, God definitely desires to be there for you. Do you feel cherished and looked after by the One True God? I sure do.
The Self-Existent One described
Quickly read Exodus 3:1-15 again from your Bible if you have time. Describe God from Exodus 3:1-15.
How did the LORD, the Self-Existent One, care for His people in Exodus 3?
How does the Self-Existent One care for you?
An acquaintance told me a disheartening story about not being wanted. She told me, "I went to a small group at my church, and was told, 'We don't have room for you, so don't come back.'" I believe we all need to be wanted, so when we aren't, it hurts, doesn't it? God the Creator and Self-Existent One, chose to create us and love us, because He wanted us. You can't get more wanted by someone than that, can you? God being self-existent means, He doesn't need anyone or anything to exist and to be complete. Yet, He wants me. Oh yes, I am very treasured and wanted by my God, and you are too.
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