The first name for God in the Bible (Genesis 1:1) is the Hebrew name “Elohim” which reveals God as “The Mighty or Strong One” and often highlights God as Creator.
The second name for God that we find in Scripture is Yahweh or Jehovah. The name Yahweh is used more than any other name for God in the Old Testament. It occurs 6,823 times. The first mention of Yahweh is in Genesis 2:4, this is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. (NAS)
Exodus 3:13-15. Who is Yahweh? “I AM WHO I AM”
I AM WHO I AM literally means, “I will be what I will be.” This became the most sacred name for God that has been revealed to us. Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
Since the original Hebrew language had no vowels the actual pronunciation has been lost. Hebrew scholars pretty much agree that Yahweh is more likely to be the correct way to say the word.
In verse 13 Moses asks, “…If … the people of Israel … ask me, ’what is his name?’ what shall I say to them?’ (Ex. 3:13).
“This helps to explain the reply, namely, ’I AM WHO I AM’. And he said, ’Say this to the people of Israel, ’I AM has sent me to you’ ’ (Ex. 3:14).
- Yahweh is self-sufficient
The fact that “GOD IS” implies that God does not need anything or anyone else. We depend on many things outside of ourselves in order to exist. We cannot live without food, water, air and many other things.
God is the Creator, but He was never created so He doesn’t need anything outside of Himself. Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by myself and spreading out the earth all alone.
When Paul was preaching on Mars Hill (Roman name for a hill in Athens – Paul preached on his visit to Athens) he said, Acts 17:24–25 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things
- Yahweh is a person
I AM is a first person pronoun so God is not just a force or an idea. 1 Thessalonians 1:9 … you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God.
- Yahweh is eternally alive
Exodus 3:15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “…This is my name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
God had no beginning and will have no end. This also implies that God lives in the eternal present: He is! God didn’t say “I was” or “I will be.”
Isaiah 43:10 “…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.
Isaiah 48:12 “… I am He, I am the first, and I am also the last.
- Yahweh is unchanging
Malachi 3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change….
If God does not change then His plans cannot be changed. Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.
- Yahweh is real
Jeremiah 16:21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know– This time I will make them know as My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is the LORD.”
- Yahweh is unique
Isaiah 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no saviour besides Me.
Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God…
Let’s look at the Burning Bush in Exodus 3
Exodus 3:1. Yahweh uses the ordinary “pasturing the flock”
Paul reminds us 1 Corinthians 1:27–, “but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God”
Exodus 3:2. Yahweh is personal “the LORD appeared to him”
Isaiah 43:11… And there is no saviour besides Me.
God deals personally with us, and He desires that we deal personally with Him. ‘
Deuteronomy 11: 13 “… I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Exodus 3: 4-6. Yahweh is fearful in His presence “in a blazing fire…holy ground”
Isaiah 42:8 “I am the LORD that is my name; I will not give my glory to another, or my praise to graven images.
Exodus 3:6. Yahweh has revealed Himself to man “I am the God of your father”
Exodus 3:7-9 Yahweh is aware of everything “I have surely seen…I am aware”
Proverbs 15:3 says the eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.
Hebrews 4:13, and there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for me?”
John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He…” The literal order of the Greek words is: “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM.”