“What if they want to know who you are? What if they want to know who is sending me?”
These seem like good questions. Moses isn’t being unreasonable here (Exodus 3:13). He is just thinking ahead. What should he say if he goes to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and is challenged about who this God is? And so he asks and God responds with that famous and somewhat enigmatic name: I Am. Or in some translations, “I Am who I Am.”
God is saying, among other things that he is God of the now. He isn’t bound by time. He isn’t the God who was. He is now, where we are, when we are. He is God of every day and every time. God of every moment.
This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. Exodus 3:15
God is eternal. I don’t think I fully appreciate what that means. I want to, but it’s so other than everything I am familiar with. There is no context in my life for something with no beginning; something that will have no end or completion point. Everything I know and relate to wasn’t at some point…and then it was. Everything I know of will eventually pass away and become a “was” and a memory.
Except God. He is. He always is. A thousand years ago God is. A million years from now God is. This makes my brain hurt. God is not simply bigger than this moment I am living in. He is bigger than all moments, bigger than time. He is, no matter when. He always is.
God is eternal and if ever there was a thing about God that made him bigger and beyond us it is this. We are so confined by time and place and the present. We are so temporary and so now. God transcends it all. And perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that one day, at some moment in time we will be yanked out of time as well. We will exist in the eternal where God is. A where that isn’t really anywhere, but is everywhere.
It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:52-53
It seems odd to wait in time for a moment in that time where time will be stripped away. And yet I wait. Anxiously wondering when forever will finally arrive. Why is it so slow in coming? Why does the eternal take so long to start?
In the meantime I will wait and wonder at the eternal God who makes the way out of time possible. His name is eternal because he is eternal. He is the God of every moment and he is not swayed or changed by the passing of time. Trying to comprehend this makes my head and my heart soar.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8