God. The word conjures up all sorts of feelings, images and expectations that spark rejoicing in some and discomfort in others. Who is God? Where has He been all this time? Whose “God” are we talking about anyway? One of the things that makes the topic so controversial is that you and I are not alone in this world. Billions of people walk the face of the earth on seven continents, governed by hundreds of countries and identifying themselves with a variety of races and tribes. We are individuals and yet exist together in cultures that have emerged after millennia of war, peace and revolution. So the idea of one sovereign God instead of several, hundreds, or thousands, representing all of the diversity that is humanity, seems illogical. Or is it? The Bible, a collection of historical records, songs, poetry and letters, though seen as a uniform book today, was actually composed over the span of 1000 years from the writings and experiences of human beings from various regions and social classes. These people; kings, privileged high priests, shepherds and slaves, separated by centuries and even ethnicity, all had one thing in common, an encounter with an all powerful being who claimed to be the original God of all the Earth. With that, in this first entry of Sands of Time, a series aiming to excavate lost memories of our past, I can think of no better place to start than with the memory of the living God.
The scripture records that His name is Yahweh, or “He causes to be” in Hebrew, the language of ancient Israel. He is called the great One, the almighty, everlasting Father. He is also called the “living” God, a title important to note in the Bronze Age (3600-1200 B.C.) as Israel`s surrounding neighbors worshipped gods made from stone and precious metals. Unlike those idols, Yahweh was very much alive and forbade any images of Himself being made. Since He was and is a spirit, He is eternal and not the shaping of anyone`s hands. Centuries after the creation of man, when God called Moses to lead Israel in an Exodus (a mass migration of people) from Egyptian captivity, Moses, in awe of this majestic spirit speaking from a burning bush, asked God…“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13) God replied,“I AM THAT I AM.” This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
I am that I am, Ehyeh asher ehyeh in Hebrew, is the root of where the name Yahweh comes from. It may seem strange to introduce oneself in this way, but you see we do not choose our names, they are given to us as babies by others who are older, wiser and in power at the time of our birth. As Moses heard these words from God, he gradually began to realize the proclamation that was being made. God was never in any woman`s womb, the work of a master craftsman or an invention of even their wildest imaginations. No one had or ever would be able to hold any power over Him either. He quite simply, and at the same time amazingly, was, is and is to come, governed neither by limits or constraints of time as we are. How does this information apply to you? How is any of it relevant? Yahweh, the name of God, reflects the essence of what you need to know about the Lord of the Earth when approaching Him, when making that choice to believe in Him. He is the Creator who has always existed and causes all other elements in your life to be. The snowy mountains, roaring waves of the ocean and vastness of space bow to His will. We live in HIS world, not the other way around, and so knowing the One that “causes to be” will cause you to “BE”, in every fulfilling sense of the word. Alive with purpose, a destiny, truly, to be.
Stay tuned as we explore God and His personality next, bless you!