Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Exodus 3:13-20

March 8 -  Exodus 3:13-20
In order to keep God’s name holy, we have to know what God’s name is. Moses is worried in our reading today about the Israelites asking him what God’s name is. So what is God’s name?

God responds to Moses’ question by saying “I AM WHO I AM.” And a verse later He tells Moses to tell the people, “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.’” The LORD, in all caps, is usually how our English translations render the Hebrew YHWH, pronounced Yahweh. Yahweh is how the Israelites referred to God. It is God’s name.

Jesus’ name is actually a partial rendering of Yahweh. His name translates as God saves (Yah saves). This is exactly what God is about to do for the Israelites and why Moses’ is being sent to them. God is about to save them out of the hands of the Egyptians. (Jesus also uses the I AM statement several times in the Gospel of John).

God is giving the people His name as a gift for them to use. The Israelites would get so worried about breaking the second commandment (do not misuse the name of the LORD your God) that they would actually stop using it. But He gives it here in Exodus for Moses to use. And He gives us His name in our Baptism so that we can call upon Him in every trouble, to pray, praise, and give thanks. We are meant to use God’s name properly.