Thursday, October 31, 2013

I AM sent me to tell you

One of the eeriest things happened to me several years ago when I bought the contents of a house in the town where I live.  I have cleared lots of houses before and I was assuming the contents of this house would be pretty much like all the others.  That is, until I got to the garage.

The garage had lots of the same things, like a partial can of brake fluid, some plastic lawn trimmer wire, a few empty boxes, and some assorted tools.  As I came close to finishing the clean-up job, I noticed a flat, long box which was leaned against the wall between to boards.  I started to remove the box, grabbing it with one hand, and suddenly realized there was something heavy inside.  To my surprise, and a little bit of shock, the box contained a bronze grave marker which belonged to the people who owned the house, before their death.  The husband's name on one side, and the wife's name on the other, and across the top, covering the entire length of the marker, was their last name.  Then I noticed each of them had their date of birth, but the date of death for each was blank.

A member of the surviving family told me they had bought the marker and had plans to be buried in the city where they had spent most of their lives.  When they retired and moved here, they changed their plans and decided to be cremated when they died, then their ashes scattered in a selected place. 

So there I was, having bought the entire contents of a house, and now the owner of a grave marker with someone else's name on it, making it virtually worthless to anyone that didn't have that name.  I displayed the marker in my antique shows, but no one was interested in buying it.  I even came up with a story, telling people they could get a lawyer and change their names to the names on the marker, and that would be cheaper than having a marker made with their current names.   It was a joke, but was also funny seeing the expressions of people when they studied the marker. 

 Moses was instructed by God to go and make demands of Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their slavery. He tried to weasel out of the task and even 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?”  God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:13-14

What kind of a name is that?  Whatever clan you are from, and whatever era in which you live or lived, that would be a strange name.  We are more accustomed to John and Jane Doe.  What can we come to know from the name God chose to reveal himself?

For one thing, the easiest answer to the question is that it means what it says.  There has never been a time nor will there ever be a time when God cannot say, "I AM."  Even when we have a wavering faith and our doubts try to control us, God still is God.  We can travel to the farthest corners of the world or even to the outer limits of space, God still is God.  We may live only a few years or lots of years and he remains God. 

The most important answer to our question about God's name comes from our relationship with him.  To be the child of I AM, makes you the recipient of his grace and forgiveness, and you will share in his eternal nature.  There really is something in a name.  I AM has sent me to tell you. 


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