Unless you know Hebrew, the above title may have you wondering what 'ehyeh asher ehyeh' means. It is what the Lord said of Himself when He spoke to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3: 14.
When Moses asked for His name He responded (in English): "I am what I am, (ehyeh asher ehyeh) therefore you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." The phrase 'I AM; being the summary of 'ehyeh asher ehyeh'.
Translated literally from the Hebrew it reveals a future tense that doesn't come across in English: "I will be what I will be". That is certainly 'I AM' which is the timeless and ever-present sovereign God, but for us it also carries a future element - I will be what I will be.
The names of God
A couple decades ago there was a lot of teaching about the redemptive names of God. Especially prominent in the teaching was El Shaddai, the 'all sufficient one', or 'the One who satisfies (fulfills His word)' of Genesis 17:1 when He appeared to Abraham and Sarah.
Then in Genesis 22 at the ram being sacrificed instead of Isaac, Abraham calls Him 'Jehovah Jireh', God my provider. And later we see Jehovah Rapha the healer at the waters of Mara in Exodus 16, and Jehovah Nissi in Exodus 17 when Moses was giving thanks for victory over the Amalekites, calling Him 'God my (victory) banner'. In Jeremiah 23: 5-6 He is called God of Righteousness (Tsidkenu) as well.
All those and the other redemptive names of God are for then and there. They are revealed at an event. They are finite. They have a specific use - the One who fulfills His Word to me in one area, the One who provides in another, the One who gives me the victory in another area.
We live in a finite world
We define our lives by milestones good or bad. We live in seasons of life and death, good and evil, building and tearing down. To us having a finite God who is one moment the provider and another the banner of victory, comes naturally.
And many have rightly referred to Him as 'just' the I AM: You can see Jesus' I AM statement in John 8: 58 when He told the rulers: "Abraham rejoiced to see my day. He saw it and was glad...truly, truly I tell you; Before Abraham was, I AM."
Jesus also called Himself the I AM at His arrest in John 18: 5-6 where it says when they asked for Jesus of Nazareth, He replied the text tells us: "I AM. And when He had thus said 'I AM', they were moved backwards and fell to the ground."
Jesus also claims to be the I AM in Matthew 14: 27-29 He came walking on the water to them, saying literally: "Take courage: I AM; Now stop being afraid. And Peter said, 'Lord, if you are (the I AM) command me to come to you on the water.' Immediately Jesus said, 'Come.'"
(You may be interested in my series, 'I AM; Who Jesus is and Where He Came From' available on our website)
But this 'I AM' of Exodus carries in the Hebrew an element of the sovereign ever-present one: I will be what I will be.
The glorious age is yet future - your best days are ahead of you
All the other names of God have closure - He was the provider, He did fulfill His promise. He was the victory banner over an attack of the enemy. Over and done with, happily ever after, we move on.
But when He calls Himself 'I will be what I will be' or I AM in English, that is both present and future tense.
Think of it this way: We as believers in Jesus, are the only people on earth whose best days are ahead of us. This is revealed in 'ehyeh asher ehyeh'. I will be what I will be.
Ephesians 2: 6-7 agrees with this, saying in v6 we are raised up and seated in the heavenliness with Christ at the right hand of the Father God, and that is given us "...so that in the ages to come He (Father) may continue to show us the riches of His kindness which is towards us in Christ Jesus."
"Now are we the sons of God, but it isn't yet revealed what we shall be." I John 3: 2
Consider the world around you
Consider that evolutionists say we are nothing more than accidents of nature, and therefore morals, ethics, and all right and wrong are for us to determine. But at our core, we are a product of our DNA and bound to that. There are no absolute truths, no absolute at all. When you die you are like a dead bug on the ground - that's it, live for all its worth for that's all there is.
Following this logic leads us to the inevitable conclusion therefore that your life doesn't matter for you are an accident of nature. Therefore life has no value; life and death are for the masses to determine the value of your life. What hopelessness!
If not evolution, then psychology that tells us we are governed by sub-conscious motivations and feelings and if you sort them out then maybe you can find a certain amount of answers and peace. And you probably hate your mother. lol.
If not evolution or psychology, then was Marx right that destiny is determined by economic and societal forces, or like the ancient Greeks is our present and future determined by the stars, or the 3 goddesses called the Fates?
God says He is our God, both present, AND future - He says the ages to come will continue to reveal His goodness and kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. That future you and I have stands in stark contrast to the world around us, and more than that, it makes our faith relevant to the world. We are the only people on the planet with a guaranteed future of blessing and wholeness.
"I will be what I will be", or 'ehyeh asher ehyeh' summed up in I AM, is a revelation of more than a name of God for a specific event, but the core of His very being. He is El Shaddai, and Jireh and Nissi and Rapha and Tsidkenu - all those and more.
But at His core, He is defined not be 'coming through in a time of need' and therefore the preceding names, but He is the One who has promised a glorious future in the timelessness of His realm. He will be what He will be: I AM.
Next week - what this means for free will. Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org