What Did God Mean When He Said, ‘I Am Who I Am’?

The Lord introduced Himself to Moses as I AM (Exodus 3:14). The name of God signifies His eternal nature. The Lord always was and always will be the Eternal, Self-existent One (Revelation 1:8;4:8).

Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith
What Did God Mean When He Said, ‘I Am Who I Am’?

The Meaning of ‘I Am Who I Am’

Those who are Christians probably remember Exodus 3:14 when God told Moses what to tell the children of Israel about who sent him. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

In the book of John chapter 8:58, Jesus said unto them “Before Abraham was, I am.”

I am sure most Christians have sometimes wondered where God came from. I too asked myself the same question as a child. But I came to realize that God just is or in His words I AM. So I would not spend a lot of time trying to figure out the origin of God. Just know that He is who He says He is. He will do what He said He will do. “He is not a man that He should lie nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Will He speak and not act? Will He promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).

How Does 'I Am' Show God's Infinite Power?

Being the Great I AM shows infinite power because God is the last and the first. He is the beginning and end. He is Alpha and Omega. He is the name before every name. He is the one true living God and will have no other god before Him. He is the source of spiritual power. He is a part of the Trinity which includes the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He is the Ancient of Days as described in Daniel 7:9-10. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool, His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”

Has God Always Existed?

God has always existed. As Christians, the history of God begins with the record of God. Our record of God is the Bible. We start with the book of Genesis as our record of God. Genesis 1:1 states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Throughout the book of Genesis, you see the hand of God. The book of Genesis includes a greater time than any other book of the Bible. It starts at the beginning which is the creation of heaven and earth. In Genesis 1:26, we see that there are others with God. He says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” It is safe to assume that He is speaking to Jesus and the Holy Ghost. I would also assume that the heavenly host of angels started participating at some point. God spoke everything into existence. Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, we must be very careful about what we say. We truly can declare a thing and it be established. We have creative power and abilities because of the creator. We all have the power to create something.

16 Verses that Show the Power behind the Other Names of God

Since God is, we need to know the attributes of God. What does it mean when God says I AM?

1.I Am the Almighty God.

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1).

2. The Everlasting God

“And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God” (Genesis 21:33).

3. The Living God

“And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites” (Joshua 3:10).

4. A Faithful God

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

5. Jehovah Adonahy: God the Lord of the Lord God

“He that is our God is the God of Salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death” (Psalms 68:20).

6. Jehovah Elohim: The Lord God

“And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:9).

7. Jehovah Elyon: The Lord Most High

“I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high” (Psalm 8:17).

8. Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide

“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together”(Genesis 22:8).

9. Jehovah-Mekaddishkem: The Lord Our Sanctifier

“And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 20:8).

10. Jehovah Nissi: The Lord My Banner

“And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi” (Exodus 17:15).

11. Jehovah-Rohi: The Lord My Shepherd

“The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalms 23:1-6).

12. Jehovah Rophi: The Lord Who Heals You

“And if thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).

13. Jehovah Sabaoth: The Lord of Hosts

“And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh” (I Samuel 1:3).

14. Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord of Our Peace

“And Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites” (Judges 6:24).

15. Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is There

“It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there”(Ezekiel 48:35).

16. Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness

“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6).

There are many more attributes to the name of God. God is and He is whoever you need Him to be. There is a great blessing in studying the names of God. God starts to reveal Himself to you as you recognize who He is and what He is for you. Your faith is the beginning of all that God can be for you. Whatever you need, God is. He is often called The Great Physician because He is a healer. We know that God will sanctify us. We know that we serve a holy and righteous God. Before the beginning of time, God was and still is.

For further reading:

What Are All of the ‘I AM’ Statements of Jesus?

What Does it Mean That Jesus Is the Alpha and Omega?

Why Did Moses Remove His Shoes in Front of the Burning Bush?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Ig0rZh

Dr. Sandra SmithDr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine.  She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR.  Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.

 


Originally published April 21, 2021.