And God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘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.’ This is my name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.” (Exodus 3:15)
In the news a few days ago, we were informed that the world now has 7 billion people. With a number like that, it’s easy to feel like we’re each merely a speck on a great big planet. And if we want to feel even more insignificant, we can consider that the earth is only one planet in a solar system consisting of nine planets, with another 185 planets orbiting other stars that we know of. That’s as far as we can see with our telescopes.
But we truly are at the center of the universe as far as God’s concerned. And He makes it clear through His word. When God sent Moses to tell the Israelites that He was going to free them from their bondage to the Egyptians, Moses said to Him, “Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?'” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM…I AM has sent me to you.”
But then He went on to describe Himself by a different name, a name that is incredibly revealing about how God feels about us. He said, ‘”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.’ This is my name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.”
Look closely at that statement. So much meaning is encased in it. First, God said that this is His name. So His name is forever and always coupled with the patriarchs of the Bible. It’s not simply “God,” it is God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This would be like saying my name is not just Gwenn, but my name is Gwenn, mother of Christian and Jillian. We are intimately intermingled throughout eternity, never to be parted.
It also says that God is not the God of some other people on some other planet in some other universe. He is OUR God, regardless of how many other planets, solar systems and universes exist. He is the God of everything, and we ARE the center of the universe to God; we are the apple of His eye, or, more directly translated, we are the “pupil” of His eye.
Look again at how He described His name. He singled out every one of the patriarch’s names, and coupled His name with it. So He isn’t merely the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but He is the God of Abraham, (pause), the God of Isaac, (pause) and the God of Jacob. He does not see them as a group, but as individuals, with whom He has clearly defined and unique relationships. We are unique to Him; He loves us as individuals. And if you know the stories about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, you know that each one of those men was clearly flawed. Each made their own big blunders. And yet God, our holy and mighty and righteous God, has made their names part of His name! What kind of love is that?
And now look at how God states that this is His name “forever.” The word “forever” is translated from the Hebrew word, “owlam” or “olam.” It’s meaning is this: time immemorial, time past, antiquity, eternity, the distant future, perpetual, without end. What we can derive from this is that God’s name with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s names attached to it existed in antiquity–long before they were ever born. He associated Himself with them eons before they were created. And since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob represent God’s chosen people, and we, as Christians, are grafted into that chosen race, our names are also part of His name. Clearly God could not (or actually, would not) list everyone’s names after His name in the Bible because of the logistics. But in God’s mind, and attached to His name, is each one of His children who love Him. And into eternity, His name will still be intermingled with ours.
And one other thing. While God has many names, this particular name is His “memorial-name” to all generations. This is the one He wants us to remember, because this is the name that means the most to Him. This is the identity that is nearest and dearest to His heart. Yes, He is God Almighty; yes, He is YHWH. El Roi. Jehovah-jireh. El Shaddai.
But His identity is eternally intermingled with ours. He is our God and we are His people.
We are not just one of 7 billion. We are each one beloved beyond belief by an incredible God.