Great I Am - Song Devotional

Jared Anderson


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Moses said to 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, NIV)

Moses’ encounter with the bush that burned but was not consumed in the far side of the desert turned out to be a major revelation of God Himself.  Moses needed to be assured that he hadn’t just had a hallucination, so wanted some way to let the rest of his people know whom he had been with.  God reveals His unchanging name:  I AM WHO I AM.  Looking at the original Hebrew, it could seem that God actually said, “I AM I AM.”  Various translators and commentators have explained this as: “I am the One Who always is.” “I am, I will be.” “I am He who is, who was and will be present.” 

The late Christian thinker and apologist, Francis Schaeffer, wrote a book entitled “The God Who is There,” which is basically what God reveals about Himself to Moses.  He exists–He always has; He is not going away, and is not a figment of our imagination.

This truth about the person of God is reinforced in the book of Revelation.  John lines out who gave this vision: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8, NIV)  The heavenly worshippers confirm it:  “Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”” (Revelation 4:8b, NIV) 

Jared Anderson picks up on the fullness of this perspective in “Great I AM.”  In fact, the chorus lines it out very well.

Hallelujah–or, “Hallelu Yah”–to praise or boast in the Lord.

Holy, Holy–Rather than just a description of His character, Isaiah 57:15 calls God “He who lives for ever, whose name is Holy…” (NIV) In other words, that word doesn’t just describe Him, but “Holy” is His name.  Isaiah then went on to refer to Him as qadosh, the “Holy” of Israel.  He is wholly other, morally superior and set apart from creation.

God Almighty–This phrase in Hebrew is El Shaddai.  It means “all-bountiful, all sufficient, one who nourishes all, pouring out blessings abundantly.” It refers not just to power, but also to that power being used to provide for those who are related to Him.  There is a sense of intimate relationship in El Shaddai, the Almighty God.

Great I AM–The Expositor’s Bible Commentary sums up the sense of Moses’ revelation very well: “I am truly he who exists and who will be dynamically present then and there in the situation to which I am sending you.”  He is the One “who was, and is, and is to come.”

The Israelites needed to know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was with them still.  That is true for us today.  We are not alone, not uncared for.  No matter where I am, He is. No matter when, He was there, and is already there. 

This is the God Who offers us relationship with Himself–One Who is not just overwhelmingly “Other”, but our always-present, powerful, intimate Provider. The mountains may shake and the demons run and flee before Him, but He also wants us by His side and close to His heart.  This is the Great I AM that we praise!

Things to consider:

Where was God when…?

  • In John 8:58, when the Jewish crowd had asked Jesus, “Who do you think you are?” he answered, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  What did that mean to his hearers in first-century Jerusalem?  What does it mean to you today?
  • As you listen to or sing this song in worship, think of God’s character lined out in the names Holy, El Shaddai, and I AM. Thank Him specifically for how He has shown Himself as that in your life.

By Fred J. Heumann

Copyright 2014 Integrity Music, a part of the David C Cook family

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