Friday, September 28, 2007

I AM who I AM


I've been thinking much on

אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה

(eh’yeh asher eh’yeh) or “I AM who I AM” or “I will be who I will be.” Now, I have twisted this one in my head before and have thought on the claims of such a statement in light of what Moses is really asking. ok, Moses is used to gods who are associated with some tangible function, i.e. harvest, fertility, rain, etc. and he’s looking for this God in a bush to answer as one of these gods. God is declaring, ‘I’m not defined how you wish to define me, I transcend all the gods you knew in Egypt, you cannot control me.’ But what I have recently been thinking about is this: what if God is really saying “let me show you who I am”, “I will be who I will be.” This goes along with one of the themes of the ten plagues—God showing Israel and Egypt who he is. And thus the story continues and God shows himself to be a God of Salvation, compassion, justice, and covenant. Perhaps ‘eh’yeh asher eh’yeh’ is a way of saying that God cannot be defined by propositional statements but we must learn and we are learning who he is because he shows us who he is. He is saying, ‘words won’t do, let me show you who I am… tell them I AM sent you'

It is very tempting to approach God with preconceived categories and presupposed logic. It's just easier to see how God fits our categories than to allow him to create his own. That's a mistake we often make in reading Scripture. We approach the text with our own theological categories and questions and we see how the scriptures answer and fit those categories and questions. But that's not really listening. What if we just went to the Bible and listened and allowed it to ask the questions it's trying to ask and create the categories that it might be creating? Where's it's silent, we'd have to let it be silent, where it's challenging we'd have to let it challenge us. What if we let it show us who God is rather than always tell us? Oh, how much more rewarding and difficult that would be!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How a bush and a voice can befuddle the ages the thinkers the cultures and still be bush and voice. I guess Yahweh compacted this into the encounter by a shepherd once in line to be king and god to the dominant civilization of that day. The dynamic contained in the “title” - name reveals the desire of our Creator to make Himself known “be personal”. Notice that the past is not encompassing the options in translation. Wes you are touching upon the mystery of interaction with Him. Current understanding identifies Him but wait tomorrow’s understanding identifies Him as well. Living? Yes! Changing? Yes! However His changing is not change to Himself but our understanding. Therefore our unchanging God in showing more of Himself and His varying aspects can embody both and of present and future - I Am I will Be.
Pastor Art

Danny said...

good thoughts wes.