Exodus 3:14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’
I AM or hâyâh (pron. haw-yaw) is a primitive root word meaning to exist or to be or to be done. In John 8:58, Jesus replied to the Jews when they questioned him about having seen Abraham, ‘Truly I tell you, before Abraham was I AM. This was the same word: I exist or eimi (pron. i-mee). What is the significance of this name: I AM?
Psalm 9:10 says: ‘And those who know your name put their trust in you.’ People who know God’s name trust Him. God strengthens our confidence in Him as we learn his name. A name is significant because it carries an identity. A name gives weight in daily affairs but also speaks into eternal destinies. A name signifies character and also mission. For example: Eve was named this as she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). God often changed names of people as they were transformed. The names of God are given as indicators of what is contained within him. He did not choose His names randomly but to reveal Himself to us.
The more you focus on this name I AM, the more awesome it becomes. I AM or I exist. We can have confidence that God EXISTS. He is there. Sadly, a majority of people who believe in God, treat Him like he isn’t. I AM WHO I AM. God’s character and power is owing to no other than Himself. Behind Him there is no other reality. He is the utterly self-determined everlasting God. He is simply WHO He is. Malachi 3:6 tells us that God does not change. This is affirmed in I AM WHO I AM. He is not determined by any other and is not subject to change like others. Nothing in creation can take him off guard. He is an inexhaustible source of energy. He doesn’t faint or grow weary (Isaiah 40:28). In John 8:56-58, Jesus magnificently determined that He was this I AM and that I AM WHO I AM had now drawn near to us in human form. He took up all of the majestic truth in this name I AM and wrapped it in humility of servanthood, offering himself to atone and make possible this redemption path. And those who know this name can confidently put their trust in Him (Psalm 9:10). ‘This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.’ Exodus 15b