“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’ ”” (Exodus 3:14).

This is a very important verse from the Scriptures. We need to understand that Moses was looking for a theological way to introduce God to the people of Israel. God chose not to use a name necessarily, that is the way that other people were used to relating to their gods. He chose to introduce Himself in a way that was “unnamed” and unlimited. “I AM WHO I AM” and “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”.

In other words, God told Moses, “I do not want to be limited in the way that people will think about Me or how can they name Me. I want to be who I am, whenever and however I want.” This, I think, is connected to the very core of the way that wants to relate to humankind. In the Ten Commandments, the main focus is on the way we relate to God and the way we relate to our neighbors. It is not that complicated, even Jesus said that in loving God and our neighbors we can cover the whole Law and the Prophets.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:4, NRSV)

The problem is that we tend to turn everything into a religion and a set way to relate to God, when He told Moses that He was not going to allow Himself to be limited to a name or definition, to a doctrine or a theological teaching, but He would be a relationship to be developed. God was never about religion, but He has always been looking for a relationship, where He can be WHO HE IS, AND WHATEVER HE WANTS TO BE.

Whenever we start to put God into our little boxes of religious definitions, and theological theories, we start to create little idols, and that is the same as idolatry. Idolatry is all that we read about in the Old Testament and what God had to deal with, with the Israelites. Idolatry is one of the most serious issues that the prophets of the Old Testament were dealing with.

Even in our relationships sometimes our definition can change, I may continue to be the same person, but may be defined by different terms by different people. I am blessed to be a father to my daughters but that does not mean that I am a father to everyone I know, the relationship is what matters and what determines the “name.” God may be called “our healer,” but that is not all that He is. In different places, we can find different names for God, but the ultimate revelation of who God has come with Jesus Christ. When Jesus referred to God as His Abba and our Father, it was a major problem for the way that the religion of that day related to God.

Instead of trying to build a religion where we limit who God is and how He chooses to reveal Himself, we should instead enjoy the building up of a relationship where each day God can reveal more of Himself and in that way, the relationship can get deeper and always something fresh and new.

“The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23)

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:9–10)

““So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”” (Hosea 6:3)

“He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.” (1 Kings 19:11–12, NRSV)