by Erin Bird
Last week, I introduced a new series I’m calling “God’s Bio.” Through this email-only series, we’ll look at Exodus 34:6-7 where God shares His “bio” with Moses, and hopefully get to know God’s heart a little bit more.
This week, we look at the very first part of God’s bio. This is where God states His name. He says it this way in verse 6:
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,”
(Exodus 34:6 ESV – emphasis added)
If you’re like me, you probably skimmed the verse, causing your eyes to merge the repeated words seen at the beginning of the sentence. So if you didn’t notice it, God repeats His name: “The Lord, the Lord.”
The word translated “Lord” here is the Hebrew word Yahweh. The name Yahweh was considered so holy that the ancient Jews wouldn’t even pronounce it. (They changed the annunciation to “Jehovah.”) But there is something very interesting about the name Yahweh. The NET Bible says Yahweh “is the third person masculine singular form of the same verb” that gets translated “I Am” in Exodus 3 when God appeared to Moses through the burning bush.
So when God repeats His name (“The Lord, the Lord”), He is recalling for Moses the same identity and name He’s already shared with Moses. It’s just this time instead of saying, “I Am who I Am,” He says, “He is He is.”
In other words, God is stating a basic theological truth through His name: He just is. He isn’t some legendary being from history. He isn’t some divine creation who will show up in the future. He isn’t away at some distant location. Nor is He a fickle creature mentally or emotionally. Instead, He is the I Am.
This means God’s name unveils the theological truth of His omnipresence. The concept King David shares in Psalm 139 of God being everywhere is revealed inside God’s very name.
But this should not freak you out that God is like some divine stalker always watching you. As we will see next week, God is a merciful and gracious God. So to know this God who is He Is is always with you should bring comfort and delight, even in your most difficult and stressful situations.
So be encouraged that the One Who Is is always with you.