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The God Whose I Am


In Genesis 15:2 Abraham addresses God as "Sovereign Lord", or, "Adonai Yahweh" in a transliteration of the Hebrew text.  "Yahweh" is the name God chose for Israel to call Him in Exodus 3:14.  Translated into English, "Yahweh" means "I AM", the ever-present "I AM".  The word "Adonai" implies ownership, and when Abraham places it before the word "Yahweh", it means "I AM owns me".  Another way of saying it is, "I am I AM's", or as the apostle Paul puts it, I serve "the God  whose I am".     


In Acts 9, while on the road to Damascus Paul sees a blinding light accompanied by an unfamiliar voice.  In verse 4 the voice says, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"  Paul was mesmerized by the voice.  Who could be talking to him?  He responds by asking, "who are you, Lord?" 


Notice the sentence structure of Paul's response. It's a question based on uncertainty.  He asks, "who are you, Lord", as if to say, "who are you?   Are you the Lord?  Are you Adonai Yahweh as I think you might be?" The comma after the word "you" emphasizes the word "Lord" that follows.  The pause in speech that occurs because of the comma shows Paul's hesitation as he asks whether this is really the Lord.  He is dumfounded.  Paul is well educated in Old Testament theology.  He understands who the Lord, or Adonai Yahweh is.  He is the Sovereign Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and now Adonai Yahweh is talking to Paul.  You might consider Paul a great man in Christendom, but at this point he has just joined the ranks of the great men of Israel.


The voice answers Paul by saying, "I am Jesus…"   Can you believe that?  What a shock to the system.  The one Paul spent the last number of months vigorously fighting against turns out to be "Adonai Yahweh".  The Lord Paul claims to serve is the very Lord he has been  fighting against, and it's Adonai Yahweh Himself.   


Paul's concept of his Lord has abruptly undergone a drastic transformation.  This is reflected in what he says in Acts 27:23.  While at sea in a bad storm, an angel "the God whose I am" spoke to him.  Notice the phrase "the God of whose I am."   That's the meaning of Adonay Yahweh.  That is, Yahweh owns me, or I am I AM's. 


We often preach the gospel by stating all the benefits we derive from Jesus, but we shouldn't stop there.  More important than what we get from Jesus is what we give to Him, and what we give to Him is our very lives.  We should be able to say along with Abraham and Paul that we serve "the God whose I am".  If we understand the meaning of the words "Sovereign Lord" from a Hebrew perspective, as Paul and Abraham did, we then understand that every time we say the words "Lord Jesus", we're saying that Jesus owns us.  He has purchased us with His own life's blood, and therefore our lives should reflect that purchase.  We no longer belong to ourselves, but to Another, "Adonai Yahweh". 


When thinking about giving gifts this Christmas, think about giving your life to Jesus, because He gave His for you.


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