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Who is this God who is called ‘I AM’?

In Genesis 14:22 Abraham, after an amazing victory in battle, refers to him as ‘the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth…” ‘

Here we understand that the LORD [I AM, Jehovah, Yahweh, or however else we try to write this name in English] is El Elyon – God Most High. He is no ordinary or common ‘god’, as men understand the word. He is ‘God Most High’ – the God above all ‘gods’, the one supreme God. As such he alone is worthy of supreme honor; as such he not a God to be trifled with.

Here in Genesis 14 Abraham does two things, one positive, one negative, to ensure that the LORD, God Most High, is acknowledged as he ought to be acknowledged: Firstly, he gave a tenth of the spoils of battle to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God; by this he acknowledged that it was the LORD who had given him the victory. Secondly, he refused to keep any of the recovered goods for himself when they were offered to him by the King of Sodom; he did not want any human being to take credit for making him rich. Such credit belongs to the LORD alone.

Because he is God Most High he is utterly dependable: he is a place of refuge, a place of security in the midst of trouble and disaster. He is the one who, even in and through disaster, brings his purpose for his children to pass [Psalm 57:1,2].

But also, because he is God Most High, he sees and knows when we reject him, he stands in judgment over our rebellion. We cannot reject him and avoid the consequences [Psalm 78:56ff; 107:10-12].

This dependence and accountability of man to the LORD, and this identity of the LORD as God Most High, are both grounded in the fact, as Abraham recognized in Genesis 14:22, that the LORD, God Most High, is the ‘Creator of heaven and earth’. And here we come to the core of the matter: that the LORD is the sole Creator of the universe in its entirety. There is no other ‘god’ who created some of it. Nor did the universe create itself. The universe, and all of its parts, are here because of the will and the work of the LORD.

“I am the LORD,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself” [Isaiah 44:24].
“I am the LORD,
and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God” [Isaiah 45:5].

This is the God we are speaking of when we speak of ‘the LORD – I AM, Jehovah, Yahweh.’ He is the Creator, the One who was ‘before all things’, the One upon whom all things, including ourselves, are completely dependent, whether we acknowledge it or not [Colossians 1:17].

© Rosemary Bardsley 2013