God Does What It Takes to Get People’s Attention
God speaks to the prophet Ezekiel and gives him a prophecy against Ammon, against Moab, against Philistia, and against Tyre. The prophecy against Tyre is the longest and most devastating, but all four carry the same rationale.
God will inflict them with punishment for their past mistakes. When his judgment comes, he says that then “they will know that I am the Lord.”
God is right to punish them. They have done what is wrong, with no regard to him or his people. But their sentence isn’t only punitive; it’s also to teach them a lesson—an-all important one.
He wants them to realize that he is Lord. When he says that he wants them to “know that I am the Lord,” we see embedded in this statement two names for God, one implied and the other direct.
We first see God as “I am” when he talks to Moses at the burning bush. When he asks the Almighty’s name, the response is “I am who I am.” (Exodus 3:13-14, NIV).
We later see “I am” again from Jesus when the armed mob comes to arrest him. He says, “I am he.” The people draw back and fall to the ground in reverent fear. Their reaction is because they recognize “I am” as the name of God. (John 18:4-8).
Not only does God want these nations to know him as “I am,” he also wants them to know him as Lord, that is, as the all-powerful, all-knowing, all present creator of the universe.
The I am appears to Moses in the Old Testament and later comes to earth as Jesus in the New Testament. The purpose of both encounters is so that we may believe him and know that he is Lord.
Do we follow Jesus as the I am and as our Lord?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.