When Moses was charged with the task of leading the Israelites, he asked God for His name. In Exodus 3:13-15, we read both Moses question and Gods’ answer.
“Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you. God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”
In the giving of His name, God first showed himself to be mysterious and transcendent. “I am who I am.” But He then quickly reveals a second name for Himself. “I am ‘The God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” This second name is much more shocking than the first. It is absolutely amazing to me that God names himself after us. God almighty took on our very human, very personal names as a way for us to identify who He is. Wow. But wait there is more! In the bigger picture, God took on more than the names of a few individuals. He took on the name of an entire family. His name is the name of a parent and their children and their children’s children. He is the God of generations of family. In short, God names himself “Family God.” Have you ever wondered how to formally address God when you pray? “Dear Family God,” is a great way to begin all the prayers requested on this blog. It lays claim to both our family and God’s nature in a single breath.
Abraham was the start of it all. When Abraham first believed that God would deliver amazing blessings, he believed the promise –but not just for himself. He believed that God’s blessing would come to generation after generation after generation. (Genesis 12:1-3) I believe that this is the great work of faith that God asks of us all. Our God is more than our personal savior; He is the God of our family tree. “Family God” is a name we need to take to heart.
Together, by faith, let’s claim the promise that His blessing will flow through us to our children and our children’s children!