There is a deliberate choice of words in the title of this post. Notice, it says God is a promise. It doesn’t say God makes promises (which is true), nor does it say God keeps promises (which is also true). Rather, it says God is a promise. What does that mean?
In the third chapter of Exodus, Moses meets God in the burning (but not-so- burning) bush. God introduces Himself to Moses and then asks Moses to go back to Egypt to bring the Israelites out to the Promised Land. Moses is a little concerned about the prospect of such a task, so he asks God, "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?" (vs 13)
You are probably familiar with God’s response. It is the famous response that landed Jesus in a lot of hot water when He later invoked the name during His life on earth (see John 8:58). God answered, "I Am who I Am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I Am has sent me to you.'" I’m sure this is how you’ve heard the text, because it is how it is most often translated. And so we have this image of a solidly-present God, powerful in the midst of our lives.
But, the Hebrew language is very complex and filled with subtlety and nuance. So, did you know that a more accurate translation of that text renders God’s name, "I will be who I will be"? Wow! All of a sudden, our image of this solidly-present God (who, no doubt, is still present in the moment, since He is speaking to Moses) catapults off the ground and begins rolling into the future. Indeed, God is not only in our present moment, but He is already in our future,
providing for us, paving the way for us.
Inherent in God’s very name is a promise, a promise to still be with us in the future, to still be good to us, to still be providing. In this moment, we can bank on everything that He is. But we can also trust that He will be, that there won’t ever be a time in the future when we will be without Him. God’s very name is a promise of His continued presence in our lives.
Who are you, God? I will be.
I love it!