The French mathematician Rene Descartes took the Western world by storm in the late 1600’s with his famous line from his Discourse on a Method: “I think; therefore I am.” This one phrase helped launch the Enlightenment in Europe and has been the center of many philosophical debates for centuries. Out of the burning bush, the Almighty God gives to Moses a far greater, more famous, and more powerful phrase that puts the one above to shame. God reveals Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14 with these words: “I AM who I AM!”
He is the inexhaustible God. Our LORD never tires. He has no beginning and no end. He is infinite. He is limitless. He is self-existent. He is sovereign. He is eternal. He is incomprehensible. Moses captured God’s identity as the Great I AM in Psalm 90:2 which states, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Theologian Geerhardus Vos gave this excellent description: “The name gives expression to the self-determination, the independence of God, we call His sovereignty . . . The name signifies primarily that in all God does for His people, He is self-determining, not moved upon by outside influences.”
If God is absolutely sovereign and has no needs and is self-existent, and is all-knowing and all-powerful and cannot be moved by outside influences, then why does He command us to worship Him? Why give Him glory? Isn’t He already intrinsically glorious? Does God even need us to praise Him? One concept you should get out of your vocabulary is that God “needs” anything. God doesn’t have any needs—especially us as sinful humans.
The LORD, the Great I AM, sovereignly rules over heaven and earth, yet in His amazing providence, He created us for HIS GLORY. He formed and made us as His children so that we would display His glory back to Him in joyful worship. Isaiah 42:8 reads, “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” This word for “glory” in the Old Testament Hebrew is “kabod.” It means “weighty” or “to be heavy.” As His creation, we should view God as weighty and worthy of honor. His intrinsic nature as the Great I AM.
Even though God is inherently glorious, the Scriptures call us to reflect or display or ascribe to Him the glory due His name. Psalm 29:2 says, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.” What does it mean to “ascribe” glory to God? Do we add to His glory? Do we somehow make Him more glorious than He already is? Is there some deficiency in God that we must correct so that He can somehow become glorious? Absolutely not! To ascribe glory means to give Him what He alone deserves. We don’t add a measure to His glory, but we reflect back to Him the glory that He inherently has.
The word for “glory” in the New Testament is “doxa” which means to honor someone’s reputation or to make much of his name. A comprehensive view of the Scripture demands that we make much of God by giving proper honor to Him with our worship. He is worthy. He is majestic. He is powerful and glorious. As a result, we are called to consistently display God’s glory with the totality of our lives. Would you humbly bow before the Great I AM and worship Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength!