It’s been almost three years since my last post. In that post I took on the impossible task of examining the nature of God, and it is only in the last few weeks that I had a place to begin.
Our first meeting with anyone usually includes an introduction, an exchange of names. It is no different with Moses and God, though God, being who he is, already knows Moses; however, if you want to wrestle with the meaning of this encounter, it is imperative to grasp the spiritual dynamic at play. At its root, the name Moses means a new form. As the earth was drawn from the waters, creating the form for new life to fill, Moses was drawn from the waters, creating form for a new life to fill (a people holy to God, his treasured possession, as Moses himself pronounces). This is why he is the Lawgiver, law and word being associated with form – the letter, as Paul says.
God introduces himself as the fill to this new form, I AM. This is the Spirit, the reality inside the form. This is that which matters, hidden within the container of the law. And thus, a covenant is established, and with this covenant, a covenant people. A people bound, through form, to the fill.
But this post is about God, so let us set aside all the paths and implications of these matters and take a closer look at the name. When Christ says, “I AM”, we know he is not saying, “YOU ARE”. We recognize that he is referring to himself. God is inclusive, thus the name is inclusive. That spiritual rebirth often referred to as being born again is the entry point into acceptance in the beloved, a place where you can say the name of God.
Observant Jews generally do not pronounce the name of God. This tradition, though misdirected, recognizes the truth of God’s inclusiveness. That is why he is One. That is why the demand upon those who believe is to become One.
The first four commandments of the law deal with the personage of God. It is the fourth that warns of naming, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. You shall not speak the name outside of the One, so as to make its inclusiveness a lie. Those who address him by his name but are outside the beloved take his name in vain. They exclude themselves.
Psalm 139:20 Your enemies take your name in vain.
Man was formed – the Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth, and was then given fill – (God) breathed into (mans’) nostrils the breath of life. Form comes before fill. But it is not so with God, which we will examine in the next post.
- If Moses is the form, then Aaron must be the fill. And so he is. Aaron’s name refers to that which shines forth, the flame, the fill to form. Also of interest, his name references that which belongs to a snake. This brings to mind the Seraphim – the fiery serpents – who are the fill to the form of the Cherubim.
- Moses and Elijah appear with Christ during the transfiguration. Elijah’s name is built upon the name I AM, here making Elijah the fill to the form of Moses.