Tuesday, May 13, 2008

God the I AM

Saint John River

With God, indeed, there is neither past, present, nor future. He takes for his name the “I AM.” He does not call himself the “I WAS,” for then we should conceive that he used to be something which he is not now; that some part of his character had changed, or some attribute ceased from existence, for there is an ominous sound of annihilation in the sound of the word, “He WAS.” Is it not rather a knell for the dead, than a name for the living? Nor does our Lord God speak of himself as the “I SHALL BE,” for that might lead us to imagine that he is not now something which he is to be in the ages to come: whereas, we know that his being is perfect, his essence infinite, his dominion absolute, his power unlimited, and his glory transcendent. Development is out of the question, he is all to-day that he will be in future.

Of the Lord Jesus we read that he is the Everlasting Father, and yet he has the dew of his youth. Childhood, manhood and old age belong to creatures, but at the right hand of the Most High they have no abode. Growth, progress, advancement, all these are virtues in finite beings, but to the Infinite the thought of such change would be an insult. Yesterday, to day, and tomorrow, belong to dying mortal, the Immortal King lives in an eternal today. He is the I AM; I AM in the present; I AM in the past and I AM in the future. Just as we say of God that he is everywhere, so we may say of him that he is always; he is everywhere in space; he is everywhere in time. God is today in the past; he is today already in the future; he is today in that present in which we are.

From a sermon entitled "God's Estimate Of Time," delivered April 27, 1862. Flickr photo by Sean McGrath; some rights reserved.

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