A teacher brought something to my attention recently, citing Exodus 3 where the one most call God instructed Moses in His name. Moshe wanted to know what he was supposed to tell the skeptics when he told them whatever GOD wanted Moshe to tell them.
Here is the dialogue:
13 Moses said to 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?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c]This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’”
15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] 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.
The unknowing will say that the Israelites were the Jews, but there were no Jews at this point in history. Israelites would be the descendants of Jacob, who was renamed “Israel” by GOD.
So what does the name “Israel”mean? Good question and the best study and analysis I have read is available. Before I link to it, and because most of you might not read the entire linked page, I want to quote for you the very last section:
“Our guess: Israel means He Retains God, or slightly more elaborate: He Has Become A Receptacle In Which God Can Be Received And Retained. This most primary Biblical concept was obviously revisited in the story of the manger in which the Word was received.
The statement above was arrived at through a lot of analysis, which you are able to read yourself here, but the meaning for you and me is clear: Israel is anyone who is saved and keeps the commands of God.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
Note that God says
- HE WILL GIVE A HEART OF FLESH (not of stone; a soft or compliant heart)
- HE WILL PUT HIS SPIRIT IN YOU
- HE WILL CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN HIS STATUTES
- YOU WILL KEEP (know or guard ) HIS JUDGEMENTS
- YOU WILL DO HIS JUDGEMENTS
Because you are Israel if you do these things.
“Our guess: Israel means ‘He Retains God’, or slightly more elaborate: He Has Become A Receptacle In Which God Can Be Received And Retained.
His judgements and commands. We retain them and are Israel. We are Israel because that is the Will of I AM, not because we chose to. We do not choose. I AM does the choosing, and He chose you. Do you see that clearly now?
And what is His name?
And how is this phrase pronounced?
Ani. Ah-nee, emphasis on second syllable.
This is the name he gave to Israel, and now you know who Israel is. Israel calls their God “Ani”. Who is Israel? Those chosen by Ani to be Israel. You know who you are. If you are not Israel, ask Yahuah to choose you. Seek and you shall find. Ask and it shall be given to you.