There are page after page of references where either God or Jesus are recorded to have said, "I AM." It is a more significant phrase than most people may know, but without making a case for why it's important, I wanted to share a little something about what I found when I made a list.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Exodus 3:14.
Early in the old Testament God found himself reminding mankind that He was God. Adam and Eve doubted God and they basically said: "But the serpent said.."
The Pharoah told Joseph right up front: "I am Pharoah." But Joseph knew who was really in control and found himself proving to Pharoah who his God was.
But poor Moses spent his whole time saying, " but Pharoah said, but the people said, but the magicians did...etc." And God said over and over. "I am the Lord thy God." He basically had to tell them all the time that he was the one who fed them, rescued them, led them, saved them. freed them, gave them water, kept them safe....etc, etc.
The same happened with other preachers and prophets through out the history of God's interaction with his people.
When I went throught the long list of entries where the individual was focused on himself (all of the I am's that referred to men pleading with God) - it went a little like this: I am full of fear, encompassed by enemies, afflicted, confronted with war, sick, lonely, disheartened, in need, in pain, unsusre, etc, etc. We are no different today. But again, as the writers continued to pray, they eventually began to hear the voice of God saying, "I am your God..." Sometimes finding themselves refocused, they began to praise the God that was the remedy for their needs. They began to see God for who he is. God allows in his Word that we see the process by which men turn from a place without God to a place of trusting God.
It is, in fact, funny to see how often God asked over and over that his people just remember and act like He was indeed their God. There are a number of old Testament scriptures where he says the day will come that the world will finally know once and for all that he is the Almighty God, as one who looks forward to the day. What would it be like if we prayed more like "God, since you are my God, I am relying on you to be....(any one of the things he claims to be.) Whatever, anyone else says or does, I am looking to you for my answers and provision. I believe and I am listening!" ?
Instead of putting the whole 4 page list of the condensed version of the "I AM's" scriptures for you to consider, I thought I would just list exactly what he is, as it is recorded. The Old Testament gives all of the following, sometimes using the same description in various books, in more than one era of time. Purhaps since the list is so long, you may come back to it and consider over the next few days whether you have accepted God in each of these roles, and truly believe that He Is: (reference verses can be found by putting the complete phrase into the Bible gateway search KJV)
I AM -
That I am, thy shield and exceeding great reward, Almighty God, with thee, God of thy fathers, the Lord, the Lord that heals thee, (that feeds you), that sanctifies you, that makes all things, gracious, Holy, thy salvation, understanding, strength, the first with the last, says fear not, who... will carry you (into old age), thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the LORD which teaches you to profit, which leads you, that speaks, which exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, God and not man, sought of them that asked not for me, found of them that sought me not, with you to deliver you, a green fir tree (yeilding fruit), (who) will hear them, a great King, Lord of Hosts, and unchanging.
The list continues with the many things which Jesus revealed to his followers about who he was:
I AM -
not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance, meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, the Son of God, with you always even unto the end of the world, before Abraham was, come in my Father's name, the bread of life- he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst, from Him, the light of the world, from above, not of this world, light of life, the door of the sheep, the door (of salvation), the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, Master and Lord, the way, the truth and the life, in the Father and the Father in me, the true vine, and you are the branches, glorified in them (the believers), and the king...born to bear witness to the truth.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Revelation 21:6.
The last reminder of the Word is a familiar one. But it is the ultimate reminder that God made promises to be all of the above for us. We must not focus on what others tell us, or what our minds cause us to believe as we become discouraged, when the things of life seem to distract us from looking to God as the Great I AM. Maybe in the list you can find the God you need to meet the hardships or joys of this day. Make two note cards and place them in a place where you can make quick reference to them. Then next time you feel like saying, "but God it's like this and you just don't understand, and it seems like ..." Stop, find the God you need on His list, and pray as if you know where your focus should be.
Please help me Lord to stop focusing on the world about me. Help me be like Joseph who didn't focus on the fact that his brother's had sold him and the Pharoah was telling him he was top guy. Joseph just continued to remember that God was His God, his Lord, his provider, his savoir, his guide, his first resource who had the last say. Joseph actually considered you his first and last I AM. Please don't become frustrated with me needing you to remind me. May I always hear your voice when you say - I am your God. In Jesus name, AMEN