But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:11-13)
Moses made excuses because he felt inadequate for the job God asked him to do (Exodus 3:10). It was natural for him to feel that way. He was inadequate all by himself. But God wasn't asking Moses to work alone. He offered other resources to help (God Himself, Aaron, and the ability to do miracles). God often calls us to tasks that seem too difficult, but He doesn't ask us to do them alone. God offers us His resources, just as He did to Moses. We should not hide behind our inadequacies, as Moses did, but look beyond ourselves to the great resources available. Then we can allow God to use our unique contributions.
Formerly Moses thought himself able to deliver Israel, and set himself to the work too hastily. Now, when the fittest person on earth for it, he knows his own weakness. This was the effect of more knowledge of God and of himself. Formerly, self-confidence mingled with strong faith and great zeal, now sinful distrust of God crept in under the garb of humility; so defective are the strongest graces and the best duties of the most eminent saints. But all objections are answered in; certainly I will be with you. That is enough.
The Egyptians had many gods by many different names. Moses wanted to know God's name so the Hebrew people would know exactly who had sent him to them. God called Himself "I AM", a name describing His eternal power and unchangeable character. In a world where values, morals, and laws change constantly, we can find stability and security in our unchanging God. The God who appeared to Moses is the same God who can live in us today. Hebrews 13:8 says God is the same "yesterday and today and forever." Because God's nature is stable and trustworthy, we are free to follow and enjoy Him rather than spend our time trying to figure Him out.
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord 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, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ (Exodus 3:14-15)
Yahweh is derived from the Hebrew word for "I AM." God reminded Moses of His covenant promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 15; 17), Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5), and Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15), and used the name "I AM" to show His unchanging nature. What God promised to the great patriarchs hundreds of years earlier He would fulfill through Moses.
Two names God would now be known by. A name that denotes what He is in Himself, I AM WHO I AM. This explains His name Jehovah, and signifies, 1. That he is self-existent: He has His being of Himself. 2. That He is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, today, and forever. 3. That He is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find Him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That He is faithful and true to all His promises, unchangeable in His word as well as in His nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent Me unto you. I AM, and there is none else besides Me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon Him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to His people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers.
We know that our Lord God used the name "I AM" when Moses inquired as to whom should I say who sent me - but then we now hear Jesus making the same claim in John 8:58 : "Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”"
Christ and all that are His, depend upon God for honor. Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know Him. Such as know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are put together, 2 Thessalonians 1:8. All who rightly know anything of Christ, earnestly desire to know more of Him. Those who discern the dawn of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see His rising. “Before Abraham was, I AM.” This speaks Abraham a creature and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might He make Himself greater than Abraham.
I AM, is the name of God, Exodus 3:14; it speaks His self-existence; He is the First and the Last, ever the same, Revelation 1:8. Thus He was not only before Abraham, but before all worlds, Proverbs 8:23; John 1:1. As Mediator, He was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8. The Lord Jesus was made of God's Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died by faith in Him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesus for blasphemy, but he withdrew; by His miraculous power He passed through them unhurt.
Let us steadfastly profess what we know and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham’s faith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when the Savior shall appear in glory, to the confusion of His enemies, and to complete the salvation of all who believe in Him. Let us all lift up our hands to glorify and honor the Great I AM. Amen.
References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.