“‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’”John 8:58
Names are significant. When a couple is expecting the birth of their baby (as my wife and I are), they consider various potential names. They may place more or less weight on the name’s meaning, but even those who give little regard to the meaning of a particular name will say things like, “Not Chris, I knew a Chris once, and didn’t like him!”
If aseity—the fact that God only creates and is not created—teaches us that God doesn’t need anything from the world or from us, His name nevertheless teaches us that this same independent God has become intimately involved in our lives. And His name is important.
“I AM WHO I AM” is the name God gives Himself in the midst of recalling His faithfulness to Israel’s fathers. It communicates to Israel and to us that our unfaithfulness will not stop the Lord from being faithful to us. This is not rooted in some random decision on God’s part, but in His independence from us—in His character, not in ours. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
“You are worthy… to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created.” (Revelation 4:11)