Looking at three “I am” s

The last few weeks we looked at three ‘I am“s which are often considered to be one person or by others could be seen as two characters.

English people are often confused by the saying “I am”. In Belgium and many countries where the mother-tongue is not English the problem does not seem to pose. Lots of English speaking people consider a person, like Jesus saying “I am” to be God; This would naturally make it that today there are still many characters walking around who would be supposedly The God, according their way of thinking.

Though we wanted to point to the importance of those two little words “I” and “am”.

First of all there is the “I”. This would have to mean that there is something. That what is, according to the Holy Scriptures is something or some one which or who is allowed to exist. It is a soul (a being) which can have life in him. Without life the being can not be. We have to become a being before we can point to ourself. The “I” is only possible when the Maker allows it to be born and allows it to live. This Supreme Being Who allow the being of something or some one is the Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיהI Am Who is” (The “Ik Ben die ben”) or “I am that I am“.

That “I Am” is very important for the being which is on earth. The person walking on the globe can say “I am” because God allows him to be living. That person or “I am” figure is made in the image of the other and much Greater “I Am”. Without recognising that “I Am” the ordinary “I am” is really not much. The human “I am” can only become a better living creature or  “I am” when it recognises its own “I am” but also when it recognises his or her dependence of the Big “I Am“, the “I am Who is”.

A Very Serious Person
A Very Serious Person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we enter a house, the other already in the house, when expecting us, may ask “is it you  ‘so and so'” or “Are you it?” and that that person may answer “Yes, I am”. But that does not say everything about the person, though the other may know who it is, he might not know exactly how that person is really feeling or know its “being” exactly.

The different books of the Bible let us know that the person has to come to know himself and has to create his own personality. Each ‘soul’ or ‘being’ has to crate the best “I am” than he or she can. Having being created in the image of the Supreme “I Am” each individual has to try to come to grow as possible to that “I Am”.

Each “I am” has received an inner voice which can give a voice to the outer voice. And there comes out the real “I am” where we do have to take care of. The words which come out of our mouth and the handling we do are the signs which shall create the image of our “I am” by others.

The apostle James warns of the unbridled use of the tongue, which was being used to cause contention. We can readily understand the need for him to address this issue because traditional Jews were causing problems for those who had converted. The scriptures show us, there is the need for balance in how we use the tongue; sometimes there is a need to refrain from speaking and to let something go because it is trivial. Sometimes there is a need to speak out against something which is wrong, and yet in speaking out, we need to exercise care that it is done in the correct way, without personal prejudice or emotion.

Each person has to carry his “I am” and should make sure it is free any arrogance or feelings of superiority. Each “I am” figure has to be humble for the Great “I Am” but also for his own “I am” and has to know his or her place in himself or herself. Without knowing its own place the character can become in difficult situations and become entangled in ‘the self’.

James, in his third book, is showing us that being teachers brings with it a great responsibility in how we conduct ourselves and what we say to each other. But from him and the apostle Paul we come to learn how we should try to help others to build up themselves. By working at ourself, creating a better “I am” we should help others to feel good, to feel right in their own skin, to feel right at the place where they meet with others, to feel good in this world which may be looking dangerous but in the knowledge of the Most High “I Am” is not at all so dangerous for those who believe in the Divine Creator of the many “I am’s” running around in this world.

A forest has taken years to grow, develop and mature. Human beings do not need such a time to grow, but they forget they easily are burned down like big forests in the dry hot wind. Every “I am” having feelings, hopes, ideas and reactions can express him or herself with his or her tongue like a small fire which has the power to quickly destroy something which has taken a considerable amount of time to develop. In James chapter 3 we see the instrument of the human “I am” being depicted as an instrument of potential destruction.

We see that the tongue is full of deadly poison. The first tongue to be full of deadly poison was of the serpent in Eden: it spoke words which appealed to Eve and brought death into the world. James shows us that of ourselves, we are helpless in dealing with this problem on our own; we need the help of God through the guidance given in His Word. The danger of many people is that they try to build up their “I am” by the words of others. They prefer to compare themselves with other human beings, which all have their own faults.

From the other reading of Saturday December the 6th, we see how time and time again also friends try to convince a character (Job) that he is no longer right in God’s sight.  And that is the danger so many people encounter every day, others wanting them to believe they are not good enough, or they are not up to it, and often the “I am” shall start to believe it is useless or not good (because the others say so).  We are warned by the Words of God to be careful not to have ourselves (our souls = our being) being destroyed by human beings. It asks us to accept how we are born, but not to be of the world but aiming to be a creature respecting creation by the Most High and to make the best of our lives.

Our “I am” should be willing to see our special “I am” which perhaps may be not so clear for others their eyes. For others we may be as if God has deserted us because we must be a sinner, and not ‘pure and upright’.

We should know that nobody is perfect, so we from ourself should also not expect to be perfect. For some that imperfect form may even be attractive. How many people do not want to go to see special creatures. History knows enough freak shows – the elephant man, the bearded lady, Siamese twins. Though, as soon as we are confronted by a person like that, whose features are deformed or who has a serious and visible illness, we feel insecure, frightened and well out of our comfort zone.

When we come across a brother or sister going through extreme difficulty, are we first given to analysing and criticising their walk, or do we rush to express compassion? Let scripture be our guide (Matthew 7:1,2; 1 Peter 3:8). Let us also help others to live with their difficulties, their illness, their pains and sorrow. Each person in the community can share his or her “I am” to help the other “I am” finding his or her “I am”. Helping to take away the doubt, the fear, the insecurity, the fear of being not good enough.

Often things that happen to us or others around us, we do not have control over it. It may challenge us, and we should tackle it, by not loosing trust in ourself nor in others who are wiling to help us on our way.

Real friends show pity when their friend is in trouble, knowing they could be in the same boat one day. Each of us should be ready to be there for the other. Each person should try to give confidence to the other so that that persons can grow in his function becoming a better “I am”. Comforting words should go back and forth from one “I am” to the other.

Instead of getting down, not being happy with ourselves, we should look at Jesus, who in his afflictions kept willing to do not his will, but only the will of his heavenly Father. We should recognise that God chastens his children as he did Jesus. Those who ‘endure’ will be those who have Jesus’ vision (Hebrews 12:2)

(1)  We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us,  (2)  looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע {Jeshua}, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.  (3)  For consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and faint in your lives. (Hebrews 12:1-3 The Scriptures 1998+)

When bad things happen to us we should not always reflect them to our personal “I am”. We should not indulge in the black thoughts of  “Why me?” or, “what have I done to deserve this?” We should never say those things if we put our trust in the Most High God “The I Am Who is.

 (3)  Let not kindness and truth forsake you – Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,  (4)  Thus finding favour and good insight In the eyes of Elohim and man.  (5)  Trust in יהוה  {Jehovah} with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  (6)  Know Him in all your ways, And He makes all your paths straight.  (7)  Do not be wise in your own eyes1; Fear יהוה  {Jehovah} and turn away from evil2. Footnotes: 1Isa. 5:21 2Job 28:28.  (8)  It is healing to your navel, And moistening to your bones. (Proverbs 3:3-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

We should not try to be wise in our own eyes, making our “I am” more important than it is. We should not fear human beings, and be concerned of what they think. We should fear Jehovah, in the knowledge that that will be health to our navel, and marrow to our bones.

We might not understand the ‘why’ or ‘what’ of a situation, but that does not matter as long as we have a solid relationship with Jehovah, Who is the “I Am” Who can build our own “I am” or destroy it. If we are willing to accept that He is the One the Who is willing to be with us and to guide and discipline us, than we do not have to have such a fear for the trials we have to face and might be to test our faith, which should produce longsuffering (patience).

(5)  And you have forgotten the appeal which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה {Jehovah}, nor faint when you are reproved by Him,  (6)  for whom יהוה {Jehovah} loves, He disciplines, and flogs every son whom He receives.”1 Footnote: 1Prov. 3:11-12.  (7)  If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline?  (8)  But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  (9)  Moreover, we indeed had fathers of our flesh disciplining us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?  (10)  For they indeed disciplined us for a few days as seemed best to them, but He does it for our profit, so that we might share His apartness.  (11)  And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.1 Footnote: 1Dt. 8:2.  (12)  So, strengthen the hands which hang down and the weak knees,  (13)  and make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned aside, but instead, to be healed. (Hebrews 12:5-13 The Scriptures 1998+)

(2)  My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  (3)  knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. (James 1:2-3 The Scriptures 1998+)

Job is an excellent example for us to ponder. We know that he was successful in his trial and received the appropriate outcome  (Hebrews 12: 11; Job 42:12).

Many of us also wonder “Why are we here?” Some concentrate or spend to much time, we would say “loose to much time” in wondering why their particular circumstances happens to them in the way they do.  Chapters 3 and 4 in Esther may help understand some of the answers to these questions and give us an idea of the reason we are surrounded by the particular people in our family, among our friends, at work, at school, in our church or among our other acquaintances.

Each of us have to come to understand that there is some reason to be here on this earth. We all should come to recognise that God works in our lives too, like He did previously in the the lives of those people spoken of in the Old and New Testament.  He has planned good works for us to do.  We only do have to give our ear to God. He shall give us many answers and guidance.

As far as Esther was concerned, when faced with the dilemma of losing her people and potentially her own life, she could either go straight to the king, relying on her own beauty and charm, or she could pray for the strength of God before she took any action. She chose to pray. And it wasn’t a quick, sleepy, prayer before bed time, either. Esther and her maids, and all the Jews in Susa, spent three whole days fasting and praying. She said,

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Est 4:15-16)

She did not mind to have her “I am” taken down or to perish. She was willing to give herself in the hands of God.

The opening chapter of a hand-written scroll of the Book of Esther, with reader’s pointer

Some may find it strange that in the book of Ester (chapters 3 & 4) God is never mentioned. But it is important that it shows the “I am” of humble and less humble people. It gives a picture of the character of people. It shows the “I am” of human beings and indicates how they are related with the “I Am” of themselves and of the One who they take as the most important “I Am”.

The writer of this book avoided referring to God, but let us feel that He is so obviously there – directing and controlling so much of what is happening.  God can pretty obviously be seen as being behind many of the events as recorded in this book. Two that stand out in this section of the book are found in Mordecai’s response to Esther’s understandable (!) misgivings about approaching the king without being called – found in 4:12-14.

We do have to take in a position with our “I am” and we, as possessors of human life, should think about the others with life, other human beings, animals and plants.  We do have the task to place our “I am” in God’s environment, which should make us to think about the sanctity of the life of ourself but also of our neighbours. God’s view is quite clear. We are worth nothing if we do not turn to Him and give ourselves to His service.

We do well to reflect on the apostle Paul his way of thinking when we consider where our allegiances lie in this world and how he wants to remind the community how to consider each other and how we each should respond to the call of Jesus. (Philemon 1:1,14)

So we must be sure to spread God’s word to the people we have been put with through God’s circumstances.  We are here at a time like this to save someone from sin and death.  Don’t miss the opportunity.

Knowing the I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה our little “I am” should find itself at ease, being prepared to give itself in the hands of the Bigger “I Am”, willing to be open for all others to strengthen their “I am”, deciphering the own “I am”. We may have the feeling sometimes, or would love to have the world turning around us. We should know that we can not be living in this world when we do not want to start living in ourselves. The world starts with yourself. God demands from us that we be our selves, so Be realistic, do not pretend. Before we can give the love to others, which Jesus demands, we ourselves do have to love ourselves. Therefore we have to believe in ourself and to be kinder to ourself. The “I am” has to take care it gets a tongue to speak slowly and well-considered.

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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Find additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Accommodation of the Void
  3. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  4. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  5. Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
  6. Feed Your Faith Daily
  7. Be realistic, do not pretend
  8. Find Inspiration and Follow Your Dreams
  9. Looking for blessed hope
  10. The world starts with yourself
  11. Believe in yourself!
  12. Be Kinder to Yourself
  13. Believe in your greatness
  14. Wishy-Washy…
  15. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”
  16. The Tongue an Outlet
  17. Think before you speak
  18. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  19. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness
  20. With the gift of Jesus comes an awesome responsibility
  21. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  22. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42

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  • The Bible Believer’s Guide To Understanding The Types Found In Scripture (nowtheendbegins.com)
    Everything that is contained in Holy Scripture is there for a reason and a purpose, to teach us what God would have us to learn. So much of what happened to the people in the stories we read are a Type or a Figure of things that are to come. Understanding this is a huge key for unlocking much of the mystery of the bible.
  • Remember Your Upbringing (paullamontpatterson.wordpress.com)
    Paul reminds Timothy of his upbringing. The focus is also past tense meaning to say that this revelation is already been given. I come from a generation as some of you who claim we were “made to” “dragged in” “forced” to go to church, we sang in the children’s choir, we played pastor, we had mothers of the church who wouldn’t let us get away with anything and everytime we tried sneaking out we would see someone who knew and told our parents. It boils down to we claim we didn’t pay attention, we say we didn’t enjoy or understand church but the truth is we were being filled.
  • We are at sea without a compass (memoirandremains.wordpress.com)
    If we have in the Word of God no infallible standard of truth, we are at sea without a compass, and no danger from rough weather without can be equal to this loss within.
  • Faith For Life (christmyoasis.wordpress.com)
    It’s been said that “repetition is a major rhetorical strategy for producing emphasis, clarity, amplification or emotional effect.” The same is true in the Holy Scriptures when the word of God lays emphasis on certain truths that every child of God must be conversant with.
  • His Will Is In The Word (pastorht.wordpress.com)
    Knowledge of God’s will is foundational in developing Christian conduct and character. There is no way we can fulfill God’s will if we don’t know what it is. The starting point for any Christian is understanding God’s will for his life. How can a person obtain such knowledge? The first step is to desire it. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” People ask the Lord for knowledge of His will but don’t receive it because they aren’t seeking with All Their Heart. No one who has ever sought the Lord with all his heart has ever been disappointed.
  • Tuesday, 2 December 2014 : First Week of Advent (Homily and Scripture Reflections) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    Jesus thanked and praised His Father, who had revealed to His disciples and the people the truth about Himself. And that was also how we all know about our Lord and Messiah. And now that we know, what are we going to do about it, brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we to remain idle and just sit passively while awaiting our salvation? Or are we to actively live out our faith as God had taught us?
  • Thanksgiving to Whom . . . (nysun.com)
    In 1798, John Adams issued a corker of a Thanksgiving proclamation that referred to the “Redeemer of the World.” It culminated in a recommendation that “the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift.”
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