I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM,
THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB
"And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations" (Exo. 3:15).
Here is another matter. Who is this Jehovah your God? He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As far as He is concerned, God is Jehovah, the I am. As far as man is concerned, Jehovah is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. On God’s side, God is God, that is, Jehovah. This is God’s revelation to man of what He is in Himself. On man’s side, God revealed Himself through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the same way that He was powerful in them, He is powerful in us.
Why did God not say, He is the God of Adam? Adam had sin, but so had Abraham. Why did He not call Himself the God of Adam? Why did He not call Himself the God of Abel, the descendant of Adam? Why did He rather say He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Why was the Lord Jesus a descendant of Abraham according to the flesh? Why did God call Himself the God of these three men among so many other men? Is it because these three men were somewhat different from others? In addition to the fact that God made a covenant with these three men, which made them special, they were representatives of men. God chose these three men to represent three kinds of people on earth today.
What kind of person was Abraham? He was a giant in faith. He was an uncommon and extraordinary person. God is the God of Abraham, meaning that God is the God of extraordinary and outstanding persons. But thank God, He is not only the God of Abraham. If God were only the God of Abraham, we would be disappointed, because none of us is an extraordinary and outstanding person. God is also the God of Isaac. What kind of person was Isaac? Isaac was an ordinary man. He was a man who would eat when you gave him food, who would sleep when you gave him a bed. He was not an extraordinary person. Nor was he an evil person. But God is also the God of ordinary persons. What a comfort this is to us! However, God is not just the God of ordinary men. He is also the God of evil men. He is the God of Jacob. Jacob is the most crafty man in the Bible. Through these three persons, God tells us that He is the God of Abraham (the best persons), the God of Isaac (the common persons), and the God of Jacob (the evil persons). He is God to those who are outstanding in their faith. He is God to those who are merely ordinary people. He is also God to the vilest among all men such as the robbers, the thieves, and the prostitutes. If I am one like Abraham, He is God to an extraordinary person like me. If I am an ordinary person like Isaac, He is also God to an ordinary person like me. If I am an evil person from my mother’s womb, one who would argue with my brother, and who is evil from my youth, He will say that He is also God to an evil person like me. God is not just the God of Abraham. He is not just the God of Isaac. God is also the God of Jacob. Are you exceptionally good? God has a way with you. Are you an ordinary person? God has a way with you. Are you a particularly evil person? God also has a way with you.
From that day until now, God has always called Himself by this name; He has never changed. Even when the Lord Jesus was about to die, He declared that God is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is the God of the living, and that is why man will resurrect. Here the Lord added another meaning to the name. God called Himself this to show that He is the God of resurrection. Although Abraham was good, he still died and stunk. However, God will resurrect him. An ordinary person like Isaac also died and stunk. But God will also resurrect him. Although Jacob was crafty, he also died and stunk. But God will resurrect him also. In the realm of resurrection, all natural things will pass away. God is the God of the living; He is not the God of the dead, nor the God of those who are about to die. He is God to these three persons in the realm of resurrection. Therefore, every Christian is destined to deterioration, no matter how talented he is, how common he is, or how evil he is. Our God wants to reconstitute us, so that we will receive something new in Him. Although by our natural constitution we have many differences, God will not obliterate these things; He will be God to us just the same. He knows that what He sees is not our natural self, but the life that He gives us. Naturally speaking, there are many differences between Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in resurrection, they have all received the life of God. God does not care for our natural constitution; He only cares for His own work in grace. Therefore, He can give grace to, use, and perfect men who are entirely different, treating them as if there were no difference at all among them.
What is the meaning of resurrection? It means the passing away of the natural and the coming of the supernatural. It means the passing away of the first and the coming of the second. Whether you are a talented person, an ordinary person, or a crafty and evil person, your eyes need not be set on your talent, your unattractiveness, or your craftiness. God can give you something new in His Son. God is showing us that everything natural and of man is useless. Only that which is supernatural and of God is useful. He said that He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob because His eyes are on resurrection.
AN ETERNAL MEMORIAL
"This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations" (Exo. 3:15). This is My name forever. This means that I forever am. With Me, there is only one "I am." In this verse, the name Jehovah speaks of two things:
(1) I forever am Jehovah. As My name is, so will I be forever.
(2) My memorial. This is to make you remember that I am Jehovah forever, and I will also remember that I am Jehovah unto all generations. Unless God has forgotten that He Himself is Jehovah, and unless we also forget that He is Jehovah, He will forever be I am to us—He will be all that we need. Hallelujah!
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 09: The Present Testimony (2), Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)