It’s like God shows Moses His tattoo.
See this? “This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.”
Before God and Moses really get down to business, God self-identifies three times as: the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
And in that name, I see The Trinity based on Personalities and actions.
The God of Abraham (God the Father)
Let’s begin by going back to Genesis 1. God does a lot of speaking, resulting in the heavens, earth, water, land, etc.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
Is God using the royal we? ‘Us’? ‘Our’? Or is one Person of the Godhead talking to the rest? If so, who is talking to whom? Let’s consider that this may be God the Father speaking, initiating what He wants to do.
Now, look at the life of Abraham. Primarily, God speaks. He gives instructions and makes promises.
“Go forth from your country… To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you…”
“Lift up your eyes and look… for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever… Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.”
“…count the stars… So shall your descendants be… Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved… Then in the fourth generation they will return here…”
But God doesn’t just monologue. He has open conversation, apparently invites Abram to intercede, clarifies His covenant, tells Abram the future—there’s all kinds of spoken interaction. God even changes Abram and Sarai’s names.
The God of Abraham hears, speaks, makes promises and calls things that aren’t yet, as though they were. Abram, the “exalted father,” becomes Abraham, “father of a multitude.” Sarai becomes Sarah, “princess”, and God says,
“I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
The God who speaks and makes promises = The God of Abraham
The God of Isaac (God the Son)
Isaac is a foreshadowing picture of Jesus. Check out the images and ideas that show up in both stories.
Take now your son, your only son… burnt offering… on one of the mountains… donkey… two of his young men with him and Isaac… On the third day… Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac… My father!… where is the lamb for the burnt offering? God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering… your only son… a ram caught in the thicket by his horns… a burnt offering in the place of his son… your only son…
Isaac is the promised son, the sacrifice that lives.
Jesus rode a donkey, carried the cross, was the Lamb of God, wore a crown of thorns. Jesus, God’s only Son, was our promised, substitutionary sacrifice—and yet He lives!
The God of Isaac is a God of miracles.
‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Sarah laughs.
“Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” God responds.
Mary says, “How can this be?” (since I’m a virgin)
The angel answers, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
The God who fulfills and/or embodies the promises spoken = The God of Isaac (God the Son)
He makes the impossible, possible.
He takes things that were—or should be—dead and brings them to life.
The God of Jacob (God the Spirit)
Simply put, the God of Jacob is a faithful God who accompanies, cares for, and multiplies.
“…Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south… Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go… for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Jacob wakes up from his dream and replies with,
“If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house…”
Twenty plus years later, Jacob returns saying,
“I am unworthy of all the faithfulness which you have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies…”
In reading the story, we can see that God’s “faithfulness” is exactly what Jacob asked for: God accompanies Jacob, speaks to him, supplies him with food, and as Jacob returns God keeps him safe from Laban and Esau.
And, multiplication has begun like it hasn’t before.
Abraham to Isaac? No multiplication.
Isaac to Esau and Jacob? Possible beginning, but Esau despises his birthright and the Abrahamic covenant blessing is passed from Isaac to Jacob. One to one. No multiplication.
Jacob? Not one wife, but two. Not one handmaid, but two. Not one son, or even two sons, but ten. Plus a daughter. Plus another son. Plus yet another son. Plus at the end of Jacob’s life he adopts Joseph’s two sons as his own—his favorite son, doubled.
The God who faithfully accompanies, cares for, and multiplies = The God of Jacob (God the Spirit)
When God introduces Himself as, “I AM WHO I AM,” but then keeps going… I think it’s to introduce us to the Three in One.