Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
When Moses had the encounter with God at the burning bush, God sent him to deliver the Hebrews out of slavery and into the promised land. Moses asked God, whom shall I say sent me? God’s answer is found in Exodus 3:14 (above). That sounds like a strange name, but it isn’t a name at all, it is an attribute of God.
The purpose of a name is to distinguish one person from another, but in God’s case, there is no other to contrast Him with. Psalms 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high Jer 10:6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. Anytime you find His attributes it is always Him and no other so a name is not needed. If you want to know God then you must discover what He is like. Even when you find a name of God, such as Jehovah Jireh “The Lord Will Provide”; it describes something about God rather than a distinguishing name. God is distinguished because of His attributes and not by His name.
One of the problems is that we try to picture God as a being like we are, limited by time and space. He is not like us and therefore does not have the same limitations. He does not act or react as we do. Take His response of “I AM THAT I AM”, and notice that God revealed something of Himself that is unique only to Him, that He is eternal. He exists outside of time. He is present in the past, as well as present now and is present in the future. Also notice that if He is always existent throughout time, so He never changes, which is what we find in the scriptures. Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
God is always revealing Himself to man but man has great difficulty understanding God who is past finding out. You cannot exhaust the limits of God because He has no limits. Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Though you cannot exhaust His ways, you can begin to grow in your understanding. It is something like a baby knowing its mother. It begins with instincts but those instincts are enhanced by experiences, then by knowledge and further on by understanding and so forth. So also we know God in a graduated way and the more we come to know Him the greater our understanding of Him becomes. I was 10 years old when we moved to Colorado, from Missouri. My parents told me about the mountains and I had actually been there when I was about three but my memory and knowledge was so little that I didn’t have a good concept of them. As we approached Colorado, we began looking for them and even wondered what they were like. Finally, dad pointed them out in the distance. They were so small on the horizon that I was unimpressed. I wondered why all the fuss. But then a strange thing happened, they began to grow. At least they seemed to grow and reached higher into the sky. This continued until we were driving in the mountains and they had become so large that I couldn’t comprehend how big they really were. Of course they didn’t really grow, they were the same size all the time but my perspective continued to change, the closer I got. The same thing is true about God. The closer to Him you get the greater He appears. The truth is that He never changes but our perspective of Him does. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.