God has a lot of titles. The title of God in Genesis 1:1 is actually Elohim which in Hebrew means the All Mighty. Throughout Genesis you can see the title God's title of Jehovah which means the self-existing One, the I Am. When God promised Abraham in Genesis 12 that his children would be like the sand and the stars, His title was El Shaddai, which means God all-sufficient. When God made a covenant with Abraham about this promise in Genesis 15:13-14, He told Abraham that his descendants would be in captivity for 400 years,
Just as God foretold, the children of Israel ended up in Egypt because of a famine, and another Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph enslaved them. In chapter 14 of the Life-Study of Exodus I learned that these 400 years were up when Moses was 80 years old, and that was the very same year God charged him to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. But as everyone knows, Pharaoh always refused to let the Israelites go. Moses was like, what's up with this? It actually discouraged Moses, and that’s why God spoke to him these words:
I am Jehovah; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God All-sufficient; but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. And I have established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage wherein they were strangers. Exodus 6:2-4
When I was reading this chapter, I learned that the name Jehovah actually has two meanings—the self-existing God and also the fulfilling God. So here God is telling Moses that the Israelites knew His name Jehovah just like today many people know the name of Jesus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they personally know Him as their Savior, and it was the same for them.
I appreciated the exposition Witness Lee gives on the name Jehovah on pages 162-163, 166-167:
When God spoke to Moses in 6:1-8, He did not speak as El Shaddai, the promising God, but as Jehovah, the fulfilling God… If God were not the self-existing One and the ever-existing One, the promise made thousands of years ago could not be fulfilled. However, because God is and always will be, He cannot fail to fulfill His promise. In this universe there is One who is, and this One is the fulfilling God. Whatever He says will come to pass. Jehovah will fulfill His word….When you encounter tests, trials, and difficulties, you should say, ‘Lord, You are. My problems will end, but You, Lord, will be forever’….Do you experience the Lord only as El Shaddai or do you also experience Him as Jehovah? …If we have received the revelation of the Lord as the I Am, we shall pray in a new way. When trouble comes, we shall go to the Lord and say,’ Lord, here is a problem, but You are. You are the I am, and I believe in You’ (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Exodus. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979, Print).
Many times what I’m reading goes along with where I’m at. I was somewhat discouraged about a situation, and this word gave me the faith to say to God,”‘Lord, You are!”You can listen to excerpts of this life training and some outstanding commentary by listening to Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee on Exodus.
Other Posts on the Life-Study of Exodus:
Why Did God Use So Many Women in Exodus 1 & 2?
Taking a Closer Look at the Conflict Between God and Pharaoh in Exodus 5