Bill Clinton, in his deception, said as a rationalization "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is!" Words do mean things! When scripture uses a word one must look, sometimes deeply, for all that it implies. "Is" is to be used with he/she/it, being the third person singular present tense of "be". On the other hand "am" is the first person present tense of "be". God's name is "I AM" meaning that his existence is just "BEING!" God just exists, hence "is" has a very deep meaning. The meaning of "is" is that it is existence. It's what is right now. Since "now" changes with time, "is" is infinite. It goes from beginning to end. It's eternal.
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."
Do you see now? Words mean things! Clinton tried to narrow down the definition of "is" as a loophole to escape guilt. "Is" is profound! When Bill was truncating the value of "is", he missed the thought that if God is "I AM", the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as individual personalities of God, the Father is, the Son is and the Holy Spirit is because they have always been!
With that said God is referred to as "El" in the Hebrew tongue. At least that's the derivation of the English word "El" which means "God". It is written as follows in ancient Hebrew:
The Hebrew biliteral root A-L
The Hebrew word
(el) is spelled aleph-lamed. The (aleph), the picture of an ox, represents strength and the (lamed) is a picture of a shepherd staff representing "authority." These letters form the Hebrew word meaning the "the strong authority" and is the Hebrew word for God. (Ancient Hebrew Research Center, "Parent Roots of Hebrew Words")
Hebrew words are written right to left. These symbols are pictographs which early man used to identify God. Time has taken little toll on these early writings. "God" is still transliterated as "EL" in the English language! You see "words mean things!"
An ox (plural oxen) is the draft castrated male cow. It usually is shown with horns and is a sturdy creature. As a beast for burden it has had great value over time. It's value was such that prior to machinery it was as a medium of exchange, and as such it was used as currency... for over 4000 years!
The Hebrew aleph is a pictograph of the ox. It means "strong" as written above. Indeed God is almighty! Early man wanted something to represent "almighty". So what did they do? From gold they made an image of an ox:
Psalm 106:19 (ESV) They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image. 20 They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt..."You can see from above that the golden calf around which the Hebrew people danced was an ox. They made an image of God. All the while they are doing this, God knew their hearts. They forgot all about him! In stone he wrote: " Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image." (Exodus 20:4). God was denoted by the ox. Why was it so wrong to honor him by making a golden ox? It was because they were worshiping the object of their own hands, not the Almighty God.
Furthermore, it is not God to whom they were bowing; they were frolicking around an idol. God was removed from the equation: ox = God, but it became ox = me for what they were doing was what was right in their own eyes!
Who made the golden ox? Aaron said that they merely took the gold of the people, cast it in the fire and out came a calf! (Exodus 32:24). The golden ox was a lie. Here's what really happened:
Exodus 32:4 "And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."
Aaron made them the calf because they asked of him, "make us gods, which shall go before us," (Exodus 32:1). They knew what they asked for and they all knew what they were getting!
It was no accident that they built an ox of gold. It did represent God. However, they rationalized. This image became their god. They pleasured around it and neglected the One True God. The worship was all about their own selves, not about God. God doesn't need an image. He wants the love of the people.
Back in Egypt there were many gods. Cattle were one form, which represented many gods. The Hebrews had only one God. They wanted to be as the Egyptians who had many. They surely thought of the golden calf because "ox" indicated might. Although they already had an Almighty God, they couldn't see him so they created him. The created created the Creator! How ironic.
Egypt represents sin. They looked back with fond memories of the safe, secure and sometimes, even enjoyable times in Egypt. They looked back at the pleasures of sin and the golden calf brought back the "good ole days" just as Lot's wife longed for what "was" years before!
The lamed represented the shepherd's staff and was symbolic of authority. Together the lamed and the aleph are spell out "EL" or "God" in our language.
What was it that Moses showed the Pharoah God's authority?
Exodus 7:10 "And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent."Moses' rod was a scepter. They are the same. And guess what else? A shepherd's staff. We see here the significance of the scepter/rod/staff:
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.The staff is anointed by God to be his authority! It will be so until Shiloh, or a world of peace, comes. Shiloh is when the Messiah Jesus comes. The Father has the authority, represented by the staff, until the Dove takes it's place. It's the difference between obedience and love! It's when man makes peace with God and discipline is no longer the tool.
You can see how ancient Hebrews used pictograms to represent God. The words they chose were lamed and aleph, or "EL". Words mean things! When one sees an ox that person should think "strong" and we do! When a person sees a staff they should think "authority" and we still do! When a person sees the word "EL" we should think of God's strength and authority. We should think "God"!