“El Shaddai: Almighty God”
Sometimes I wonder if we know that our God, who is personal, is Almighty. He is all powerful, all-knowing, always present and unchanging.
El Shaddai is the One who is strong enough to help us with all of our problems and sensitive enough to care.
When Abraham was seventy-five years old, God appeared to him and called him to follow Him. In Genesis 12:1-3, we read, “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’” That is quite a commitment on God’s part, and He always keeps his word.
When Abraham was ninety-nine and Sarah eighty-nine, God appeared to him again. In Genesis 17:1, God said to him, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. (vs.2)
I will confirm my covenant between Me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
Abraham and Sarah did not have any children from their union. As you read on in Genesis 17, you will find this couple hearing that within a year, Sarah would give birth to a son.
Here is something very significant. The name God uses here is El Shaddai. It is the first time this name for God is used. It is a compound name – El, which is a shortened form of Elohim, meaning the “strong Creator”. The second part is Shaddai, the Hebrew word for “Almighty”.
There is a related word that means “breast”. The picture here is powerful. El Shaddai is the strong Creator who can meet all of Abraham’s needs with the tenderness and sensitivity of a mother satisfying the needs of a child at her breast.
The name El Shaddai speaks of strength and satisfaction. Our God is the strong One who is able to deliver and the Tender One who nourishes and satisfies.
In Genesis 17:2, God said to Abraham, “I will make My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”
Here is where our faith must kick in. We need to act and embrace God’s promises to us. In 17:3, we read, “And Abram fell on his face and God talked with him.” Father Abraham had to pray, intercede and trust the Almighty for the promise.
In Genesis 17:15-16, we read, “God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
The name, “Almighty God” is used 48 times in the Old Testament. Thirty-one of these times are in the book of Job. This man was attacked by the devil and Job lost all of his earthly passions, plus all of his children. He lost his health. His body was covered with boils.
He was misunderstood and wrongly judged by friends.
While Job did not understand why he was going through so much pain and anguish, he was persuaded that the tough—but tender Almighty God could and would deliver him from his distress.
In Job 5:17, we read:“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”
In the New Testament the name, ‘Almighty’ occurs twelve times. Nine of them are in the back of Revelation.
Again and again, we see the toughness and tenderness of God’s nature. He will faithfully reward the believer for good deeds — but, He will also pour out judgment on the willful unbeliever. The Almighty is eternal: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the LORD, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
All of us from time to time will be facing problems and dangers. They will come uninvited. When they do, we need to remember that ‘Almighty God’ is a name we can trust. He will not always remove our problems but He will strengthen us in the midst of them.
In 2 Corinthians 12, we read of Paul being afflicted by a vicious thorn. Whatever it was, it was very painful and the apostle said that three times he asked the LORD to take it away. (v.8)
Each time, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (12:9a) Notice Paul’s response — “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9b-10)
El Shaddai is Almighty. He is tough and tender. What should we do when we face problems?
1. Distance ourselves from sin.
When we sin, we miss the mark of the kind of life God wants us to live. So, we need to choose to do what is right and for the glory of God. Read 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
2. Pursue the presence of the Almighty.
Listen to the council in Isaiah 55:6
“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call on Him while He is near.” God has said, “You will seek Me, and you will find Me, when you search for Me, with all your heart.”
3. Rest in the presence of the Almighty.
In Psalm 91:1 we read, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
4. We need to follow in the lead of our LORD.
El Shaddai expects us to walk with Him and live for Him. His charge to Abraham is very clear — “I am the Almighty God, walk before Me and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)
No child can have his parents favor if he is always disobedient or rebellious. God looks at our hearts and He knows if your obedience comes from a heart of love.
5. We need to take stock of our spiritual health.
God has numerous ways to develop us spiritually. He even allows adversity. His goal is to develop the closest intimacy with us.
In Hebrews 12:5-6, we read, ‘My son, despise not thou the chastening of the LORD … for whom the LORD loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”
Have you experienced the LORD’s discipline in your life? Did you receive it as the LORD’s loving concern for you?
6. Finally, gratefully embrace the provision that El Shaddai offers.
Almighty God is faithful. He wants the best for you. In 1 Thessalonians 5:24, we read, “Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it.”
Listen to Paul’s confidence in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
I am praying that you will meditate on our God Almighty (El Shaddai). He spoke the world into existence. He is personal. He is compassionate and He is so tender in His
caring for you.
In His grace,