Names of God

El Shaddai

I don’t know how February snuck past me, but in the midst of starting our spring semester of Live Awesomely: Exalting the Names of God, Part 2 and teaching the first two sessions, it did. Anytime you study a name of God it’s both daunting and beautiful. As I spend time with Jehovah Rophe, the Lord Who Heals You, and Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is My Banner, I always find myself drawing deeper into the Lord, which is what we’re supposed to do. This is why He tells us who He is, so we will draw near to Him. We can think we know someone from Instagram and Twitter (follow me @lenyaheitzig) or from what we read or hear about them, but we don’t really know them until we spend time in their presence. It’s true. Even after all these years walking with the Lord, I find I get to know Him best when I sit at His feet and truly let Him tell me who He is.

I know the month is almost over but I’m going to sneak this in before February completely passes. Here is this month’s devotional “El Shaddai , God Almighty, ” which  we have been studying in the she 2013 Prayer Journal.

El Shaddai (God Almighty)

By Laura Sowers

The first time the name El Shaddai is found in the Old Testament, God was speaking to Abraham about Himself: “I am Almighty God [El Shaddai]; walk before Me and be blameless” (Gen. 17:1). Previously, God told Abraham that he would be the father of a “great nation.” Then to illustrate this promise, He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them….So shall your descendants be” (Gen. 15:5).

At this point, Abraham and Sarah were childless — and old. So this seemed to Abraham an impossible proclamation that contradicted human reason and the very laws of nature. In other words, the perfect circumstances for God Almighty to reveal the fullness of His blessings and power! Through Father Abraham, we learn that nothing is impossible for God.

At first look, the name El Shaddai seems redundant. The Hebrew El means might, power, and omnipotence. Shaddai is translated “almighty,” so it appears a simple restatement. However, Shaddai speaks of God’s ever-existent nature plus the unexpected attribute of being a mighty nourisher. In fact, shad means “breast” and refers to the sustaining abundance from a mother for her child.

God is our wellspring of never-ending supply and blessings. In the New Testament, Jesus spoke of this abundance to the Samaritan woman at the well: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst” (John 4:13-14).

El Shaddai is the God who triumphs over our obstacles and transforms us in the process. Our part is to empty ourselves of pride and self-sufficiency in order to be filled. El Shaddai responds by strengthening our faith, bringing fruitfulness from the pruning, and replacing our self-sufficiency with a deeper knowledge of Him.