Monday, November 28, 2011

Names of God - El Shaddai

Okay ready for another post in our Names of God series?
So far we have looked at three names of God, Elohim which reveals God as our Creator God, El Elyon which reveals God as God Most High and El Roi which reveals God as the God who sees. Just the revelation of these names alone are enough to jump up and shout over, don't you think?

Today we are going to discover our God as El Shaddai, God Almighty.

We first discover this name of God in Genesis.

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old,
 the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him,
   “I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
“I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly.” 
Genesis 17:1-2

We must always remember our context. Remember that Abram was seventy-five years old when he first was promised descendants. Then after waiting for a while and having no child, Sarai comes up with a plan and Abram goes into Hagar, Sarai's hand-maid. And yes a child is conceived... but this is not the promised child. This is a child of fleshly efforts, not faith and divine power.

Now thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael, the LORD appears to Abram again. Abram is ninety-nine years old. Ninety-nine. Which means Sarai is eighty-nine. Yes, eighty-nine years old. And now God appears to Abram and says, Abramit's time to do this thing. 

God then changes Abram and Sarai's names to Abraham and Sarah.

How does Abram respond?

 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed,
and said in his heart,
“Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old?
And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 
And Abraham said to God,
“Oh that Ishmael might live before You!”
Genesis 17:17-18

Abraham is belly rolling and says something like, Oh yeh God, that's a good one! Then Abraham has a bright idea, God, just let Ishmael be the one, I mean really have you forgotten how old Sarah is? Hello, our stuff don't even work anymore!

But God says

“No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son,
and you shall call his name Isaac;
and I will establish My covenant with him
for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
Genesis 17:19

You see God had just introduced Himself to Abram as El Shaddai, God Almighty. God did not need any help from Abraham and Sarah's physical and fleshly efforts. He is the All-Powerful, All-Sufficient, Almighty God. God is never in need of our ability. He supplies our ability, He just asks for our availability. 

And He has said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is perfected in weakness.”
Most gladly, therefore,
I will rather boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses,
with insults,
with distresses,
with persecutions,
with difficulties,
for Christ’s sake;
for when I am weak, then I am strong
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God would display His glory and His might and perfect plan in the not only weak Abraham and Sarah, but dead. There bodies were dead to the ability to conceive, but death has never stopped our God. There is no weakness that we carry, no struggle that we have, that God's power cannot be perfected in and through. He is God Almighty.

For the material they had was sufficient
and more than enough for all the work, to perform it. 
Exodus 36:7

You see whatever God has called you to do, whatever you have, where ever you are, it will be more than enough to perform what He has called you to do. The power is not yours, it was never in you to begin with, it's His and it's in and through Him...

Not that I speak from want,
for I have learned to be content
in whatever circumstances I am. 
I know how to get along with humble means,
and I also know how to live in prosperity;
in any and every circumstance
I have learned the secret of being filled
and going hungry,
both of having abundance
and suffering need. 
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11-13

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