Tuesday, April 16, 2019

El Shaddai: All-Powerful

"I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, [El Shaddai], but by My name the LORD I did not make myself known to them" (Exodus 6:3).

The name El Shaddai focuses on the power and strength of God. It has been translated as “He who is sufficient,” “the thunderer,” and “the overpowerer.” The Greek equivalent, found in the New Testament, is the word Pantocrator, meaning “the All-powerful one.” This name for God communicates the strength by which He is sufficient to rule, govern, and exercise His sovereignty over His entire created order.

This is the name God revealed to the Patriarchs in Genesis. It focused on His power, showing those men God was the God who made and kept His promises. By faith, they believed He would carry out those promises. To Moses and the men of his generation, God revealed the name Yahweh. or LORD, which in terms of redemptive history means “the God who keeps the promises He made to the fathers.”

The strength of God is frequently symbolized in the Bible by the metaphor of a strong right hand. One of my favorite passages on the subject is found in Numbers 11. The Israelites were grumbling because they were tired of eating nothing but manna. God then said that He would give the people meat to eat, enough for a whole month. Moses was amazed. He just couldn’t believe it.

Coming to Numbers 11:23 we read, “The LORD answered Moses, ‘Is the LORD’S arm too short?’ ” It’s almost as if God were saying, “Moses, look at Me for a minute. Do I look like a deity with a withered arm? Has something happened to Me since I dealt with Pharaoh? Have I suddenly become crippled? Do you think you are dealing with an impotent God?”

Then God flatly declared, “You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” It is as if God rolled up His sleeve, flexed His muscles and said, “Moses, who do you think I am? I am El Shaddai. I am the One who thunders. I am the One who is sufficient. I am the Overpowerer. I am the One who made promises to the Fathers and you have seen Me keep them. Now sit back and see if I don’t do what I have said I will do.” And He did.

We all know people who have made idle boasts, but when crunch time came they could not perform. Not so with God. He has the power to fulfill His every promise, and He will surely do so.

God fulfills each of His promises. Write an example recalling how you have seen Him fulfill promises in your life. Describe the in bringing it to pass.