El Shaddai

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the  Lord  appeared to him  and said, “I am God Almighty ; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.

Genesis 17:1

Most of us have experienced a baby crying because they are hungry, or tired, or have a dirty diaper. When his or her mom begins to feed a hungry baby, the tears stop. I have also heard that the bond between that child and his mother is intense, the mother carried that child and is feeding that child. Truthfully, if the dad is involved in meeting the needs of that child, the bond is created there, as well! When one of my nieces was a baby, I was around enough and gave her a bottle enough, that the bond was pretty incredible. Babies bond with those people that meet their needs.

That is the idea with this one of the names of God. It is translated as “Almighty God” or “God Almighty”, but the idea is that He is all-sufficient and the source of blessings. Once again we see “El” or “God”. The Hebrew word “shad” which is part of this compound name, is the word for a child that is satisfied at his mother’s breast. He is nourished, his needs are met. He is satisfied completely.

“Rejoice  with Jerusalem and be glad for her,     all you who love  her; rejoice greatly with her,     all you who mourn  over her.  For you will nurse  and be satisfied     at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply     and delight in her overflowing abundance.” For this is what the  Lord  says: “I will extend peace  to her like a river,     and the wealth  of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried  on her arm     and dandled on her knees.  As a mother comforts her child,     so will I comfort  you;     and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.

Isaiah 66:10-13

El Shaddai is found 8 times in the Old Testament. It carries the idea of Yahweh as the sufficient one. Shaddai is found by itself 38 times in the Old Testament. 31 of those are in Job. Many of these references talk about chastening to make us fruitful. John 15 is a New Testament example of this idea. God loves us and so He refuses to leave us the way we are.

“I am  the true vine,  and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,  while every branch that does bear fruit  he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.   You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

John 15:1-4

The other part of this name of God is that it carries the idea of one who pours forth. In the picture of the child and his mother, the mother gives of herself to calm the child. There is a field that has been properly prepared and taken care of, so that it brings a bountiful harvest. God is preparing us and taking care of us to bring a bountiful harvest. He gives of Himself in order to do that. Jesus was born as a human baby. We celebrate that at Christmas time. But that is not where He stayed. He was crucified (poured out) for each of us. He died to pay the penalty of our sin; a penalty that we SHOULD have paid.

Who, being in very nature  God,     did not consider equality with God  something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing     by taking the very nature of a servant,     being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,     he humbled himself     by becoming obedient to death—         even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:6-8

Trust Him to provide. He is powerful enough and sufficient for you! Trust Him as He prunes (chastens) you. He poured Himself out for us!

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