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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

El Shadday - God Almighty

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God, walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete).
Genesis 17:1 (Amplified)
Strong's Hebrew from Lifeway's Online Bible Library (KJV with Strong's)
Transliteration: Shadday Strong's Reference #7706
Phonetic Pronunciation: /shad-dah'-ee/
Root: from
Cross Reference: TWOT - 2333
Part of Speech: n m dei
Vines Words: None

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV: Almighty 48 [Total Count: 48]

1) almighty, most powerful; 1a) Shaddai, the Almighty (of God)
God Almighty, the God who drives us face down on the floor. El Shadday is the original covenant name of God. Ann Spangler notes in her book, "Praying the Names of God," that until the time of Moses, when another name is revealed, the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) considered El Shadday to be the covenant name of God. "When we pray to El Shadday, we invoke the name of the one for whom nothing is impossible." She notes that the name is often translated "God Almighty," but can also be translated literally, "God, the Mountain One." She goes on to say... "God is seen as strong and unchanging. El Shadday reveals God not only as the one who creates and maintains the universe but who initiates and maintains the covenant with His people... The New Testament Greek term is Pantokrator, often translated 'Almighty.'"
From the Lexical Aids of the Complete Word Study Old Testament, AMG Publishers:
"Shadday appears some 48 times in Scripture, sometimes used as an epithet of Jehovah occuring with 'el, and sometimes by itself. Shadday is the pl. of majesty, like elohim (430). The Sept(uagint) has pantokrator (3841, Strong's Greek Reference) in the Pentateuch. As a divine title, Shaddai is used forty-eight times in the OT, thirty-one of which occur in the book of Job. Job might have been contemporaneous with Abraham. Shadday is used synonomously with Jehovah in Ruth 1:21 and Psalm 91:1,2. [In Genesis 17:1] God identified Himself to Abraham in this way... Perhaps God was revealing His mighty power as being something like a volcanic eruption or like the "everlasting hills." (Genesis 49:26) In other words, God is strong and unchangeable. [This commentary on the definition suggests that it does not refer to God as a "mountain god" like the Mesopotamian deities who favored mountain-top dwellings or temples - towers (ziggurats).] Exodus 3:15, 6:3 note the transition to the tetragrammaton (YHWH), Jehovah (Yahweh) when it replaced El Shadday as the covenant name of God... Jewish rabbis believed that the term meant the "One who is self-sufficient." God's covenant was moral and ethical in character, not ritualistic or orgiastic.
Can you picture God's power based on this definition? I mean - the power, the same power that created the world as we know it, that gave life to human form and all the creatures of the earth. His might can squash an army of millions, raise the dead, cast out demons, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, heaing to the deaf and speech to the mute. This power that raised Christ from the dead is El Shaddai. A God who is mighty to save, to stand for His people, fight for His church - power! Omnipotent God is our El Shaddai.
He is self-sufficient, He doesn't need us - He desires us. He doesn't have need of anything we give, He wants it from us, and He deeply wants to use His power to free us! Can you picture His power, not just in the manifestation of what it does, but in the way it passes by. Think of Moses who asks to see God's glory in Exodus 33:18 (NIV). In verse 19, God responds. "And the Lord said, I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But, he said, you cannot see my face, for no one can see my face and live." He goes on to say that He will put Moses in the cleft of the rock and cover him with his hand while His "glory passes by". He then would remove His hand and Moses would be allowed to look upon God's back. His Power. When His glory passes by, His glory is so powerful it would knock a man dead on sight. No wonder Abram fell face down before the Lord.
Psalm 29:9 tells us: "The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth, and strips the forest bare, and in His temple everyone says, 'Glory!'" (NKJV)
His voice has so much power that the deer give birth out of fear, and it sends forth an earth shaking roar. It is so powerful, it drives the forces of nature. God is all powerful, He possesses the power to do anything and everything we could ask of Him or imagine we need Him to do. He is God Almighty, our El Shaddai.

Please read the following verses of Scripture and consider what God would be saying to you about His name, El Shaddai.

Psalm 92
Praise to the Lord for His Love and Faithfulness
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day.
1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,
3 On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute, And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.
4 For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
5 O LORD, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep.

6 A senseless man does not know,
Nor does a fool understand this.
7 When the wicked spring up like grass,
And when all the workers of iniquity flourish,
It is that they may be destroyed forever.
8 But You, LORD, are on high forevermore.
9 For behold, Your enemies, O LORD,
For behold, Your enemies shall perish;
All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10 But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox;
I have been anointed with fresh oil.
11 My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies;
My ears hear my desire on the wicked
Who rise up against me.
12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Please feel free to post about this devotion on your own blog and leave a note and a link to your blog in the comments. Thanks for taking the time to allow God to speak to You and identify Himself to you by name.

1 comment:

Bev Brandon said...

You know, like you and so many of our other friends, I long to flourish as righteous but deep way down in my heart, I know that without II Thes. 1: 11, 12 I won't, I can't. May He fulfill every desire we have for righteousness...that, only God can do and how I need Him to do it this moment in my pensive life. Got your email and praying for you that His beauty word pour out through a flood of words from your tumultuous tears of past years and present day trickles. Praying for you this day. With Love, Bev