El Shaddai

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El Shaddai

Lesson 7

Do you believe nothing is impossible for God?

In the OT 48 times

El Shaddai = God Almighty

Been looking at Genesis the first time a different name of God appears.  This one in Gen. 17

God’s conversation with Abe just 1 year before he becomes a daddy


El Shaddai is actually 2 names for God put together

El = from Elohim  (sometimes God is simply called El -  Deut. 3:24; Ps 77:14)

We saw from Elohim that God can speak nature into existence.

With Shaddai, we will see that He can cause nature to do what is contrary to itself.  As El Shaddai, a see can part, the sun can stop,

It’s El Shaddai that comes to a 99 year old man who will make him a father.

El says God is All Powerful

He can make a sea, divide a sea.  Make a sun, make a sun stand still.  Send His son as an embryo,  raise that crucifed Son from the dead

He can do anything He wants consistent with His nature

El Shaddai is the Name that connects God’s Mightiness with His Nurturing Goodness

-found 48 times - always translated “Almighty”

Shaddai comes from “shad” - (found 24 times in OT) - translated “breast” specifically a mother’s breast

-Hence, God is the nurturing sustenance who will take care of us

OT  describes many times His kindness is described as a “nursing mother”

In the midst of all the idolatry (many had idols loaded with breasts), God says, “I am the One who nourishes”.

LXX                                    - “sufficient”      God is All-Sufficient

El Shaddai is bountiful, self-sacrificing love.  Giving and pouring Himself out for His beloved.

He is the God who empties Himself for His beloved...


Pagans say “Our god is almighty”, meaning he can destroy and conquer.  Hebrews said “He is our Sustainer”

-He is the source of all our blessings

What does this mean to me?

1.         His name is a call to Faithfulness

When we first see the name, Abram is to the point he knows he can never become a Father on His own.

-Remember, when God first called Abram and said he would become a daddy, Abram believe that he was going to be able to do that himself.  That’s why he went along with Sarai and Hagar.

Now he is 99 yrs. old.  No longer does he have that power.  At this time God says, “I am El Shaddai.  I am able to provide for all your needs.”

....”you don’t need your plans, your strategies, your handmaids... all you need is Me!”

-... consequently :5   --- and notice, God didn’t say “I will make you a father of many nations”, but “I have made you....”

Abe had a choice.  Same as us.   Not if he was going to believe IN God, but if he was going to BELIEVE GOD.

There is a huge difference.

We don’t struggle with believing IN God.  We struggle with God making these incredible statements and whether or not I am going to believe Him.

Abram’s struggle.  Is he going to go back to camp and address these folks who have known him for 99 years and say, “my name is no longer Abram, just call me Abraham - father of many”

Can you imagine what the people thought when he went back to camp and told them he had a new name?

Abram’s choice... is he going to believe God?

That is OUR choice.

-Does the world see you living these promises of El Shaddai, when the world thinks they are foolish promises?

ILLUS.  The impala.  Can jump incredibly high.  But zoos keep them in with a small fence.  Why?  Because an impala will not jump when he cannot see where he is going to land.

He has no faith.  A little bitty wall keeps him in.

Many of us live this way.

Matt. 6:31ff 

-When we worry, fret, are anxious.  We say to the world, “I don’t know El Shaddai”.  My God is too small.  When we know El Shaddai, we don’t live like we still wear the old name.

God says if we are going to use the name El Shaddai, then we better believe Him.  And live like people who believe Him.

2.         It’s a call to Fruitfulness

            “I will make you very fruitful”

Abe taught his children, they taught theirs

Gen 28:3  note the reference to fruitful

Gen. 35:11    Jacob -

Gen. 48:3-4  Jacob says to Joseph

Gen. 49:22-25

Patriarchs taught their children they survived because El Shaddai would make them fruitful.

El Shaddai knows your potential.  He knows the fruit than can come out of your life.  He is willing to work in your life to make it happen.

NOTE:             Answering the call from El Shaddai, sometimes means submitting to chastening

Ruth 1:20-21 Ruth had followed her husband to a foreign land (possible against God’s will).  Has now returned without husband or child.

God was able to make her fruitful.

John 15:1-8

3 Questions

1.         Do you believe that since El Shaddai is all powerful, He can provide whatever you need to be fruitful?  Or do you say, “That’s just the way I am”

2.         Do you believe that since El Shaddai is all sufficient that all you really need to do is abide in Him?  Or are you tempted to do your own thing?

3.         Are you willing to be pruned so you can experience God as El Shaddai?

48 times in OT is name.  31 times in Job!

Do you want to find out that all you need is God?

Do you want to find out if you can really be fruitful?

It might mean that you will be pruned and chastened by the Almighty.

The people who knew El Shaddai had been in the pit.  And they found out that the Almighty could sustain.

God wants you to know him as the One who will sustain you completely.

Things we learn:

A.        We cannot His sufficiency until we acknowledge our own insufficiency.

            That’s why God took so long before Abram had a son.

He (and we) to learn that what God promises, only God can give.

B.         We cannot receive from His fullness until we are Empty of ourselves.

This is one of the reasons El Shaddai prunes us.

(maybe has silent prayer acknowledging one area of unfruitfulness and ask El Shaddai to fill that area)

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