As scripture teaches, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1. To know the word is to know God, for “He is”. In the first part we discussed God as EloHim, El Elyon and as El Roi. In this article we continue discussing God’s name according to His attributes, character and nature.
4) El Shaddai (The All-Sufficient one): God revealed Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai at Abrahams 90th birthday during which He also changed his name from Abrams to Abrahams. God said to Abram, “I am Almighty God; walk before me and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between Me and you, and you will multiply exceedingly” Genesis 17:1-2. On hearing this Abram “fell on his face” , Genesis 17:3.
El as previously discussed in part one means power or might and is always attributed to God. The translation for Shaddai is not as clear in its meaning amongst scholars. One view leans towards a definition of God in His might and power as seen in His judgments. Another view sees it to mean “the pourer or shedder forth, that is of blessings, temporal and spiritual—”. Both views, in my opinion manifest God as Almighty.
On the one hand, God is experienced as mighty and powerful and able to and does exercise judgments. On the other hand God is experienced as a Father who pours forth to His creations; who has, “shed forth His Spirit” to His people . Abraham needed to experience God as El Shaddai, for at 90 years and Sarah 89 years, they had no children of their own despite God‘s promise to bless them with an heir.
God established a covenant with Abrams and called him Abraham, which means father of nations. God then promised to make Abraham and his descendants extremely fruitful as well as promising that nations and kings would come from him. God went further to allocate the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants “as an everlasting possession” Genesis 17: 5-8. All God expected of Abraham was for him and his descendants to keep his covenant with God, Genesis 17:9-14.
God wants us to know Him as El shaddai and to trust Him with our weaknesses and failures. He works through our weaknesses to reveal His power and establish Himself as the Almighty God. All He expects of us is obedience to His word as revealed in the scriptures and made clear by the Holy Spirit living in us. It is not possible in the natural for a man of 90years and a woman of 89 years to bear children, yet with El Shaddai nothing is impossible.
No matter what you may be going through or what you think is impossible either because of your physical limitation or financial burden, let El Shaddai be true to His name. If you need a place of refuge and cannot get it in the world, run to El Shaddai whose might will shield you against your adversity. If what you need is impossible in the eyes of men, run to El Shaddai for He pours out His being in our weaknesses and makes the impossible, possible.
5) Adonai (the Lord)- Most people have no problem submitting to God by His name as Lord or master. Somehow we find it fitting to call Him Lord and it is the first way most people know God as. Even Abraham, before He knew God as El Shaddai he referred to God as “lord”. God appeared to Abram (later Abrahams) in a vision saying “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. But Abram said, Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go Childless—” Genesis 15: 1-2.
A lord is a master over all your doing. What you owe your allegiance to is your Lord. Paul writes “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom to obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? —having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” Roman 6: 16,18.
To know God as your Lord is to obey Him and live your life according to His will. It is a relationship where you are a servant and He is Lord to whom you submit to and He takes care of you in all ways. Jesus said that “ not everyone who says to me , Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My father in heaven” Mathew 7: 2. To know God as Lord is to submit to His will and to obey His word.
Moses was denied entry into the promised land because he disobeyed God’s word and King Saul was also rejected as King because he disobeyed God’s instructions. Abram was considered a man of faith because he first acknowledged God as his Lord and then he knew Him as El Shaddai, the all sufficient God who cared for him and met all his needs and protected him against his enemies. Do you know God as your Lord and master? Examine your ways and you will come to a truthful answer.
6) Jehovah, Yahweh (The Self Existent One): This is the name of God most frequently used in the Old Testament. The name is derived from the Hebrew root meaning “to be, to become”. This is the part that those who do not believe in God struggle with. They ask, “who made God“, “Where did He come from?”. His name Jehovah or Yahweh answers this question for He is the self-existent Creator who was, is, and will be.
Everything that came into being is from the self existent God who spoke and brought the universe into being. God identified Himself to Moses with this name when sending Moses to deliver the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Moses wanted to know what to tell the children of Israel concerning the name of the one who sent him. God responded by saying “I AM WHO I AM.—Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you” Exodus 3: 14.
God was emphasizing that He was the self existent one and in Him there is everything and anything we may need for existence. He is the Alpha and Omega of our being and neither does He change, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. God reassuring Isaiah says, “ Before me there was no God formed. Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord. And besides me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; —Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of my hand; I work, and who will reverse it?” Isaiah 43: 11-13.
When you know God as Jehovah you get the reassurance that there is nothing to fear for fear is not of God. God will take care of you and He will deliver you out of any trouble. He is not like man to change is mind and His promises are yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. The God who resurrected Christ on the third day is still the Lord of resurrection. If you have dreams that need to be resurrected He is.