Knowing God by His Names ~ Almighty 5
Knowing God by His Names – 5
* Genesis 17:1-27 (read this portion of scripture)
* Key Verse: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me and be blameless’ (v. 1)
* Today’s Focus: When we study the scriptures, we first exegesis (interpret) them, then we move to application. Having a better understanding of what it says, helps greatly in the knowing how to apply it. I once read a great definition of obedience, that has stuck with me over the years… ‘obedience is having a good understanding of the instructions.’ We may not know ‘why’, but we know what it is that is commanded of us. Let’s proceed. This week, we step back 4 chapters, to a closer look at another encounter Abraham has with God expressing His character to him.
‘God Almighty’ is the translation of the Hebrew name, ‘El-Shaddai’. El coming from the root of Elohim, referring to His mighty power. Shaddai is all-sufficient, one Who nourishes, supplies, satisfies. Scholar Andrew Jukes states it this way, ‘El-Shaddai is one of the Divine titles meaning… The Pourer or Shedder forth, of blessing.’ It can also be rendered as mountain, as some manuscripts have it worded, denoting – the One of the mountain. The LORD, our El Shaddai is all powerful, (omnipotent) able to meet all our needs.
Abram is told in this verse to ‘walk before Me, and be blameless’ some translations use the term ‘perfect’, meaning ‘truth, integrity, avoiding ungodly practices – complete’. Genesis chapter 17, is an amazing moment in Abram’s life and that of the whole bible, God prefaces His statements of covenant and promises, and requirements of obedience with (I paraphrase) ‘I AM All Sufficient, to satisfy and supply all you will need. Now, live in that… completeness!’ Paul says of God, in 2 Cor. 12:9 ‘My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.‘ Now see James 1:4 ‘and let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,’ thus having the character of Christ in you. If we too are to know God as “Almighty’ able to fulfill His purposes and promises in us, we will fall on our faces, (v.3) in reverence of Who He is…then arise in obedience as Abraham did. As we walk (a metaphor for life) in what is called of us… we choose to invite His Spirit, His enabling, His power… thus we are complete, (Eph. 3:20). God also says… ‘walk before …ME’ – not worrying how we are going to impress others… or be concerned with the opinions of others… our lives are to be walked and taken notice of…. to the audience of …One. All other concerns will be taken care of.
Look at verses 4-7, Abram’s name (meaning… exalted father) is changed to ‘Abraham’ meaning father of many. Isaac isn’t even born at this time, whom the promise of ‘many nations’ will come. Again God prefacing He is ‘All-Sufficient’, able to fulfill the ‘I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you…’ I will… it is not of Abrahams’ doing, but God’s.
Study Questions: Thought Provoking Questions
1. How did Abraham show that he believed God? (see v. 3, and 23), how can we apply this example to our own lives?
2. When did Abraham’s obedience take place? (v. 23)
3. When we pray to El Shaddai, we invoke the name of the One for Whom nothing is impossible. What impossible task are you facing that you can apply His name to?
4. What is one significant promise God Almighty has made in His word that applies to your situation? Have you done your part in obeying?
5. Thinking now that Abraham was 99 when God made this covenant with Him, and declared He was all-sufficient… what does that mean to you?
6. Does your life give an honest testimony of being wholly dedicated to the will of God, and walking in fellowship with Him?
In Him, DeDe