Continuing our ‘Names of God’ study, we are looking at Almighty (Shaddai). The power in which God is and operates is ‘beyond’ in the sense as ‘overpower’ (All-powerful) thus the title, God is ‘Almighty.’ There is one particular Psalm that when read, folks declare it their favorite: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty [Shaddai]. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (91:1-2, ESV) Beautiful!
When reading this Psalm it is most helpful to place it and the author on the historical timeline. Scholars believe it was written by Moses, composed sometime between the wilderness and the Promised Land. Knowing this helps paint the picture of Moses’ heart. He wrote in Deuteronomy that their God led them “through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.” (8:15) It was the Presence of God that protected and provided for them; Moses speaks of the same protection here in Psalm 91.
He is very careful in his directness, he doesn’t dance around or imply they run to God at times and enjoy occasional approaches – they DWELL. Dwelling (in short) means to ‘sit’ – sit as to stay, not be moved, it is our unwavering presence in THE Presence (of God). Moses doesn’t let up – he continues that as we dwell, we also abide. Abiding is the secure and peaceful rest of living close to God. It is HERE, we experience the All-Powerful, God Almighty! HERE that He is beyond all! HERE we are protected! And here, we can say “He is my refuge, my fortress, my God in Whom I trust.” Folks, it literally is a cycle, we stay – we experience God is.
Whether we are in a dry desert place or stepping foot into our proposed Promised Land, may we remember to DWELL, staying put in the Presence of God Almighty.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
Continuing our ‘Names of God’ study, we look to Genesis 17:1, where we see God identifying Himself to Abram, “I am God Almighty, walk before Me and be blameless.” God (El) Almighty (Shaddai) a divine title used only 8 times in the O.T. and ‘Almighty’ used 40 times, 31 of those in Job alone (When Job questions God’s purposes, God displays His wisdom & power, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?” 40:2, DUDE!). Each time a new name of God appears we are to take notice, it reveals His nature, character, and majesty. In the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Bible) it translates ‘Shaddai’ as ‘all powerful’ and according to rabbinic teaching, it is a compound word ‘sha’ (who) and ‘dai’ (enough) One Who is enough … All-Sufficient One. Many scholars deem the ‘power’ in which God is and operates is ‘beyond’ in the sense as ‘overpower’ thus the title ‘Almighty.’
Interesting point, in the same chapter that God introduces Himself as God Almighty, (‘All-Powerful Sufficient One’) God changes Abram’s name to Abraham (‘father of many’) and Sarai to Sarah (‘woman of nobility’). New character quality-name introductions all around. Peter declares this of us, that we too have a character quality-name change, when he said, you who believe, (and as Paul says, “you who were once far off, have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” – Eph. 2:13) you who through adoptive grace “are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.” (1 Peter 2:9*) God’s gracious great power through Jesus! We are HIS!
THAT is our God! Over… Beyond… ENOUGH!
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
* Peter is making reference to God’s words: “Now if you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:5-6)