Jun 11, 2008

Reflection: “Shaddai: God, the Almighty”

According to Strong's, Shaddai means “almighty, most powerful.”1 Further, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia notes that Shaddai occurs both with “El” or without. El Shaddai is rendered “God Almighty,” while Shaddai is translated simply “Almighty” though the root is uncertain.2

A study of the Old Testament title of God, Shaddai, demonstrates an understanding that God is able to bless and prosper. He is also able to give directions that are to be followed. In Genesis 17.1 we find the first instance of the use “Shaddai” when God directs Abram to walk before Him and be blameless. He also makes a covenant with Abram, changing Abram's name to Abraham. Under this title, God is able to direct, make a covenant and change a person's name.

God, likewise, gives directions in Genesis 35.11 under the title “God Almighty,” or “El Shaddai.” In several other places within Genesis God is shown to give favor, mercy, blessing and to prosper. In Genesis 49.25 He is simply referred to a Shaddai, or Almighty: by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above...”3 God is referred to as Almighty in Numbers 24.4 and 24.16 and as God Almighty in Exodus 6.3.

Reflecting on what this means in application, it is clear that He is able to bless, prosper and grant mercy. However, God Almighty is more of a title than a name. In Exodus 6.2-3 (ESV), God says, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.”4 He became more personal in revealing His name over His title. As time progressed, Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant and He was revealed as the incarnation of “God Almighty” or El Shaddai. Jesus is the pinnacle of God's attributes presented in the flesh. He is able to bless, prosper, grant mercy and demonstrate who God is to the world in a tangible fashion. Jesus is also able to change a name: Simon became Peter (Mark 3.16, John 1.42) by Christ's directive.

Finally, Jesus has all authority on the earth (Matthew 28.18) and has been called our “all in all” (Colossians 3.11 ESV). With Jesus Christ the Almighty, we have the ability to be taken care of and given direction on what to do to follow God according to His will.

1Resource: Strong's Concordance on StudyLight.org, http://www.studylight.org/isb/view.cgi?number=07706

2Resource: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia on StudyLight.org, http://www.studylight.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?word=ALmighty&search.x=0&search.y=0&search=Lookup&action=Lookup

3 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S. Ge 49:25

4 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S. Ex 6:2-3

No comments: