Scripture Reading: Genesis 35:1-14
“Your name is no longer Jacob, you will be called Israel.” Then God said, “I am God Almighty. Multiply and fill the earth! Become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants!” (Gen. 35:10-11 NLT)
The biblical name El-Shaddai reveals the nature and character of God. The root word El stands for God and means might, strength, and power. An article taken from the website “Hebrews for Christians” defines El-Shaddai as follows: “Jacob’s blessing given in Gen. 49:25 indicates that Shaddai might be related to the word for breasts (shadaim) indicating sufficiency and nourishment. In this case, the name might derive from the contraction of sha (who) and dai (enough) to indicate God’s complete sufficiency to nurture the fledging nation into fruitfulness.”
El-Shaddai is associated with the Hebrew patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and is used frequently in the book of Job, who was a contemporary with Abraham.
El-Shaddai as the Almighty God changed the names of both Abram to Abraham (Gen. 17:5) and Jacob to Israel (Gen. 35:10-12) reaffirming his promise to make of them mighty nations with kings as their descendants.
El-Shaddai is associated with a mountain in Ps. 121:1 where the Psalmist asks, “I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?” He answers his own question by saying, “My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!”
I love the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. To me, they speak of God’s strength, majesty, eternity, and grandeur. Walking among the trees and along the slopes provides refreshment, solitude, and peace. From the deck of my house at the seven thousand foot elevation on Fruitland Mesa in Western Colorado, with the use of binoculars, I would watch the movement of the elk and mule deer on the foothills across the way. In the evening twilight deer came down in our yard to graze. I sure do miss the mountains. Now, I have to be content with the Mo. Ozarks.
Jesus urged his followers to “flee to the hills” (Lk. 21:21) when disturbed and unsettled over difficult circumstances. In the New Testament, we often see Jesus sitting on a mountainside teaching the people, or alone on a mountain top praying to El-Shaddai.
Who do you turn to when storms of life and troubled waters appear to engulf you? If you turn to the mountains, El-Shaddai is there. No matter where you find yourself, rest assured that the Almighty God is present to give you refuge. Isn’t he someone you can trust?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to honor you name, and enter into the presence of El-Shaddai.