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El Shaddai

April 16, 2008

I am working my way through a great Bible Study right now by Kay Arthur called, “LORD, I Want To Know You.”  It is all about the names of God and learning how to apply them to your prayer life.  I have really enjoyed it and am learning more about my God everyday.  That is the best part.

So, today’s chapter was about El Shaddai.  Amy Grant wrote a song called “El Shaddai” a long time ago, but I remember singing with her on the radio and wondering what it really meant.  It means a lot & the meaning is something that us moms can really relate to.

There has been some discussion as to how El Shaddai is to be interpreted.  Many interpret it to say “All Sufficient One” and that can work.  I know that knowing that God is all sufficient and there is no problem that I will ever have that is to big for him brings me great peace.  I have experienced his sufficiency many times in my life.  He was sufficient when I rolled my suburban and totalled it with my 6 kids in it with me.  He was sufficient when I was in the pit of despair and depression…He never left me.  He was sufficient when we lost our family business and had to start all over.  He was sufficient when I lost our baby.  I can go on & on & on telling you the times that my God has been All Sufficient in my life.

We first knew God as El Shaddai in Genesis 17 when he spoke to Abraham.  He was Abram at that time and God promised Abram that he would be the father of many nations.  God told him, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations.  No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name will be Abraham.”

Abraham needed to know God as El Shaddai…he was 99 years old and his wife was 89 and here was God telling him that he would be the father of many nations.  Talk about a crisis of belief!  How would you feel if you were 60 years old and God said that you were going to be the mother of many nations!  AHHH!  But, Abraham believed it; because he knew God as El Shaddai.

Back  to the meaning of El ShaddaiEL is one of the oldest and most widely known terms of Diety.  We have Elim, Elohim, Eloah.  The El stand for “might” or “power”.  But the translation of Shaddai is not as clear in its meaning.  Then I read a description by Andrew Jukes in his book, The Names of God.  He words this better than I have ever seen before & it totally changed my view of the neame El Shaddai

He said that “Shaddai” describes power, but not the forceful or violent power, but of bountifulness.  “Shaddai” primarily means “Breasted”, and is formed directly from the Hebrew word Shad, that means “the breast”, or more specifically, “woman’s breast”.  He goes on to tell how from these roots “Shaddai” gives the meaning of Thr Pourer or Shedder Forth. 

Think about it.  When our babies are crying, how do we satisfy them?  With our breast.  I know that when my babies were nursing, nothing would quiet them down faster than to put them to my breast & let them nurse.  The baby cannot be satisfied with my food, it isn’t old enough, she must have my milk.  Even if she isn’t hungry, but maybe sleepy or just fussy, nursing always quieted down the baby.  I gave of myself to my baby to satisfy her with what she needed.

This is what El Shadaai means.  God pour HImself into us.  He dwells within us.  He sustains us in this way.  God gave of Himself to Abram, and then Abram gives himself to God, and by God is made fruitful. 

When we allow God to fill us with His Holy Spirit, to be our El Shaddai, then we will have a natural outpouring of God to others.  We will love others with a God ordained love, we will bless others and encourage others and God can use us to His Glory and purpose. He takes us from fruitless to fruitful and usable to His Glory!

I thought that was totally cool!!  That is what I want…don’t you?  I want El Shaddai to pour Himself into me, to fill me with His life and love.  I want to be a outpouring of Him into the lives of my children and others that I am around.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says,  “And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distress, with persecutions, with dificulties, for Christs sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Do I hear an AMEN??? :o)

Paul knew El Shaddai.  He understood that on his own he can do nothing and that anything he did accomplish was only through the power of El Shaddai.  I know El Shaddai.  I have experienced him in ways that it is hard to put into words.  I have cried out to him recently and felt His sufficiency and strength as He pours Himself into me.

Do you know El Shaddai?  He longs for you to know him as “All sufficient”…as El Shaddai.  He wants to be your El Shaddai”!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2008 11:44 am

    We’ve been studying Abraham for school. I’m reading a novel called The Long Journey to the kids, and I read a novel myself by Ellen Gunderson Traylor. The one I read followed the biblical account more closely. I wish I had read that one to the kids instead of the other one, but they both help to make the story and characters come alive. I just tell the kids when I think the author missed it. But it really brought home to me how much God is doing similar things in our lives as He did with Abraham. And his crisis of faith was similar to my husband’s. Sometimes I get frustrated that my husband doesn’t seem as strong as he should be, and I feel like I have to carry more than I should have to. But God is really dealing with me about judging and thinking more highly of myself than I ought. He also has given me some glimpses of what my husband goes through and how he feels. That has helped a lot.
    Our faith means so much to God. And our obedience is a demonstration of our faith. Faith and obedience are really the same thing. They both demonstrate our love for Him.

    He has been speaking, “My grace is sufficient for you” to me a lot today. I know I sure need it. Sometimes I think I’m the grumpiest, most selfish person around. But His grace is sufficient. I will be sweet and loving and serve my family willingly today – with His help!


  2. Anna permalink
    April 17, 2008 8:45 pm

    Amen !!!!! Amen!!!!!
    Thanks again Dana, for you don’t know how “El Shaddai” has been in my thoughts, day and night. I now have a clearer understanding of the meaning…….funny though I didn’t even realize that I needed to really grasp the meaning!!! I recently purchased the song and have been thanking God by saying El Shaddai is my source!!!!Through your words God has spoken to me!!!!!!
    Penny, your words were for me too!!! I have felt exactly as you have concerning your husband. God too has been showing me and speaking to me about ” taking the thorn out of my eye,first before I try to HELP my husband take the thorn out of his eye” God bless you both for sharing your thoughts, and bible studies with us.

  3. February 19, 2009 9:59 pm

    I would like to know if any of you ladies have received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost like is recorded in the book of Acts? This is the power of God as well as being a teacher, a comforter and the rest that the weary can enter into,Isaiah:28,vs.11,12. The Lord Jesus just before He ascended back into heaven told His desciples to go to Jerusalem and tarry until they receive power from on high

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