God Is El Shaddai – The Names of God

Preached To The Saints at Riverview Baptist August 7, 2016

I like the old television shows, those produced when t.v. had a conscience. I was watching one of those old shows on Netflix the other day – the Dick Van Dyke Show – when I noticed it was written, produced, and directed by Carl Reiner.

The show was made in the ’60s, and I thought at first Reiner might be deal. So I looked up Carl Reiner. Reiner not only produced Dick Van Dyke, he also produced a number of other comedies. He has won 15 Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and was elected to the Emmy Hall Of Fame and the Television Hall of Fame. When asked about God, Reiner said:

I am a Jewish Atheist. I have a very different take on who God is.
Man invented God because he needed him. God is us.”

How sad that is. Carl Reiner has been given everything by God. God made him “fearfully and wonderfully”. God gives us life. God gives us talent. “It is He that made us, and not we ourselves”. With all his fame Reiner, now 94, is looking backward over a wonderful career. But what of eternity? The Atheist has no belief that there is a tomorrow beyond this. This life is all you get. Carl – if he leaves this life without Christ – will regret forever his decision.

Carl Reiner’s God is Himself
Many are like Reiner, whether they acknowledge this or not

The following are quotes from the late Chuck Colson. He noted that a Fifth Grade Social Studies book stated …

“Today, when people lose their jobs, they can get some money from the government.” A few pages later the book says, “Today, families who do not have enough money for food can get money from the government.” And a few pages later we read, “Today families who cannot afford to pay their rent can get help from the government.”

Quoting a Junior High Civics Textbook he read:

“People were no longer content to live as their forefathers had lived. They wanted richer, fuller lives. They wanted the government to help make their lives rich and full.”

Our Children are being taught that The Government is God

The Government is limited. Politicians have promised to balance the budget since the 70’s, but we go more and more in debt every day. Governments rise and fall. People, no matter how talented they are, rise and fall. But God is forever. He is not a figment of our imagination. He was not created by man. God created us. It is His design we see all about us. And it is God Who made us.

God is El Shaddai, the God of All Provision

In His Name El Shaddai God declares that He is able to fix the broken. The first time this name of God is mentioned is to Abram, the model of faith. Turn with me to Genesis 17.

Read Together Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

I want you to pay careful attention to this text, for God said three things to Abram:

1. I Am The Almighty God (אֵל שַׁדַּי El Shaddai).
2. You Are To “Walk Before Me” (פָּנִים paniym, literally “In My Presence”).
3. You “Are To Be Perfect” (תָּמִים tamiym, to be “Whole” or “Complete”).

Let’s look at these three statements from our Creator God.

1 The God Of Our Bible – The God Who Came To Abram – Is The Almighty God, the El Shaddai. Each Name that God gives us for Himself tells us something about Himself. Abram is 99 years old, long past child bearing years. For 24 years he has trusted the promise of God. Why did God wait so long before giving Abram a child?

Because God reveals Himself to us in our brokenness.

I agree with Reiner that we need God, but we did not invent God because we needed Him.

God is always there but we often do not know Him as He really is until we are in a state of complete surrender. C.H. Spurgeon said:

Whether we know him as Jehovah, Elohim, Shaddai, or Lord, or by whatsoever other name he has been pleased to manifest himself, that title becomes the ground of our confidence, and is the means of fostering faith in his people’s minds, when they come to understand its meaning. To a trembling people the Lord enlarges on his wonderful names. I think he also does it to excite our wonder and our gratitude. He that loves us so much as Jehovah: he that can create and destroy; he that is the self-existent God; he, even he, has set his heart upon his people, and loves them and counts them precious in his sight. It is a marvelous thing. The more one thinks of it, the more shall he be overwhelmed with astonishment, that he who is everything should love us who are less than nothing. It is the Holy One who has deigned to choose, and to love unholy men, and to look upon them in grace, and save them from their sins. That you may bow low in loving gratitude, God lets you see who He is.”

God was God Almighty, El Shaddai, long before Abram walked the earth, and He will be El Shaddai long after Abram leaves this earth as Abraham. He is El Shaddai. This name means that God is the “All Sufficient Provider”.

He is all that we need, all that we should need … yet there are too many who chase after happiness and satisfaction without Him. Our God is able to overcome any obstacle, any threat, anything whatsoever. He will provide for those who are His.

When Isaac (the son that Abraham would have) blessed Jacob (the grandson that Abraham would have) before he left home Isaac told him:

Genesis 28:1-3 (ESV)…. You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. 2 Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3 GOD ALMIGHTY {EL SHADDAI} bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a {multitude} of peoples.

In essence Isaac was saying: “Do not try and find a blessing from among the unbelievers. Seek your blessing from El Shaddai Who alone can prosper you as He prospered Abraham”. We can hunt among the lost of this world for blessing, but true and everlasting blessing can only come through El Shaddai, our Almighty God.

When God changed Jacob from a weasel to a prince of God at Bethel the Lord told him:

Genesis 35:10-11 (NASB) God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel. 11 God also said to him, I am God Almighty {El Shaddai}; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you.

All of Jacob’s tricks brought him prosperity, but every trick also came with cursing. He had alienated his brother Esau and his uncle Laban. But now God came to a crippled Jacob, a broken man, and promised that He would lift him up and help him. From Jacob would come Israel. Jacob would call on El Shaddai once more (see Genesis 43:14) when famine was in the land. He would send his sons to Egypt, not knowing that Joseph was the Prince of Egypt. El Shaddai had placed Joseph in that place in order to bring blessing on Israel, and to change his little family into the nation promised Abraham.

In the Book of Ruth – truly a Book of Blessing – Naomi loses her husband and Ruth her husband, who was Naomi’s son. Naomi was destitute. Naomi says to Ruth:

Ruth 1:20-21 (KJV) And she said …. Call me not Naomi (which means “Pleasant”), call me Mara (which means “Bitter”): for the Almighty (El Shaddai) hath dealt very bitterly with me. [21] I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD (Yahweh) hath testified against me, and the Almighty (El Shaddai) hath afflicted me?

Naomi was saying what many people often say when life gets hard. “El Shaddai let me down”. Yet God did not let Naomi down. God left Naomi was a great daughter in law named Ruth, and God sent Boaz to Ruth and Naomi to care for them both.

God is faithful to His people. God provides for His children. The Bible promises:

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

2 El Shaddai Told Abram “You Are To Walk Before Me”.

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Word Study When you read the command that God gave Abram “Walk Before Me” you may not understand it. The Hebrew word (פָּנִים paniym) literally means Abide In My Presence”. In fact, the Hebrew is reflexive, and is best translated “You yourself abide in My Presence”. To receive the blessing of El Shaddai, live your life as if God IS El Shaddai. There are many people who SAY they believe God can meet their needs, but God is often the LAST Person they turn to. God will not take second place. The Bible tells us:

James 1:2-7 (NASB) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

When tried do you immediately doubt El Shaddai? God never said there would be no trials – He just said that He was El Shaddai whether trials came or not.

When trials come our way (and they will) they are but tests to strengthen us, tests to let us see whether our reliance is on El Shaddai or on ourselves or some other lesser god. The times change. Things happen. God is still El Shaddai, still our provider.

It is fear and a misunderstanding that God is ALWAYS El Shaddai that leads us to do the WRONG thing. Rest in El Shaddai. Trust Him. He has said …

Jeremiah 32:27 (KJV) Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

There is nothing that our El Shaddai cannot do. When God asks us to walk before Him, it is not because God needs our help. It is because

God wants to bless us, to show us His Power and His Might
He wants to show us how He loves us and will provide for us against all odds

God came to Rebekah (Abraham’s future Daughter in Law), the mother of Jacob and Esau, and told her:

Genesis 25:23 (NASB) The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”

El Shaddai did not ask for her help in this matter. He would bring this to pass. So what happens?

  • Father Isaac sends Esau out for meat and promises that he will give him the blessing when he returns.
  • Rebekah, not understanding that God is El Shaddai, decides she must tell lies and teach Jacob to tell lies, too.
  • Jacob covered in sheepskin creeps in to his blind father, and lying, tells Isaac that he is Esau.
  • Esau returns and finds out that his family has betrayed him, and the blessing has been stolen by his brother

God is not honored in any of this.

God is not glorified when man in his foolish and feeble way tries to help out El Shaddai.

God can keep the Ark from falling off the ox cart without Uzzah’s hand. When we try to help God, when we do not walk before Him and accept Him as He is then we bring death to ourselves, to our dreams, to our family, to our friends.

  • It was the will of God that Nineveh be evangelized, that Christ be preached among the lowest of the low. El Shaddai decreed it. But Jonah decided he knew better than El Shaddai and thus he ran. He ran and ran until he found himself in the belly of a fish. Then he repented, and agreed (howbeit sullenly) to do as El Shaddai said he should do. God could have killed Jonah and killed another, but loved Jonah enough to use his broken life to bring other broken lives to Him. When Jonah asked why El Shaddai cared for Nineveh the Lord told him:

Jonah 4:11 (NASB) Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand ….

Those who “do not know their right hand from their left” are children.

There were 120,000 children in Nineveh, little broken babies the Lord wanted to save.

El Shaddai doesn’t tell us WHY or ASK US PERMISSION, He just says “walk before Me knowing I am El Shaddai. Live your life knowing that I am El Shaddai, and that what I ask you to do is for your good and for My glory”.

Our Great God put it this way when He walked the earth. He said:

John 15:4-8 (KJV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. [5] I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. [6] If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. [7] If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. [8] Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

When we abide in God our Savior we bear much fruit. But if we do not abide in Him we take ourselves out of the shadow of El Shaddai. We cease bearing fruit. We become cast forth as a branch, withered, and MEN gather us up and cast them into the fire. HOW MANY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS DOES THIS DESCRIBE?

How many times have the children of El Shaddai trust a politician over Himself? And how many times HAVE WE BEEN BURNED? WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN? WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?

Quit listening to the flesh, to the world, to the chatter of darkness. Walk before El Shaddai, be in His Presence. He has said:

Job 5:19-27 (ESV) {El Shaddai} will deliver you from six troubles; in seven no evil shall touch you. 20 In famine he will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. 21 You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes. 22 At destruction and famine you shall laugh, and shall not fear the beasts of the earth. 23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you. 24 You shall know that your tent is at peace, and you shall inspect your fold and miss nothing. 25 You shall know also that your offspring shall be many, and your descendants as the grass of the earth. 26You shall come to your grave in ripe old age, like a sheaf gathered up in its season. 27 Behold, this we have searched out; it is true. Hear, and know it for your good.”

God tells Abram “walk before Me, your El Shaddai. Trust Me. You are my Child. I have got your back!”

3 God Tells Abram “You Are To Be Perfect”.

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

The word “Perfect” is the Hebrew (תָּמִים tamiym) which means “to be “Whole” or “Complete”.

When I first read that I said “whoa God. Perfect? I’m broken. How can I be “Perfect”?” But that’s not what God is saying. He’s saying “be complete IN ME. Find your COMPLETION in Me”. I could preach a whole sermon just on those words. In the morning sessions we have been studying in Colossians. Do you remember studying this?

Colossians 2:8-10 (KJV) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

We are “complete in Him”. We find our fulness “in Him, in Christ”. Jesus told the Pharisees:

John 8:56 (KJV) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

When El Shaddai spoke to Abram it was Jesus Christ Who spoke. We are complete in Christ. Our sins are covered completely in Christ. We are forgiven in Christ. In Christ we bear much fruit. In Christ, the El Shaddai, we are blessed. Our Jesus told us:

Matthew 5:48 (KJV) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

How can I be perfect. I cannot by myself. I cannot be complete by myself. But I can in Christ. When I come to Christ and believe on Him God counts that for righteousness. Let’s look back at our Genesis text. Abram is standing before El Shaddai.

Genesis 17:3-5 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, [4] As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. [5] Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

Abram stopped trying to be El Shaddai. Knowing he was broken Abram “fell on his face before God”. He surrendered. He rested in God. And once he rested in God then El Shaddai was free to bless him. Abram waited 24 years for this blessing.

Surrendered he went from Abram to Abraham
Willing he went from “High Father” to “Father of Many Nations”

God is El Shaddai, but God cannot bless you while you are trying to be your own god. You cannot make your own Isaac. Only Christ can bless you. Only Christ can make you complete. And you will not be complete while you are standing belligerent and demanding before God. You and I are but dust. Cast yourselves into the hand of El Shaddai.Do as He says. Let His Word be your life.

We who have believed on Him are Kings and Priests in His Kingdom – but we are not the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Live for Him. Love through Him. Let others see Jesus in you. That is, IF Jesus is in you. Let His love shine through you. That is, IF Jesus is in you. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-48 (KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Love the unlovable, just as El Shaddai loves you and I when we were and still are unlovable. That is, IF Jesus is in you. For if God has not changed you from Abram to Abraham, then you are still Abram, listening to your Sarai rather than your Savior. Is Jesus in you? Is Jesus in you? Has He marked you as His own? If not, today would be a great day to get on your face, and seek El Shaddai.

Oh how He loves you and me.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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