September 25, 2017

El Shaddai

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

El Shaddai, El Shaddai
El-Elyon na Adonai
Age to age You’re still the same
By the power of the Name
El Shaddai, El Shaddai
Erkamka na Adonai
We will praise and lift You high, El Shaddai

Through Your love and through the ram
You saved the son of Abraham
Through the power of Your hand
Turned the sea into dry land
To the outcast on her knees
You were the God who really sees
And by Your might
You set Your children free

Through the years You made it clear
That the time of Christ was near
Though the people failed to see
What Messiah ought to be
Though Your Word contained the plan
They just could not understand
Your most awesome work was done
Through the frailty of Your Son

Michael Card
written along with John Thompson

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We are most identified by characteristics and names that identify who we are.  For example, who I am—Coleen—can be described in many ways: wife, mom, tata (grandmother), daughter, sister, friend, worshipper, singer, baker, writer, pray-er, crafter, lover, listener, etc.  But The Great I AM has described Himself throughout the Scriptures with many names—Yahweh (YHWH), ELohim, Adonai, LORD, Jehovah, JAH, EL Shaddai….  I believe He has used these (and additional) names to graciously help us to understand more of His character.  The Great I AM makes Himself known to us through the words of His Word, as well as through His Creation, through His Spirit, through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, through the words of the prophets—in oh so many ways!

One of my most favorite characteristics of I AM is that He IS God AlmightyEl Shaddai.  Hearing this name brings comfort and peace to my heart!  The fact and truth that Almighty God/El Shaddai loves me (and you, too!) and perfectly provides His care, provision, protection, supply of my (your!) needs is so thrilling to my soul!  The most common understanding of the title El Shaddai is “God Who is Almighty.”  There are 48 times in the Scriptures where God calls Himself by the name El Shaddai.  Let’s look at just a couple of these records.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old,
the Lord appeared to him and said,
I AM the Almighty God <El Shaddai>;
walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect.
Genesis 17:1

This is the very first record in the Scriptures where I AM identifies Himself in this way.  God Almighty/El Shaddai was about to reveal to Abram a part of the covenant He was making with him.  And this is where He promises the 99 year old Abram that he and his 90 year old wife, Sarai, would be having a son!!!  This is such a beautiful record!  (You can read the complete record here.)  Only El Shaddai could have made an eternal covenant such as this.  Only El Shaddai could have made a deadened womb to nurture life and bring forth a baby.  Only El Shaddai — God Almighty!

Another occurrence where the Great I AM is called by the title El Shaddai is in Psalm 91.  The psalmist declares,

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty <El Shaddai>.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalms 91: 1-2

Perhaps you, too, rejoice in your heart of hearts that El Shaddai, Who is the Great I AMloves and cares for you in the very same ways He has always cared for His people.  He is God and He does not change.

Would you share here in the comments below about this characteristic (or a different one) of the Great I AM that is important to you?  I would love to hear about it! 

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Almighty God,  El Shaddai, we praise You and thank You and love You with our whole hearts!   You always show Yourself mighty on behalf of Your children!  You are our Refuge and our Fortress—our God in Whom we trust!   May we always be cognizant of Who You are…the Great I AM.  May we be excited to read of and to remember Your awesome acts and works that are recorded in the Scriptures.  May they ever and always encourage us to never doubt You, El Shaddai—You never change!  ‘Erkamka na, Adonai!’  Praying in Your Son, Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Erkamka na, Adonai! ~ translated~ I love You, Lord!

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

When darkness seems to veil His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His throne

Sovereign Grace Music
Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

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We use the word ‘hope’ often in our daily lives.  We hope it’s a sunny day, we hope there are good sales when we go to the grocery store, we hope we sleep well at night.  There’s also the more serious hopes.  We hope our kids stay healthy, we hope we get the job promotion, we hope our budget stretches to the end of the month, we hope we make it to Heaven.  I’m sure you have heard all of those hopes, have even said them…and many more.

Those hopeful comments express the day-to-day feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen, a wishful thinking.  The hope that is sung about in this old hymn is based on a trust in something or someone.  Defined by one Biblical source it is an ‘expectation of, a looking forward to, something beneficial now and in the future’.  Another source uses the words ‘confidence, to anticipate, welcome, an expectation of what is sure, certain’, to describe this kind of hope.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality
[faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP

…So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19

As a child, I remember ‘belting out’ the words to this chorus, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”  I love the words of this old hymn, because they are true.  The hope I have is built on Christ, The Rock, His blood and His righteousness.  That is all I ever want to trust in. All other hope is “sinking sand.”  People, as caring and well-meaning as they can be, are not enough to secure my standing before God.  In the “high and stormy gale” there is no anchor that holds me like Jesus.

For it says in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe…
1 Peter 2:6-7

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

Here are just a few Scriptures of assurance that God is our Hope, our Refuge, our Strength in life:

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Psalm 62:7 NASB

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 ESV

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…
Psalm 46:1-2 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I encourage you to meditate on this parable from Jesus:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

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Who or what is your rock, your refuge?  Do you live in hope, in confidence, and in certainty of Jesus Christ as your sure foundation?  My prayer is that you can ‘belt out’ this song with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
IT IS SO!