April 24, 2017

El Shaddai

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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

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

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! 

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

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!

Plan A

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But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people He has chosen as His inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From His throne He observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so He understands everything they do. The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love.

Psalms 33:11-18

Since the beginning of mankind up until this very day, God’s human creations have questioned His ability, His promises, His motives, His love and His plans. Psalms 33:11-18 reminded me that no matter what our plans, hopes or dreams for the future (or present or past), God’s way is and will always be the way to go. Thankfully, and not so thankfully, we serve a God who gives us freewill and we try so hard to control things in our worlds that we have no power to control.

My mind wandered all the way back to the beginning in Genesis chapter 12. Abraham (then Abram) and wife Sarah (then Sarai) were childless. God came to Abraham and promised him, “I will make you into a great nation…” (Genesis 12:2). In chapter 16, we find Sarah giving her maidservant to her husband to start a family through and Abraham went along with this plan. Then, Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.

Both Abraham and Sarah got impatient. I’ve always thought that if God came and told me exactly what was going to happen, but didn’t give me the date that I’d be okay waiting. But, like Abraham and Sarah, I’ve found that to just not be true. Waiting on God’s timing is definitely a learned skill. And through Ishmael, Abraham and Sarah showed that they wanted to control things. Of course, this child caused tension within the household, even before the birth of Isaac. Why? Because this plan was a human plan, not a God-driven plan.

Okay, so I’ve pointed out that Abe and wife had their own plan. We all get our plans sometimes but their plan didn’t stop there. Not only did they concoct the plan and execute the plan, they tried to pass the plan off for God to accept. While God was telling Abraham about His plan, Abraham was telling God about his own plan.

And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’
Genesis 17:18

Silly, don’t you think? But we do it. We make decisions without consulting God, then ask Him to bless our choices. This is backwards! And God corrected Abraham.

But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you by this time next year.
Verse 21

God even had to correct Sarah when she laughed at His plan (Genesis 18:12).

But the Lord ’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.
Psalm 33:11

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Lord, help me to remember to come to You, first and foremost, before I make any decision. Let Your plan be my first plan and not plan B or C. Keep me focused on You and Your desires. Praying in Jesus’ name, amen.

He Found Her

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There is a story in the Bible about a mother that no one loved. Is there a name that comes to mind?  My first guess was Rebekkah, the mother that deceived her husband and stole the birthright from her firstborn. But it is not. Do you remember Hagar? She was the Egyptian handmaid to Sarah, the wife of Abraham.

Sarah was unable to have children, so Sarah suggested that Abraham have relations with Hagar so he could have a son. She thought she would be fine with it. She wasn’t at all. See, she wanted an heir for Abraham so badly and she was not willing to wait on the Lord, and the plan turned on her. She became really jealous. She put her will before God’s.

So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar and she became pregnant.
But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.
Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault!
I put my servant in your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt.
The Lord will show who’s wrong—you or me!”
Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit,”
Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
Genesis 16:4-6 NLT

So, you can see that Hagar is the least-loved mother  in the Bible.  She was young, she was pregnant, and she was all alone.  Instead of help, she received harshness and Abram, the father, turned his back on her also. She had no one—no family or friends.  But she had God.

The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness,
along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant,
where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“Im running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the Lord said to her,
“Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.”
Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’),
for the Lord has heard your cry of distress.
Genesis 16: 7-11

What do you think of Hagar? When the world was ready to blame her, the Lord redeemed her. Hagar was lost and the Lord found her. She was alone in her wilderness, and really alone but God came to her rescue.

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
Luke 19:10

The Lord found her… the Lord favored her. He promised her more descendants than she could count and told her that she was already pregnant!  Ishmael is full of God’s favor yet the world thinks differently. Did she deserve it? No, but Jesus says in Matthew 11:28,”Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”

The Lord became her friend. “Therefor, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said,”You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). Hagar gave her new friend a new name that day, “El Roi,” which means ‘the God who looks, inspects, considers’.  She considered Him the God who saw her needs and decided to help her. God never left her alone.

Is this you today? Do you feel alone or abandoned? If the world has cast you out or maybe you have retreated to your own desert, the Lord sees you. He knows where you are and He will meet you right there! He loves you and He is your friend. He sees you! Hold on to His love today and cry out to Him. There is so much joy waiting for you and blessings beyond your wildest dreams. And if you don’t know Him or you don’t know how to reach Him, then pray this with me:

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Dear God, I am a sinner. I know I need Your forgiveness and mercy. I want a new life, and I want to walk with You. Today I ask You into my heart, to guide me and direct me. Thank You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!

{{ If you prayed this prayer today, please let us know in the comment section.  We  would love to rejoice with you in this journey and be praying for you! }}

“I AM” Chapter 1 – Day 5 The Great I AM’s Character

Who I am—Coleen—can be described by many names: wife, mom, gramma, daughter, sister, friend, worshipper, singer, baker, writer, pray-er, crafter, lover, listener, etc.  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 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 such an eternal covenant.  Only El Shaddai could have made a deadened womb to nurture life and bring forth a baby.  Only El Shaddai…God Almighty!

Another example 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.”
Psalm 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 does not change. 

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

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,
I will praise you ’till I die, El Shaddai.

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

 

Praying for each of you!

  coleen

Let’s Pray:

Almighty God,  our 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 encourage us to never doubt You, El Shaddai,  and the fact that You never change!  ‘Erkamka na, Adonai!’  Praying in Your Son, Jesus’ name. 

Amen.