God Almighty

October 11th, 2021 – Monday Night

“Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him,

‘I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly.'” ~Genesis 17:1-2

We have already discussed how the LORD is a covenant making (and keeping) God…rather, He is THE covenant making and keeping God. We have explored the reality that He is sovereign and that He is the Most High God. We have come to know Him as the Creator God, the Possessor of heaven and earth who has no equal. We have seen His attributes and perfect character over and over again in one way or another.

Here in Genesis 17, though, we are introduced to another view of who the LORD is: God Almighty, or Almighty God. Let’s pause before we go further into the ramifications of this in order to look at the definitions of these two Hebrew words. (By the way, I do not personally know Hebrew {or Greek}; but with helpful tools and the input of others who have studied it, it is easier to get a more accurate understanding of definitions like this. I like to use blb.org to look at specific words. It should be noted that my finite knowledge could easily be improved upon by others.) The two words used here are “el” and “saday”; they are pronounced “ale” and “sha-dai” or “shaddai”. El means “strong, mighty, a mighty one, a hero”, “might, strength”, “God”, and “gods”. In this particular verse, “God” is in view. Saday or Shaddai means “most powerful” or “Almighty”. Shaddai is only used of God in Scripture and it appears 48 different times – either in conjunction with other words (like El) or by itself. Putting those two words together, we get El Shaddai – Almighty God – the One who has the mightiest might and the most powerful strength.

Jumping back to the passage above, the LORD adds to Abram’s understanding of Himself by giving Abram a fuller perspective of who He is. This perspective and knowledge comes with a command and a blessing; Abram is to walk (as a mode of life) before the LORD (in His presence) and to be blameless (unimpaired, sound, wholesome, innocent, having integrity). In addition, the LORD reminds or reaffirms His covenant with Abram and His promise of multiplication. Think about this: The LORD, the Almighty God, has all authority and power at His disposal and command. In ordering Abram to live in His presence, He is telling Abram to dwell in the best place to be; in commanding Abram to live with integrity, He is bidding Abram to reflect His own character. (In regard to this last point, remember that if Abram dwells in the LORD’s presence he will be constantly confronted with the LORD’s nature and character; as Abram gazes on Him (figuratively), he will naturally display Him.) Finally, the covenant and promise from the LORD is a cinch for Him to accomplish; it is as good as done already because He said it.

The problem with us is that the god that we often find ourselves worshipping is puny and powerless. This is because that god is not God, but some distorted being who has lost His omnipotence and authority. Listen! The LORD is the ALMIGHTY GOD! There is no one who can dethrone Him and there is no power or authority on earth that exists outside of His sovereign Lordship. We, like Abram of old, have the opportunity to dwell in His presence; we get to display His character to each other and to the world around us – not because we can do such a thing in our own strength, but because He is still God. If you and I are in Christ, then we have been indwelt by the Spirit of the Almighty; we are equipped with His power and guided under His authority in order to walk with Him – through thick and thin – and to enjoy the abundant blessings and promises He has bestowed on us in the New Covenant.

The question is, will we take Him at His Word?