Significant Names
Devotional

Significant Names

August 21, 2023

Significant Names

“The Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Genesis 17:1-2

Names are powerful. Some names are chosen based on their meaning. Others are chosen because of familial significance. No matter the background, our names are important. They are how we are known and recognized. Throughout the Bible a variety of names are given to our Lord, both in Hebrew and Greek. Each name highlights a unique aspect of God’s character, but their nuance can be difficult to grasp in the English translation. Therefore, over the next several weeks we will look at a few of the names of God, exploring their significance and what they tell us about who God is.

One such name is “El Shaddai”. “El Shaddai” is often translated as “God Almighty”. It speaks to the complete power God has in all of creation. With his word and breath he made all things; from the largest galaxies to the smallest insect. Not only does he have power over the entire universe, but he also nurtures and sustains all that he has created.

This name for God is first found in Genesis 17:1. In this passage, Abram is 99 years old when the Lord introduces himself as “El Shaddai”, God Almighty. Before anything else, God reveals that he is sovereign and powerful. That is all Abram needs to respond. In verse 3 he bows down before the Lord. God proceeds to change his name to Abraham and promises to make him into a great nation. Abraham can trust this promise because the Lord is “El Shaddai”. He is the almighty creator who powerfully sustains all things. God alone has the ability to make him into a great nation even in his old age.

The God who kept his covenant with Abraham is the same God who promises to sustain us today. This world is uncertain and countless things are outside of our control. But nothing is outside the hand of “El Shaddai”. He alone has power over all things, including our pain and weakness. In his love, the almighty God who breathed life into us, promises to powerfully sustain us.

As you continue your week, reflect on your almighty God. What parts of creation remind you of God’s power? Where have you seen God’s sustaining action? God is revealing himself in our lives in powerful ways and invites us to respond. Will you respond like Abram did, with humble adoration?

Prayer

Lord, we thank you for being our God Almighty, who created and sustains us. As we look at the world around us may we be reminded of you. Lord help us to see the powerful ways you are working and respond with adoration. We pray this in your son’s name, Amen.

Makalah Scholten
Spiritual Care Coordinator

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