Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Morning Reflections - El Shadday

This week we begin our study of the name EL SHADDAI: God Almighty or "God All Sufficient." It is used 48 times in the OT, and 31 times in Job.  First used in Gen. 17:1, 2. (Gen. 31:29, 49:24, 25; Prov. 3:27; Micah 2:1; Isa. 60:15, 16, 66:10-13; Ruth 1:20, 21) In Rev. 16:7, "Lord God the Almighty." The Septuagint uses Greek "ikanos" meaning "all-sufficient" or "self-sufficient."

Let us begin it as Ann prayed:  "Lord, help me to know You as my All-Powerful God, the one who is able to sustain and bless me, to fulfill every promise He makes. Increase my awe of You and of Your power so that, like Abraham, I may follow you faithfully, always believing you are enough for me."
Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him,
"I am God Almighty (El Shadday); 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
OK, can you even imagine the LORD Himself appearing before you?  Calling you to Him?  Telling you that from you an entire nation would come and that no one will be able to count them - they will be more than the grains of sand and stars in the sky.  Which by the way I know all by name!  That His coventant will be with every generation to come from you for everlasting!

Somehow I think I too would fall flat on my face and not be able to stand in the very presence of God - El Shadday - God Almighty! 

If I were Sarah I think I might have giggled too - why?  Because when I get nervous I tend to laugh and that is not always a good thing.  I even do that when someone gets hurt - not a belly laugh but a little giggle.  It is better than bursting out in tears - right?

Anyway, God changed both of their names - from Abram to Abraham (meaning father of many nations) and Sarai to Sarah (meaning my princess).  Names have a huge significance in the bible. The Names of God used in the Bible act as a roadmap for learning about the character of God. Since the Bible is God's Word to us, the names He chooses in scripture are meant to reveal His true nature to us.

In the days when the Bible was being written, the Israelites often chose names for their babies based on the child's character or appearance, i.e. Esau (hairy) and Korah (bald). Some babies were named because of an incident at their birth or their names were based on some hope or prayer of the parent, as in Zechariah's name (God has remembered). Sometimes babies received the name of an everyday object, like Tamar (palm tree), and Tabitha (gazelle). Parents often named their children by the time of day they were born. For example: Shaharaim (dawn), Hodesh (new moon). The condition of the mother also frequently inspired a name: Leah (exhausted) and Mahli (sick).

Jesus was named prophetically. Matthew 1:20-23 says, "But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us.'" (reference here)

How many of you took a long time and prayed carefully over naming your child?  Or like us God gave you the exact name for your child before they were adopted or you even knew them?

Each of our adopted children like Abram and Sarai were given names by God.  They were chosen by Him for us.  Their names are so true to their personalities that we get a kick out of it quite often.  I bought The Name Book by Dorothy Astoria to understand the names given to us for each child.  The beauty of this book is each name comes with a verse from the bible. 

A few of our children were too young to know their names were changed and one day we will be able to share how God perfectly selected the names they now have.  As a matter of fact, a few nights ago we shared their names before coming home and they all thanked us for their new names.  Not one asked can I go back to my birth name.  We believe that their new names given by God and us helps them feel attached to us and their new life here.  Lilly was over-joyed to be given a new name. She loves it!  

We don't feel bad for changing their names - because God did it many times throughout the bible to significant people - besides Abram and Sarai:  Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, and many of Jesus' disciples were given new names. 

Joshua Daniel(our first adopted son from Guatemala was 10 months old when he came home) walks around daily saying, "There is nothing to be afraid of, right Mom?  Because God is always with us!"   We pray that our Joshua will live his life in the liberty of Jesus' shed blood and payment for his life.  We pray that He will always remember there is nothing to fear as God told Joshua many times and in the bible - 365 times to be exact - "Do Not Fear".

Language/Cultural Origin:  Hebrew
Inherent Meaning: God is My Salvation
Spiritual Connotation: Bringer of Truth
Scripture:  James 1:25 "But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it...this one will be blessed in what he does."

Jonathan David (our 2nd adopted son from Guatemala when he was just about 3 yrs old) is truly suited to his namesake.  Our son is loyal and will one day be a wonderful caring husband.  Our son is deeply touched every time he hears or speaks about what God has done for him.  He knows that without Jesus he can do nothing.  He thanks God often from bringing him home here and out of Guatemala. 

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
Inherent Meaning: Gift of the Lord
Spiritual Connotation: God's Precious Gift
Scripture:  Psalm 92:4 "For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands."

Abigail (our 8yr old daughter from Guatemala - God gave us her name 9 months before we even knew who she was - we were told "your next child will be a girl and you will name her Abigail.")  Sure enough she is perfectly suited to her namesake in the bible as well. Our Abigail is smart, has a servant's heart, loyal and can be very cunning. 

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
Inherit meaning:  My Father Rejoices
Spiritual Connotation:  Cherished of God
Scripture: Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One (El Shadday) will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness.  He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Noah James (our youngest son from Guatemala - home for almost 3 yrs) - let's just say his name is perfectly matched in many ways to the Noah of the bible.  Our Noah is one persistant boy and we trust God will use it for His glory many times over.  He is also a very quiet child.   When he is doing a task nothing can stop him.  I am praying to see a more peaceful side of him and for him to bring others comfort.  He currently likes to stir up trouble with his siblings. 

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
Inherent Meaning: Peaceful
Spiritual Connotation: Provider of Comfort
Scripture: Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him."

Naomi (our youngest daughter and Noah's bio sister home 2 yrs).  Oh how we pray she is like her namesake from the bible.  This little spitfire is giving us all a run for our money.  She is something else.  She has more personality than all of us put together.  We trust God is going to get major glory using her later in life!

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
Inherent Meaning: Delightful Renewal
Spiritual Connotation: Trusting
Scripture: Psalm 52:8 "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever."

Gabriel (our 5yr old son from Ethiopia - God told us his name about 9 months before we knew him or saw a photo of him too.)  His name was Kirubel which is Gabriel in English.  It was our last confirmation to move forward with his adoption!  Gabriel is a beautiful child inside and out.  He is one of the most precious young boys we have ever met.  He is charming and delightful.  He is sensitive and loving!  He is funny!  He is smart!  He is an excellent athlete too.  He loves God very much!  He loves to sing His praise!  He is often walking around our home singing worship songs to God.

Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
Inherent Meaning: Devoted to God
Spiritual Connotation: Brave
Scripture: Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Lilly (our newest daughter - 12 yrs old from Ethiopia - again God gave us her name immediately upon seeing her photo.)  As many of you have said before she came home her smile lights up a room. Her personality is equally as charming.  She is delightful in every sense of the word.  She has such a pure heart and cares deeply about others.  Lilly loves to do chores and help me with anything she can.  She desires to learn how to please God and understand all that He is teaching her.  She is a blessing to our family!  Lilly loves to sing praise songs and worship God too.

Language/Cultural Origin: Latin
Inherent Meaning: Purity
Spirtual Connotation: Shining Light
Scripture: Zechariah 2:10 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst."

What amazing promises to each of our children and the blessing of a name so perfectly given to them by God.

We pray they will always take refuge in God - Elohim, El Roi and El Shadday!

Some Unique Scriptures of His names:

Revelation 1:7-8 Jesus was the Almighty.
Genesis 17:1 And the Almighty was God.
John 8:58 Jesus was the "I Am"
Exodus 3:14 and the "I Am" was God

Acts 3:14 Jesus was the "HOLY ONE"
Isaiah 43:15 and the "HOLY ONE" was God

John 8:24 Jesus is the "I Am He"
Isaiah 43:10 and the "I Am He" was God

Revelation 22:13 Jesus is the "First and the Last"
Isaiah 44:6 and the "First and the Last" was God

I Corinthians 10:4 Jesus was "The Rock"
Psalm 18:31 and "The Rock" was God

II Corinthians 11:2 Jesus was the "One HUSBAND"
Jeremiah 31:32 and the "One HUSBAND" was God

Matthew 23:8 Jesus was the "ONE MASTER"
Malachi 1:6 and the "ONE MASTER" was God

John 10:16 Jesus was the "One SHEPHERD"
Isaiah 40:11 and the "ONE SHEPHERD" was God

Acts 4:12 Jesus was the "ONE SAVIOR"
Isaiah 45:21 and the "ONE SAVIOR" was God

Luke 1:68 Jesus was the "ONE REDEEMER"
Isaiah 41:14 and the "ONE REDEEMER" was God

Revelation 19:16 Jesus was "LORD OF LORDS

1 Timothy 6:14 Jesus was "LORD OF LORDS
Deuteronomy 10:17 and the "LORD OF LORDS" was God

Philippians 2:10 Every knee must bow to Jesus
Isaiah 45:23 Every knee must bow to God

John 1: 3-10 Jesus was the "ONE CREATOR"
Isaiah 44:24 Jesus was the "ONE CREATOR"
Genesis 1:1 and the "ONE CREATOR" was God
John 1:49 Jesus was "KING OF ISRAEL"
Isaiah 44:6 and the "KING OF ISRAEL" was God

Deuteronomy 4:35 The Lord He is God, there is NONE else beside him
Deuteronomy 4:39 there is None Else
Deuteronomy 6:4 the Lord our God is ONE Lord
Deuteronomy 32:39 I even I, am He and THERE IS NO GOD WITH ME
1 Kings 8:60 The LORD is God - There is None Else
2 Kings 19:15 You ALONE are the only true God
Psalm 86:10 You are God, YOU ALONE

Isaiah 42:8 I am Jehovah, and to no one else shall I give My own glory
Isaiah 43:10,11 Before me there was no God formed

Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is NONE ELSE, THERE IS NO GOD BESIDE ME
Isaiah 45:6 There is NONE beside Me. I am the Lord and there is NONE else.
Isaiah 45:15 you are a God, the /god of Israel, a Savior.

Isaiah 45:22 turn to Me and be saved. For I am God, and there is no one else
Isaiah 48:11 I will not give my glory unto another.

Isaiah 48:12 I am He, I am the first, I also am the Last. Revelation 1:8

Hosea 13:4 I am Jehovah your God, there was no God except Me, and there was no savior but I.
Joel 2:27 I am your God, and None Else

Zechariah 14:9 In that day shall there be ONE LORD AND HIS NAME ONE
Philippians 2:11 that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father

Matthew 23:9 For one is your Father, the heavenly one
Mark 12:29 Jehovah our god is one Jehovah

Let's take a moment to praise Jesus for what He has done for us and all that we have in and through Him: "Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You are my Life, for without You my life would be worth nothing. You are my Savior and my King, the Lamb of God who atoned for my sin. You are the Alpha and Omega and You control the beginning and end of each circumstance in my life. You are the Bread of Life and I can feast on Your spiritual nourishment to keep me in perfect peace. You are my Lord and my God. In Your holy name, Amen."

Thank you all for joining us each week. 

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