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Almighty (3841) (pantokrator from pás = all + kratos = strength or might, especially manifested power, the power to rule or control) is literally the ruler over all or the One Who controls all things and Who has power over everything. The One in total control! Pantokrator thus describes God’s sovereign, omnipotent, irresistible power. Note that Vine gives the derivation of pantokrator as from pas = all + krateo = to hold or to have strength. Tony Garland writes that "The Almighty" [ho pantokrator] is derived from ho panton kraton which means the One Who holds all. (Re 1:8-note) Krateo which means to hold or cling to is derived from kratos and gives the picture of being in the grip of Him in Whose hand are all things. God is the Almighty One, the One Who has His hand in everything and on everything! If believers are in the hands of a God like that (and they are), nothing can pluck them away. Dear saint, perhaps you need to ponder and assimilate this truth about God, the Almighty, the Pantokrator, in Whose hands you are eternally sustained and secure. My times are in thy hand: I’ll always trust in thee; And, after death, at thy right hand I shall for ever be. As discussed below pantokrator is used most often to translate "of hosts" in "LORD of hosts" (Jehovah Sabaoth), but it used frequently in Job to translate the Almighty (Shadday). Pantokrator is used only of God, indicating that He is omnipotent (omni = all), universally sovereign. The Ruler of all things. The All-Powerful. The Omnipotent (One). Pantokrator is He Who holds sway over all things and the Ruler of all. It speaks of His supremacy over all things. In light of the fact that 9/10 NT uses of Pantokrator are in The Revelation, clearly Pantokrator is the characteristic title for God in the book which records the consummation of God's victory over sin and the evil one Satan and His awesome control over all the universe and all history. In this final chapter of God's plan of the ages, God brings to consummation His initial covenant promises made and affirmed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as He revealed Himself to them as El Shaddai some 4000+ years earlier in the book of beginnings, Genesis (see Genesis 17:1; 28:3; 35:9; 48:3; Ex 6:3). Although, El Shaddai is not translated (in the Septuagint) with Pantokrator in these 6 uses in Genesis or in Exodus 6:3, it is nevertheless notable that the Name El Shaddai by which God first revealed Himself to the patriarchs is related to the same Name, Pantokrator, by which He brings to final fulfillment the covenant promises made to the patriarchs! God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Names El Shaddai and Pantokrator undergird the assurance every believer should have that He is able to fulfill every one of His promises, so that "not one word of all the good words which Jehovah spoke has failed" (Joshua 23:14) Richards adds that... Pantokrator signifies the unmatched greatness of God, who has power over all humankind and every competing authority (Ep 1:19, 20, 21-see notes Ep 1:19; 20; 21). Occurrences of this word predominate (9 of the 10 uses) in Revelation. There they pick up the OT theme of God's final, decisive intervention in history, when He acts to destroy this world's kingdoms and to establish His own (Ed note: Thus fulfilling His covenant promises to the the patriarchs and the Nation of Israel, which is not the church but the actual nation that will be composed of 100% believing Jews at the return of the Messiah, when as Paul states "all Israel will be saved" - see note Romans 11:26). As the Almighty, God makes promises to people and commits his own power to see these promises carried out. This God is ever-present, hovering over history and free to act within it, even though his authority may be unacknowledged by those who do his will. Ultimately, he will undertake a great, final intervention. Then every competing power will be visibly crushed, and God's hidden authority will be overwhelmingly visible. When this happens, the irresistible power that makes God almighty will be known and acknowledged by all (cf. Php 2:9, 10, 11-notes Php 2:9; 10; 11; Re 19:6-note). (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency) (Bolding added) As noted below, the Septuagint (LXX) adopts pantokrator for two Hebrew descriptions of God, Sabaoth (hosts) and Shadday (Shaddai). NIDNTT writes that... It is also striking that the LXX renders the divine Shadday not only by pantokrator, the Almighty, but also, quite often, by ho hikanos. (Ed note: "the Sufficient One")...The Hebrew consonants were divided into two groups, vocalized to make the relative se and day, and then read as follows: Yahweh, “Who is sufficient (of Himself)”, the Almighty (Ruth 1:20, 21-note; Job 21:15; 31:2; 40:2; Ezek. 1:24). As Shadday, Yahweh has not to conform to some external standard or to some ideal (this would have been the same as the Greek concept of moira, fate, to whom even the gods were subject); rather He Himself sets the standard for Himself and hence also for His creation. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan) There are far more uses (4.3.7" class="scriptRef">7.9" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">9.14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">142) of pantokrator in the Septuagint (LXX) (5" class="scriptRef">5.10" class="scriptRef">2Sa 5:10; 7.8" class="scriptRef">7:8, 25" class="scriptRef">25, 27" class="scriptRef">27; 1 Ki. 19:10, 14; 11" class="scriptRef">11" class="scriptRef">11" class="scriptRef">11.9" class="scriptRef">1Chr. 11:9; 17.7" class="scriptRef">17:7, 24; 12" class="scriptRef">12" class="scriptRef">29:12; Job 5:17; 8:5; 11:7; 6.15" class="scriptRef">15" class="scriptRef">15.25" class="scriptRef">15:25; 22:17, 25; 23.16" class="scriptRef">16" class="scriptRef">23:16; 27:2, 11, 13; 32:8; 33:4; 34:10, 12; 35:13; 37:22; Je 3:19; 5:14; 15:16; 23:16; 25:27; 31:35; 32:14, 18; 33:11; 44:7; 49:18; 50:34; 51:5, 57; Hos. 12:5; Amos 3:13; 4:13; 5:8, 14, 15, 16, 27; 9:5f, 15; Mic 4:4; Nah. 2:13; 3:5; Hab. 2:13; Zeph 2:10; Hag. 1:2, 5, 7, 9, 14; 2:4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 23; Zec 1:3, 4, 6, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17; 2:8, 9, 11; 3:7, 9, 10; 4:6, 9; 5:4; 6:12, 15; 7:3, 9, 12, 13; 8:1, 2, 3, 6f, 9, 11, 14, 17, 18, 19; 9:14, 15; 10:3; 11:4; 12:4, 5; 13:7; 14:16, 17, 20, 21; Mal. 1:4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14; 2:2, 4, 7, 8, 12, 16; 3:1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17; 4:1, 3) and the first use translates the last part of the name "the LORD of hosts" (see study Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of hosts or of armies) as for example "Lord (kurios) Almighty (pantokrator)" in 2Sa 5:10. Pantokrator is used far more often to translate "of hosts" (tsaba = 06635) (in "LORD of hosts") than "Shadday" Job 5:17 "Behold, how happy (blessed - Lxx = makarios [word study]) is the man whom God reproves (Lxx = elegcho), so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. (Hebrew = Shadday; Lxx = Pantokrator) Jeremiah 15:16 (This author's life verse) Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts (Lxx = pantokrator > "O Lord Almighty"). Pantokrator is used 10 times in the NT... 2 Corinthians 6:18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. Revelation 1:8 (note) "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Comment: Tony Garland writes that "The Almighty" [ho pantokrator] is derived from ho panton kraton which means the One Who holds all and is a reference to God's sovereignty and might as well as His command of powerful forces.) Revelation 4:8 (note) And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come." Revelation 11:17 (note) saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast, because Thou hast taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign. Revelation 15:3 (note) And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Revelation 16:7 (note) And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments." Revelation 16:14 (note) for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. Revelation 19:6 (note) And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Revelation 19:15 (note) And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Revelation 21:22 (note) And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. ><>><>><> GENESIS 17:1 ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF HEBREW AND GREEK NASB translation from Hebrew... Genesis 17:1 Now when Abram ("exalted father") was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless. 17:2 "I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly." The Septuagint (LXX) does not directly translate Shaddai in this passage rendering it in Brenton's English translation... And Abram was ninety-nine years old, and the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, I am thy God, be well-pleasing (euaresteo = acting in a manner that is pleasing) before me, and be blameless (see word study amemptos = irreproachable, faultless, without defect or blemish and thus describes not being able to find fault in someone - used by Paul - see notes Philippians 2:15; 1Thessalonians 3:13 where the same charge is given to NT believers - who also have El Shaddai as the One Who empowers them to fulfill such a lofty calling!) ><>><>><> COMMENTARY ON GENESIS 17:1 Clarke comments on El Shaddai in Genesis 17:1 writing that it means... I am the Almighty God - I am God all-sufficient; from shadah, to shed, to pour out. I am that God Who pours out blessings, who gives them richly, abundantly, continually. Walk before Me - set thyself to walk-be firmly purposed, thoroughly determined to obey, before Me; for My eye is ever on thee, therefore ever consider that God seeth thee. Who can imagine a stronger incitement to conscientious, persevering obedience? Be thou perfect - and thou shalt be perfections, i.e., all together perfect. Be just such as the holy God would have thee to be, as the Almighty God can make thee and live as the all-sufficient God shall support thee; for He alone who makes the soul holy can preserve it in holiness. Our blessed Lord appears to have had these words pointedly in view, (Mt 5:48-note): Ye SHALL BE perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. John Gill commenting on El Shaddai in Genesis 17:1 writes that... as the Word of God is, as appears by his creation of all things, his in sustaining of them, his government of the church, his redemption of it, and preservation of his people safe to glory, see (see note Revelation 1:8) ; and this epithet is very appropriate here, when the Lord was about to give out a promise of a son to Abram and Sarai, so much stricken in years. Some render it "all sufficient", as Jehovah is, sufficient in and of Himself, and for Himself, and stands in no need of any, or of anything from another; and has a sufficiency for others, both in a way of providence and grace: walk before me - not as though Abram had not so walked, or had discontinued his walk before God, but that he would go on to walk by faith in a dependence on Him for everything he wanted, both with respect to things temporal and spiritual; and to walk in all His commandments and ordinances, that He either had given, or should give him; and all this as in His presence, and under His watchful eye, that sees and observes all things, and before Whom all things are naked and open, as all are to the essential Word of God, (He 4:12, 13-See notes He 4:12; 13) and be thou perfect upright and sincere in acts of faith, and in duties of religion, and go on to perfection; which though a sinless one is not attainable in this life, is desirable, and is to be had in Christ, though not in ourselves: but here it chiefly denotes an holy and unblamable life and conversation, which though not entirely free from sin, yet without any notorious ones, which bring dishonour to God, and disgrace upon a man's character and profession, see (Genesis 6:9) . This respects not perfection in his body or flesh, as the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it, through circumcision, by which the Jews fancy Abram became perfect, but was not till circumcised. Mackintosh comments that in Genesis 17:1... we have God's remedy for Abraham's failure set before us... This is a most comprehensive verse. It is very evident that Abraham had not been walking before the Almighty God when he adopted Sarah's expedient in reference to Hagar. It is faith alone that can enable a man to walk up and down before an Almighty One. Unbelief will ever be thrusting in something of self, something of circumstances, second causes, and the like, and thus the soul is robbed of the joy and hence, the calm elevation, and holy independence, which flow from leaning upon the arm of One who can do everything. I believe we deeply need to ponder this. God is not such an abiding reality to our souls as He ought to be, or as He would be, were we walking in more simple faith and dependence... "Walk before me." This is true power. To walk thus, implies our having nothing whatever before our hearts save God Himself. If I am founding my expectation upon men and things, I am not walking before God, but before men and things. It is of the utmost importance to ascertain who or what I have before me as an object. To what am I looking? On whom or what am I leaning, at this moment? Does God entirely fill my future? Have men or circumstances ought to do therein? Is there any space allotted to the creature? The only way in which to get above the world is to walk by faith, because faith so completely fills the scene with God, that there is no room for the creature, no room for the world. If God fills up my entire range of vision, I can see nothing else; and then I am able to say with the Psalmist, My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation: He is my Defence, I shall not be moved. (Ps 62:5, 6-note) This word "only" is deeply searching. Nature cannot say this. Not that it will, save when under the direct influence of a daring and blasphemous skepticism, formally shut out God altogether; but it, assuredly, Cannot say, "He only." Now, it is well to see that, as in the matter of salvation, so in all the details of actual life, from day to day, God will not share His glory with the creature. From first to last, it must be "He only;" and this, too, in reality. It will not do to have the language of dependence upon God on our lips, while our hearts are really leaning on some creature resource. God will make all this fully manifest; He will test the heart; He will put faith into the furnace. "Walk before me, and be thou perfect." Thus it is we reach the proper point. When the soul is enabled, by grace, to get rid of all its fondly-cherished creature expectations, then, and only then, it is prepared to let God act; and when He acts all must be well. He will not leave anything undone. He will perfectly settle everything on behalf of those who simply put their trust in Him. When unerring wisdom, omnipotent power, and infinite love combine, the confiding heart may enjoy unruffled repose. Unless we can find some circumstance too big or too little for "the Almighty God" (El Shaddai), we have no proper base on which to found a single anxious thought. This is an amazing truth, and one eminently calculated to put all who believe it into the blessed position in which we find Abraham in this chapter. When God had, in effect, said to him, "leave all to me and I will settle it for you, beyond your utmost desires and expectations; the seed and the inheritance, and everything pertaining thereto, will be fully and everlastingly settled, according to the covenant of the Almighty God" — then "Abram fell on his face." Truly blessed attitude! the only proper one for a thoroughly empty, feeble, and unprofitable sinner, to occupy in the presence of the living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the possessor of all things, the Almighty God, El Shaddai! (C H Mackintosh. Writings on the Pentateuch) Warren Wiersbe comments on El Shaddai in Genesis 17 noting that... “El” is the name of God that speaks of power; but what does “Shaddai” mean? Scholars do not agree. Some say it comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to be strong”; others prefer a word meaning “mountain” (Ed note: sadu) or “breast (shad).” Metaphorically, a mountain is a “breast” that rises up from the plain; and certainly a mountain is a symbol of strength. If we combine these several ideas, we might say that “El Shaddai” is the name of “the all-powerful and all-sufficient God who can do anything and meet any need.” But why would God reveal this name to Abraham at this time, at the close of thirteen years of silence? Because God was going to tell His friend that Sarah would have a son. The Lord wanted Abraham to know that He is the God who is all-sufficient and all-powerful, and that nothing is too hard for Him. God says “I will” twelve times in Genesis 17 (Ge 17:2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 19, 20, 21); He is about to do the miraculous. After Abraham’s battle with the four kings, God came to him as a warrior and told him He was his “shield.” When Abraham wondered about his refusal of Sodom’s wealth, God told him He was his “exceedingly great reward” (Ge 15:1). Now when Abraham and Sarah were “as good as dead,” God assured them that He was more than sufficient to bring about the miracle birth. God comes to us in the ways we need Him most. (Wiersbe, W. W. Be Obedient. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books) Dave Guzik who has written an excellent more modern (yet still conservative) commentary has these thoughts on Genesis 17:1... Undoubtedly, this is another appearance of God in the person of Jesus, who took on a temporary human appearance before His incarnation on earth. First, God tells Abram whom He is: I am Almighty God. By this name El Shaddai, He reveals His Person and character to Abram. However, there is some debate as to what exactly the name El Shaddai means. Kidner: A traditional analysis of the name is 'God (el) who (sa) is sufficient (day). Clarke: El Shaddai, I am God all-sufficient; from shadah, to shed, to pour out. I am that God who pours out blessings, who gives them richly, abundantly, continually. Barnhouse: the Hebrew word shad means "chest" or "breast." It may have in mind the strength of a man's chest (God Almighty) or the comfort and nourishment of a woman's breast (God of Tender Care). Leupold: Shaddai comes from the root shadad, which means "to display power." We do know the Septuagint translates the word with the Greek pantokrator "Almighty," the "One who has His hand on everything." Then God tells Abram what is expected of him: walk before Me and be blameless. We can only do what God expects of us when we know Who He is and know it in a full, personal, real way. The word blameless literally means "whole." God wanted all of Abram, wanting a total commitment. God also reminds Abram He has not forgotten about the covenant. Though it had been some 25 years since the promise was first made, and though it may have seemed to Abram God had forgotten, God didn't forget anything. The last time we are told the Lord communicated with Abram directly was more than 13 years before. Seemingly, Abram had 13 years of "normal" fellowship with God, waiting for the promise all the time. Surely, at times during those years, Abram felt God had forgotten. Abram was becoming a great man of faith, but you don't make a great man of faith overnight. It takes years of God's work in them, years of almost mundane trusting in God, interspersed with a few spectacular encounters with the Lord. Criswell explains that... The etymology of Shaddai is traditionally explained as "sufficient" or "self-sufficient." The Greek translators rendered it by pantokrator, "Almighty." Another explanation is that the term means "one of the mountain," perhaps connoting safety and sufficiency. The "almightiness" of Yahweh gives assurance to Abram that God will make of him a great nation. (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson) Charles Ryrie feels that... Shaddai is derived from a related word that means "mountain," thus picturing God as the overpowering, almighty One, standing on a mountain. (The Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers) C I Scofield writes that... Shaddai is the name of God characteristically used by the patriarchs prior to the giving of the law at Sinai... The name Jehovah largely replaces it from Exodus 6 onward, where attention is centered more particularly on Israel as God's covenant people. El Shaddai is the name of God which sets Him forth primarily as the strengthener and satisfier of His people. It is to be regretted that Shaddai was translated "Almighty." The primary name, El or Elohim, sufficiently signifies almightiness. "All-sufficient" would far better express the characteristic use of the name in Scripture. God Almighty El Shaddai not only enriches but makes fruitful. This is nowhere better illustrated than in the first occurrence of the name (Ge 17:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). To a man ninety-nine years of age, and "as good as dead" (He 11:12-note), He said: "I am God Almighty (El Shaddai)...I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." The same thing is taught by the use of the name in Ge 28:3, 4. As bestower of fruitfulness, God Almighty (El Shaddai) chastens His people. For the moral connection of chastening with fruit-bearing, see John 15:2; cp. Ru 1:20, 21(note); He 12:10 (note). Hence, Almighty is the characteristic name of God in Job. The hand of Shaddai falls upon Job, the best man of his time, not in judgment but in purifying unto greater fruitfulness (Job 5:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25). (Ed note: See Job 42:5, 6 where Job describes a greater vision of God as a result of the manifold trials) Jameison, Fausset and Brown write... Abram . . . ninety years old and nine--thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael [Ge 16:16]. During that interval he had enjoyed the comforts of communion with God but had been favored with no special revelation as formerly, probably on account of his hasty and blameable marriage with Hagar. the Lord appeared--some visible manifestation of the divine presence, probably the Shekinah (Shekinah) or radiant glory of overpowering effulgence. (Ed note: I agree with Guzik that God Himself appeared in a Theophany and more specifically a Christophany - see related study Angel of the LORD) I am the Almighty God--the name by which He made Himself known to the patriarchs (Ex 6:3), designed to convey the sense of "all-sufficient" (Ps 16:5, 6-note; Ps 73:25-note). walk . . . and . . . perfect--upright, or sincere (Ps 51:6-note) in heart, speech, and behavior. Genesis 17:3. Abram fell on his face -- the attitude of profoundest reverence assumed by Eastern people. It consists in the prostrate body resting on the hands and knees, with the face bent till the forehead touches the ground. It is an expression of conscious humility and profound reverence. Genesis 17:4 my covenant is with thee -- Renewed mention is made of it as the foundation of the communication that follows. It is the covenant of grace made with all who believe in the Saviour. Genesis 17:5 but thy name shall be Abraham -- In Eastern countries a change of name is an advertisement of some new circumstance in the history, rank, or religion of the individual who bears it. The change is made variously, by the old name being entirely dropped for the new, or by conjoining the new with the old; or sometimes only a few letters are inserted, so that the altered form may express the difference in the owner's state or prospects. It is surprising how soon a new name is known and its import spread through the country. In dealing with Abraham and Sarai, God was pleased to adapt His procedure to the ideas and customs of the country and age. Instead of Abram, "a high father," he was to be called Abraham, "father of a multitude of nations" (Re 2:17-note). Ed Note: See study of Name change as one of the aspects that marked the cutting of covenant in the Old Testament and which spoke of the oneness of covenant or the identification of the covenanting parties (see also note on name change). We see this aspect of covenant illustrated in the Marriage Covenant where the wife traditionally takes the name of her husband. A B Simpson observes that... Whenever God called men into a closer relation or sent them on some higher commission, the call was always accompanied with some marked revelation of Himself. We find Him coming to Abraham at the crisis of his life as El-Shaddai and then commanding Abraham to rise to a higher place in conformity to the new revelation that He had given. "I am El-Shaddai," He says, "walk before me, and be perfect (or upright)." I am the Almighty, the Absolute, the Infinite, the All-sufficient God. Now live up to the vision you have had, the revelation I have given. Stand straight up to the standard God has given. Live as if you had a God that is all-sufficient. You have not been living thus. You have not been walking before Me. You have been walking before Sara, before Hagar, before circumstances, before your difficulties and limitations and infirmities. Now lift your vision above all these, look at Me alone and see in Me the God who is enough, and stand upright in uncompromising faith. And so henceforth Abraham "staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." The secret of Abraham's faith was his realization of the supernatural God. And so in describing him in the fourth chapter of Romans the apostle says that he measured up to God, "before him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls the things which be not as though they were." (A. B. Simpson. Present Truths or the Supernatural) Matthew Henry comments on El Shaddai noting that... By this name he chose to make himself known to Abram rather than by his name Jehovah, Exodus 6:3. He used it to Jacob, Genesis 28:3,43:14,48:3. It is the name of God that is mostly used throughout the book of Job, at least in the discourses of that book. After Moses, Jehovah is more frequently used, and this, El-Shaddai, very rarely; it bespeaks the almighty power of God, either, (1.) As an avenger, from sdh He laid waste, so some; and they think God took this title from the destruction of the old world. This is countenanced by Isaiah 13:6, and Joel 1:15. Or (2.) As a benefactor s for asr = who, and dy = sufficient. He is a God that is enough; or, as our old English translation reads it here very significantly, I am God All-Sufficient. Note, The God with Whom we have to do is a God that is enough. [1.] He is enough in Himself; He is Self-sufficient; He has every thing, and He needs not any thing. [2.] He is enough to us, if we be in covenant with Him: we have all in Him, and we have enough in Him, enough to satisfy our most enlarged desires, enough to supply the defect of every thing else, and to secure to us a happiness for our immortal souls Thomas Brooks commenting on Genesis 17:1 writes that... As God is an immense portion, a large portion, so God is an ALL-SUFFICIENT portion... or as some carry the words "I am God all-sufficient, or self-sufficient." God has self-sufficiency and all-sufficiency in Himself. Some derive the word Shaddai, that is here rendered Almighty or All-sufficient, because God feeds His children with sufficiency of all good things, as the tender mother does the sucking child. (Thomas Brooks. An Ark for All God's Noahs in a Gloomy Stormy Day) ><>><>><> EL SHADDAI APPEARED TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB Exodus 6:3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them. The name Yahweh (Jehovah, LORD) was known to Abraham even before the Name El Shaddai, as we note in such passages as Genesis 12:8, 13:4, 15:7 (and to Jacob in Ge 38:13). Clearly in Exodus 6 Jehovah does not introduce a new Name but a new revelation of that holy Name. Remember that the OT (as in the NT), the Names of God were a revelation of some aspect of His character and/or attributes. As noted earlier, BDAG writes that "God's name is almost equivalent to God's being". And so in Exodus 6 we see Jehovah reveals His character as the Covenant keeping God, faithful to keep His promises and faithful to redeem Israel from bondage. In other words, God would make Himself known to Israel in actions by which He had not revealed Himself to the patriarchs and which they knew only as promises of the covenant. If we remember that God's character is infinite, it is not at all surprising that the generation patriarchs might not "know" God in the same way that a later generation could know Him as He chose to reveal Himself to Israel in Moses' day. The Jewish rabbi Rashi explains that this the text means “I did not make Myself known, I did not allow My real character to be recognized.“ Others feel that the last clause could be viewed as a rhetorical question which is permissible in the Hebrew and which would read "by my name JEHOVAH was I not (also) known to them?" Given the fact that God's Names are a revelation of His character, I favor the former explanation. Richards agrees writing that... While the four–letter name YHWH appears in Genesis, its true significance was only revealed in the acts of power by which God intervened in Egypt to free Israel. From this time on, God’s people will know not only what God’s name is, but what that name means! (The Bible Readers Companion) The liberals and "higher" critics go so far as to say this verse indicates an error in Scripture which should be totally discounted as an errant comment! (See also related note on Exodus 6:3) J. A. Motyer argues for the rendering And I showed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob in the character of El Shaddai, but in the character expressed by my name Yahweh I did not make myself known to them. (Bolding added) Mackay explains that the statement that God did not make Himself known to the patriarchs by the Name Jehovah needs... to be interpreted in the light of the significance of the word name, as that which summed up the character of an individual (see John 17:6NIV and the NIV translators’ note there). In the Exodus experience God was giving content to what had been merely a sound before — much closer to the Western use of a name. The NIV footnote presents an alternative translation, “and by My Name the Lord did I not let myself be known to them?” This would be a rhetorical question asked for effect, asserting that the full significance of the name Lord had been revealed to the patriarchs. While this explains the record of the use of Yahweh in Genesis, it does not seem to do justice to the focus on the name in Exodus. Further, it is surprising (though not grammatically impossible) that if the explanation of the clause turns on its being a question, there is no explicit indicator of a question in the original. It is also important to remember that in Exodus the word ‘know’ is frequently used not of receiving information for the first time, but of experiencing for oneself the reality of the truth being conveyed (see on verse 7 below). (Mackay, J. L. A Commentary on Exodus) Keil and Delitzsch add that When the establishment of the covenant commenced, as described in Genesis 15, with the institution of the covenant sign of circumcision and the promise of the birth of Isaac, Jehovah said to Abram, “I am El Shaddai, God Almighty,” and from that time forward manifested Himself to Abram and his wife as the Almighty, in the birth of Isaac, which took place apart altogether from the powers of nature, and also in the preservation, guidance, and multiplication of his seed. It was in His attribute as El Shaddai that God had revealed His nature to the patriarchs; but now He was about to reveal Himself to Israel as Jehovah, as the absolute Being working with unbounded freedom in the performance of His promises. For not only had He established His covenant with the fathers (Ex 6:4), but He had also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, and remembered His covenant (Ex 6:5; not only—but also). The divine promise not only commences in Ex 6:2, but concludes at Ex 6:8, with the emphatic expression, “I Jehovah,” to show that the work of Israel’s redemption resided in the power of the Name Jehovah. In Ex 6:4 the covenant promises of Ge 17:7, 8; 26:3; 35:11, 12, are all brought together and in Ex 6:5 we have a repetition of Ex 2:24, with the emphatically repeated "I". On the ground of the erection of His covenant on the one hand, and, what was irreconcilable with that covenant, the bondage of Israel on the other, Jehovah was not about to redeem Israel from its sufferings and make it His own nation. This assurance, which God would carry out by the manifestation of His nature as expressed in the name Jehovah, contained three distinct elements: (a) the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, which, because so utterly different from all outward appearances, is described in three parallel clauses: bringing them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians; saving them from their bondage; and redeeming them with a stretched-out arm and with great judgments; (b) the adoption of Israel as the nation of God; (c) the guidance of Israel into the land promised to the fathers (Ex 6:6-8). a stretched-out arm, is most appropriately connected with great judgments; for God raises, stretches out His arm, when He proceeds in judgment to smite the rebellious. These expressions repeat with greater emphasis the “strong hand” of Ex 6:1, and are frequently connected with it in the rhetorical language of Deuteronomy (e.g., Deut. 4:34; 5:15; 7:19). The “great judgments” were the plagues, the judgments of God, by which Pharaoh was to be compelled to let Israel go. (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F.. Commentary on the Old Testament 1:303-304). ><>><>><> Spurgeon on the importance of the Names of God... There is something in every Name of God which may breed faith in our souls. Whether we know him as Jehovah, Elohim, Shaddai, or Lord, or by whatsoever other name he has been pleased to manifest himself, that title becomes the ground of our confidence, and is the means of fostering faith in his people’s minds, when they come to understand its meaning. To a trembling people the Lord enlarges on his wonderful names. I think he also does it to excite our wonder and our gratitude. He that loves us so much is Jehovah: he that can create and destroy; he that is the self-existent God; he, even he, has set his heart upon his people, and loves them and counts them precious in his sight. It is a marvellous thing. The more one thinks of it, the more shall he be overwhelmed with astonishment, that he who is everything should love us who are less than nothing. It is the Holy One who has deigned to choose, and to love unholy men, and to look upon them in grace, and save them from their sins. That you may bow low in loving gratitude, God lets you see who he is. That you may see how great a stoop of condescension he has made, when he loves his unworthy people, and takes them into union with himself, you are made to see how great and glorious is the diving name. (See Spurgeon's full sermon "Jehovah's Valuation of His People" - Pdf) ><>><>><> Spurgeon in Your Available Power alludes to El Shaddai writing that... There are a few things that I would have you remember, and then I will be done. Remember that the Holy Spirit has His ways and methods, and there are some things that He will not do. Remember that He makes no promise to bless compromises. If we make a treaty with error or sin, we do it at our own risk. If we do anything that we are not clear about, if we tamper with truth or holiness, if we are friends of the world, if we make provision for the flesh, if we preach halfheartedly and are allied with those in error, we have no promise that the Holy Spirit will go with us. The great promise runs in quite another strain: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (pantokrator).(2Co 6:17, 18) Only in that one place in the New Testament, with the exception of the book of Revelation, is God called by the name of "the Lord God Almighty." If you want to know what great things the Lord can do as the Lord God Almighty, be separate from the world and from those who apostatize from the truth. "El-Shaddai," God all-sufficient, the God who nurtures and provides. We will never know the utmost power of God for supplying all our needs until we have cut connection once for all with everything that is not according to His mind. It was grand of Abraham when he said to the king of Sodom, "I will not take from you"—a Babylonian garment or a wedge of gold? No, no. He said, "I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet” (Ge 14:23). That was a clear-cut separation. The man of God will have nothing to do with Sodom or with false doctrine. If you see anything that is evil, cut yourself off from it. Be done with those who are done with truth. Then you will be prepared to receive the promise, and not until then. (Spurgeon, C. H. Your Available Power) ><>><>><> A B Simpson writes... Beloved, have we learned, as we bow the knee in prayer, that we are talking with Him Who still says to us as to Abraham, "I am El Shaddai; the Almighty God"; to Jeremiah, "I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"; to Isaiah, "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding." (A. B. Simpson. The Life of Prayer) ><>><>><> Lewis Sperry Chafer writes that... In the Old Testament the title Almighty God (El Shaddai) conveys the truth that God sustains His people. The term indicates more than that God is a God of strength. That He is; but the title includes the impartation of His strength as a child draws succor from the mother’s breast. The word shad as combined in El Shaddai, means breast, and supports the conceptions of a mother’s nourishment imparted to her child. (Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 94, 1937) ><>><>><> THE JEWISH MEZUZAH and SHADDAI The first object seen on entering a Jewish home is the mezuzah (see Wikipedia article) on the door-post. It is a case of metal or wood or plastic with a parchment scroll containing the passage in Deuteronomy 6:4 with others verses in that context. The name Shaddai (Almighty) is written on the case. Orthodox Jews on entering and leaving the home put their fingers on the mezuzah (Hebrew = door-post) and then touch their lips. Among the several ceremonial objects of the home are the Talith (based on Deut 22:12) and the Tefillin (from Ex 13:9, 16). We know these were in use in the time of our Lord, for He refers to them specifically in speaking of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:5. (Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 111:128) As an aside, the Hebrew word Shaddai is also written on some of the Jewish prayer paraphernalia as described in the Encyclopedia of Judaism excerpt... The man puts on the tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (phylacteries) while reciting the blessings for each. Every pious male obtains and maintains these prized and essential objects of piety in accord with the prescriptions of the rabbis and scribes. He wears these objects to show compliance with the prescriptions of the verses of the Torah recited in the shema (Deut. 6:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and especially Nu 15:37, 39, 39, 40, 41). Each knot on the four fringes of the prayer shawl is tied in accordance with age-old tradition. The phylacteries are crafted of select leather, made into cubical containers to hold the small parchments of biblical paragraphs written by trained scribes. The head-tefillin has to rest on the worshipper’s forehead between the eyes, neither too high on the head, nor too low on the face. The leather strap that holds it in place is tied in accordance with known custom. The wearer understands that the knot of leather that sits at the base of his skull is a representation of the letter yod, the third letter of Shaddai, one of the divine names. On the leather box of the arm-tefillin is inscribed the letter shin. (Ed note: the fist letter of "Shaddai") The wearer knows that the knot that holds it fast on his left biceps—opposite his heart—is a form of the letter dalet. (Ed note: Transliterated as "d", the last letter in the Hebrew name Shaddai, since Hebrew has no vowels) Thus as he recites the prescribed prayers, the Jew is bound head and heart to God, Shaddai. He wears these appurtenances each weekday from the time he reaches thirteen, the age of maturity, now commonly called the age of Bar Mitzvah... The name of God is used in different permutations on amulets (Ed note: charm often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to protect the wearer against evil!), often just Shaddai (the Almighty) is found. ><>><>><> Spurgeon has this comment on the sufficiency of Shaddai... Another translator reads the passage, “In me thy fruit is enough.” Whatever may be the accuracy of the translation, the sentiment itself is most correct. In God there is enough for all his people; and well there may be, since in him there is infinity. “I have enough, my brother,” said Esau when he met Jacob: “I have all things,” said Jacob in reply. None but the believer can say, “I have all things;” and therefore only he can be sure of having enough. Ishmael had his bottle of water, and went away into the wilderness; but it is written, that Isaac abode by the well: how happy is the soul which hath learned how to live by the well of his faithful God for... The water will be spent in the bottle, but the water will never be spent in the well. Christian, remember the All Sufficiency of thy God! Let that ancient name, “El Shaddai”-God All-Sufficient, sound like music in thine ear-as some translate it, “The many-breasted God,” yielding from Himself the sustenance of all His creatures. Spurgeon, C. H. ><> ><> ><> NAOMI'S LAMENT EL SHADDAI'S SUFFICIENCY Ruth 1:20 (note) And she (Naomi) said to them (Ruth and Ophrah), "Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara (Bitter), for the Almighty (Hebrew = Shaddai; LXX = sufficient) has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, but Jehovah has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since Jehovah has witnessed against me and the Almighty (Hebrew = Shaddai; LXX = sufficient) has afflicted me?" (See similar use of Shaddai by Job in Job 27:2) In Ruth 1:20-21 Shaddai is translated (in both verses) in the Septuagint (LXX) by the Greek phrase "ho hikanos", which could be rendered in English as r "the Sufficient One". The Greek word hikanos (see word study) means sizeable, considerable, competent, ample, adequate, enough, large enough or sufficient. Now take one or more of those meanings of hikanos and "plug them back into" the Name of Naomi's God - "The ________ One"! Naomi is saying in essence my God is... "the Sufficient (One)" "the (One Who is large) Enough" "the Adequate One" It is as if by using Shaddai (little used outside of Genesis and Job), Naomi is expressing trust in Him even in the midst of her pain. Take those meanings and plug them into the Name of God in Ruth 1:20-21. Naomi is saying my God is "the Sufficient (One)", "the (One Who is large) Enough", "the Adequate One", etc. Would it be that we could all see God as ample, adequate, competent, large enough, sufficient, etc when we are experiencing adversity or in the throes of bitterness. Open our eyes LORD to see Thee as Who Thou truly art -- "Large Enough" for any and every trial and affliction we will ever encounter. Elsewhere (primarily in Job) the Septuagint translates Shaddai with the Greek Pantokrator (pas = all + kratos = strength, dominion) meaning Ruler over all, Omnipotent or Almighty. One explanation of the derivation of Shaddai is that the term means "one of the mountain" a picture that might convey the picture of safety and sufficiency. Rabbinic analysis (Babylonian Talmud) holds that Shaddai is composed of the she ="Who" + day ="enough" and so literally "she-day" means the "One Who is Sufficient", which would be consistent with how the Septuagint translates "Shaddai" in the Ruth 1:20, 21. The Evangelical Commentary of the Bible observes that the book of Ruth... The book is striking for the way in which the principal characters exhibit an abiding faith in the Lord of Israel’s covenant. They know that he is alive (Ru 3:13-note), and although they might be oppressed by various eventualities in life, they trust him to turn adversity into blessing. The name generally used in Ruth for God is Yahweh, which had been revealed formally to Israel at the time of the exodus, and characterized the almighty covenant God who promised to bless his chosen people as long as they honored him alone as their true and living God. At a time when her faith was enduring considerable stress, Naomi used the less personal name Shaddai, “Almighty” (Ru 1:20, 21), though even here she names Israel’s covenant deity as the One Who had directed her life. (Elwell, W. A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Baker Book House) It is not surprising that the majority of OT uses of Shaddai are in Job (31/48 uses)! One observation from Job and Ruth 1:20,21 is that Suffering and Shaddai are seen together. Perhaps when we are in the darkness then we can see clearly His Sufficiency and His Adequacy, for all our other earthly resources have come to naught. It is certainly true that when we come to the "end of our rope in Moab" and find that Jesus is all we have, we find that Jesus is all we have ever needed and that He is Enough. Eliphaz attempting to comfort for Job, reminded him of "how happy (blessed) is the man whom God reproves (corrects, disciplines). So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty (Shaddai)." (Job 5:17) The storms of our life prove the strength of our anchor. Naomi's use of Shaddai (only in Ruth 1:20-21) is not by accident, for to know a specific Name of God is to know His character and His attributes inherent in that Name. And so surely Naomi knows Shaddai as the God with Whom we have to do, Who allows suffering, but Who is also a God Who is "enough". He is "enough" in Himself. He is self-sufficient. He has everything and He needs nothing. He is "enough" to us if we are in covenant with Him for then we have all in Him, and we have enough in Him, enough to satisfy our deepest desires, enough to supply the defect of everything else in our life and enough to secure to us happiness for our immortal souls. This is the God with Whom Naomi was intimate. Do you know God intimately as Shaddai? Have you come to the point in your personal relationship with God that He is enough? Is He sufficient to meet all your needs? Can Shaddai be trusted to fulfill the promises of His Word? What in your life looks impossible? Have you surrendered it fully to the Lord? Are you willing to wait upon Him to fulfill His promises? ><>><>><> SHADDAI IN PSALM 91 Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter (hiding place, secret place) of the Most High (El Elyon) will abide in the shadow of Shaddai. 91:2 I will say to the LORD, "My refuge & my fortress. My God, in Whom I trust!" Spurgeon comments on the phrase "Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty"... The Omnipotent Lord will shield all those who dwell with Him, they shall remain under His care as guests under the protection of their host. In the most holy place the wings of the cherubim were the most conspicuous objects, and they probably suggested to the psalmist the expression here employed. Those who commune with God are safe with Him, no evil can reach them, for the outstretched wings of His power and love cover them from all harm. This protection is constant -- they abide under it, and it is all sufficient, for it is the shadow of the Almighty, Whose omnipotence will surely screen them from all attack. No shelter can be imagined at all comparable to the protection of Jehovah's own shadow. The Almighty Himself is where His shadow is, and hence those who dwell in His secret place are shielded by Himself. What a shade in the day of noxious heat! What a refuge in the hour of deadly storm! Communion with God is safety. The more closely we cling to our Almighty Father the more confident may we be. Under the shadow of the Almighty. This is an expression which implies great nearness. We must walk very close to a companion, if we would have his shadow fall on us. Can we imagine any expression more perfect in describing the constant presence of God with His chosen ones, than this -- they shall "abide under His shadow"? ... And it is he who chooses to dwell in the secret place of the most High, who shall "abide under the shadow of the Almighty." There is a condition and a promise attached to it. The condition is, that we "dwell in the secret place," -- the promise, that if we do so we "shall abide under the shadow." It is of importance to view it thus. For when we remember the blessing is a promised blessing -- we are led to feel it is a gift -- a thing therefore to be prayed for in faith, as well as sought for by God's appointed means. Ah, the hopes that this awakens! My wandering, wavering, unstable heart, that of itself cannot keep to one course two days together is to seek its perseverance from God, and not in its own strength. He will hold it to him if it be but seeking for stedfastness. It is not we who cling to Him. It is He Who keeps near to us. - Mary B. M. Duncan. Warren Wiersbe commenting on Psalm 91 asks... I wonder what the safest place in the world is. A bomb shelter? A bank vault? Perhaps a prison surrounded by an army? According to Psalm 91, the safest place in the world is a shadow. "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1-note). "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler" (Psalm 91:4-note). What does this mean? The psalmist refers to the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and the temple. In the Holy of Holies, two cherubim were over the mercy seat, and their wings touched each other. "Under his wings" means at the mercy seat, where the blood was sprinkled, there in the presence of the glory of God. The Holy of Holies was God's throne. It was the place of God's glory. In other words, the safest place in the world is in fellowship with God--not just visiting the Holy Place, as the high priest did once a year, but dwelling in the Holy Place. The psalmist is urging, "Live in the Holy of Holies." According to Hebrews 10:19, 20, 21, 22 (note), we have an open invitation to come right into the presence of God and dwell in the secret place--under His wings, at the mercy seat. This is where God meets with us, where His glory is revealed, where He gives us His guidance and shows us His will. My shadow is not much protection for anyone. But when it belongs to the Almighty, a shadow is a strong protection. Live in the Holy of Holies, under the shadow of the Almighty. God invites you to fellowship with Him--to live in the Holy of Holies. What an invitation! You may come into the safety of His presence and receive His mercy, guidance and protection. Do you live under God's shadow? (Warren Wiersbe. Prayer, Praise and Promises) ><>><>><> SHADDAI IN PSALM 68 Psalm 68:14 When the Almighty (Shaddai) scattered the kings there, It was snowing in Zalmon. Spurgeon comments on the Almighty writing that... When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon. The victory was due to the Almighty arm alone; He scattered the haughty ones who came against His people, and He did it as easily as snow is driven from the bleak sides of Salmon. The word white appears to be imported into the text, and by leaving it out the sense is easy. A traveller informed the writer that on a raw and gusty day, he saw the side of what he supposed to be Mount Salmon suddenly swept bare by a gust of wind, so that the snow was driven hither and thither into the air like the down of thistles, or the spray of the sea: thus did the Omnipotent one scatter all the potentates that defied Israel. ...Whatever may be the precise meaning, it was intended to portray the glory and completeness of the divine triumph over the greatest foes. In this let all believers rejoice. El Roi, The God Who Sees The following comments are modified from C H Spurgeon's devotional in Morning and Evening... Hagar had once found deliverance there and Ishmael had drank from the water so graciously revealed by the God Who lives and sees the sons of men Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "Thou art a God who sees" (El Roi); for she said, "Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?" Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi ("well of the Living One seeing me"); behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. (Genesis 16:13,14) This was a merely casual visit by Hagar and Ishmael, such as worldlings pay to the Lord in times of need, when it serves their turn. They cry to Him in trouble, but forsake Him in prosperity. We next encounter this well in Genesis 25 Moses recording that... And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt (Hebrew = yashab emphasizes a thoroughly settled state) by the well (Heb = beer) Lahai Roi (Genesis 25:11 - Beer-lahai-roi = "well of the Living One seeing me") Isaac dwelt there, and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply. The usual tenor of a man’s life, the dwelling of his soul, is the true test of his state. Perhaps the providential visitation experienced by Hagar struck Isaac’s mind, and led him to revere the place; its mystical name endeared it to him; his frequent musings by its brim at eventide made him familiar with the well; his meeting Rebecca there had made his spirit feel at home near the spot; but best of all, the fact that he there enjoyed fellowship with the living God, had made him select that hallowed ground for his dwelling. Let us learn to live in the presence of the living God Who sees all. Let us pray the Holy Spirit that this day, and every other day, we may feel, “Thou God seest me.” May the Lord Jehovah be as a well to us, delightful, comforting, unfailing, springing up unto eternal life. The bottle of the creature cracks and dries up, but the well of the Creator never fails. Happy is he who dwells at the well, and so has abundant and constant supplies near at hand. The Lord has been a sure helper to others: His name is Shaddai, God All-sufficient. Our hearts have often had most delightful intercourse with Him. Through Him our soul has found her glorious Husband, the Lord Jesus and in Him this day we live, and move, and have our being. Let us, then, dwell in closest fellowship with Him. Glorious Lord, constrain us that we may never leave Thee, but dwell by the well of the living God Who Sees. GENESIS 17:1-2 C H SPURGEON In his sermon Consecration to God—Illustrated by Abraham's Circumcision, we read the following comments on Genesis 17:1, 2 by C H Spurgeon... Recalling your minds to Abram’s history, let me remind you that thirteen years had elapsed after the time in which God had said that Abram’s faith was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6), and those thirteen years, so far as we can gather from Scripture, were not at all so full of brave faith and noble deeds as we might have expected them to have been. THE "BEST OF MEN" ARE BUT MEN AT THE BEST How sure is the truth that the best of men are but men at the best, for that very man who had accepted God’s promise and had not staggered at it through unbelief, within a few months afterwards, or perhaps a few days, was taken with a fit of unbelief, and at the instigation of his wife, adopted means which were not justifiable, in order that he might obtain the promised heir. He used means which may not be so vicious to him, as they would be in men of modern times, but which were suggested by an unbelieving policy, and were fraught with evil. He takes Hagar to wife. He could not leave it to God to give him the promised seed; he could not leave it with God to fulfill His promise in His own time, but justifies himself in turning aside from the narrow path of faith to accomplish by doubtful methods the end which God Himself had promised and undertaken to accomplish. How shorn of splendor is Abram seen when we read of him, “and Abram hearkened unto the voice of Sarai!” (Genesis 16:2) That business of Hagar is to the patriarch's deep discredit, and reflects no honor at all upon either him or his faith. Look at the consequences of his unbelieving procedure! Misery soon followed. Hagar despises her mistress; Sarai throws all the blame on her husband; the poor bond-woman is so hardly dealt with that she flees from the household. How much of real cruelty may be meant by the term “dealing hardly,” I cannot tell, but one marvels that such a man as Abram allowed one who had been brought into such a relationship with him, to be heedlessly chased from his house while in a condition requiring care and kindness. We admire the truthfulness of the Holy Ghost that he has been pleased to record the faults of the saints without extenuating them. Biographies of good men in Scripture are written with unflinching integrity, their evil recorded as well as their good. These faults are not written that we may say, “Abraham did so-and-so, therefore we may do it.” No, brethren, the lives of these good men are warnings to us as well as examples, and we are to judge them as we should judge ourselves, by the laws of right and wrong. Abram did wrong both in taking Hagar to wife and in allowing her to be badly used. In after years the child of the bond-woman mocked the child of the free-woman, and an expulsion of both mother and child was needful. There was deep sorrow in Abram’s heart, a bitterness not to be told. Polygamy, though tolerated under the Old Testament, was never approved; it was only endured because of the hardness of men’s hearts. It is evil, only evil, and that continually. In the family relationship there can be opened no more abundant and fruitful source of misery to the sons of men than want of chastity to the marriage-bond made with one wife. Disguise that unchastity by what name you will. All these thirteen years, so far as Scripture informs us, Abram had not a single visit from his God. We do not find any record of his either doing anything memorable or having so much as a single audience with the Most High. Learn from this, that if we once forsake the track of simple faith, once cease to walk according to the purity which faith approves, we strew our path with thorns, cause God to withhold the light of His countenance from us, and pierce ourselves through with many sorrows. But mark, beloved, the exceeding grace of God. The way to recover Abram from his backsliding was that the Lord should appear to him; and, consequently, we read in our text that at ninety-nine years of age Abram was favored with a further visit from the Most High. (Genesis 17:1) This brings to my remembrance the words in the book of Revelation, concerning the church in Laodicea: Thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” — a very solemn declaration; but what follows? “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me which means just this, that for recovery out of a horrible state of languishing and lukewarmness there is no remedy but the coming of Jesus Christ to the soul in near and dear intercourse. Truly it was so with Abram. The Lord would bring him out of his state of distrust and distance into one of high dignity and sanctity, and he does it by manifesting himself to him, for the Lord talked with Abram. “Midst darkest shades, if he appear, My dawning is begun; He is my soul’s bright morning star, And he my rising sun.” Breathe a prayer, my brethren and sisters. “Lord, reveal thyself to my poor backsliding, languishing spirit. Revive me, O Lord, for one smile from Thee can make my wilderness blossom as the rose.” On the occasion of this gracious manifestation, God was pleased to do for Abram what I think is to us an admirable and instructive illustration of the consecration of our redeemed spirits entirely to his service. I shall, this morning, as God may help me, first lead you to observe the model of the consecrated life; secondly, the nature of the higher life; and, thirdly, its results... ...For a man to be thoroughly sanctified to the Master’s service, he must first realize the almightiness and all-sufficiency and glory of God. (Ed note: cp meaning of Name El Shaddai) Brethren, the God Whom we serve filleth all things, and hath all power and all riches. If we think little of Him we shall render little trust to Him, and consequently little obedience, but if we have grand conceptions of the glory of God, we shall learn to confide in Him most thoroughly, we shall receive mercies from Him most plentifully, and we shall be moved to serve Him most consistently. LOW THOUGHTS OF GOD Sin at the bottom of it very frequently has its origin in low thoughts of God. Take Abram’s sin. He could not see how God could make him the father of many nations when Sarai was old and barren. Hence his error with Hagar (Genesis 161, 2, 3, 4, 5). But if he had remembered what God now brings to his recollection, that God is El Shaddai, the all sufficient One, he would have said, “No, I will remain true to Sarai, for God can effect his own purposes without my taking tortuous means to accomplish them. He is all sufficient in Himself, and not dependent upon creature strength. I will patiently hope, and quietly wait, to see the fulfillment of the Master’s promises.” APPLICATION OF THE TRUTH ABOUT EL SHADDAI Now, as with Abram, so with you, my brethren and sisters. When a man is in business difficulties, if he believes that God is all sufficient to carry him through them, he will not practice any of the common tricks of trade, nor degenerate into that shiftiness which is so usual among commercial men. If a man believes, be

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