The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it, and is safe.
Brian and I recently preached on the Names of God. Many people are unaware of the resources and power we have available at our fingertips. All throughout the Bible, God constantly reveals himself and his character.
One of the things that we like to do as a family is to pray together. There are so many important elements to having a regular time of prayer with your family. So, this morning, like many other days, we prayed. My daughter had friends over, so we asked if they would like to be included in this time, which they were good with. Brian presented them with some options of the different names of God that we could use in our prayer time. After realizing that God has about 1000 names that describe his character, the name El Shaddai was selected. Knowing absolutely nothing about what El Shaddai meant, it was chosen as a powerful force that rhymed with “The Jedi”. So we embarked on learning about, El Shaddai the Jedi. It’s strange, right, like anyone ever watches a Star Wars movie in modern culture? I mean, have you ever seen someone dressed up as stormtrooper, set your alarm for 3am to ride “Rise of the Resistance” or tote a purse with your favourite character, like baby Yoda?
Nonetheless, El Shaddai, was selected as the choice name of God.
Names tell a story and speak the future hope over people. My name means ‘beauty , grace, favour, slender and fair.’ My husband’s name, Brian, means ‘strength, virtue or strong one.’
The fact of the matter is names mean something to people. It’s special and unique to you, no matter who else bears it. They not only influence us, but those around us and their attitudes towards others.
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Every time we say a name, we are making a confession over someone’s life. Our identity is attached to it.
In the Bible, a name stood for a person’s reputation, character, desires and future hopes.
The Hebrew word “Shem” translated “name” in the Old Testament literally means “A mark or a brand.” It reveals personality, character and purpose. For example, Nabal, whose name means “fool,” is referenced in 1 Samuel 25:25 “For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” Other examples include, David (beloved), Isaac (laughter), Satan (adversary).
Names are so important to God that he will even change your name to line it up with his destiny for you. Jacob (deceiver) was changed to Israel (God contends) or Abram (Exalted father) to Abraham (Father of a multitude).
When God reveals to us a name about himself, he is describing his character so we can know him better and he can be to us exactly who he is. Prayer is an excellent way for us to develop an intimacy with God. Knowing his names helps in this process.
Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
Jesus is teaching us how to pray in this passage. He starts off by addressing God as our Father. This establishes a relationship with Him. He is our dad and we are his family.
He follows this up with the “hallowed be your name”. Hallowed means consecrated to a sacred use, reverenced, holy. Isaiah 6:3 states that there are angels who just speak of the holiness of God by just repeating over and over “Holy, Holy, holy is the Lord God almighty”.
God takes his name very seriously and so should we. In Exodus 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” This literally means empty or without meaning, conveying an idea that something is without substance.
Our culture has developed a disdain and lack of honour for God. This stems from a lack of the Fear of God. Psalms 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O’ Lord; I will walk in Your Truth; Unite my heart to Fear your name.”. The Fear of the Lord is a foundation stone in the life of a believer as it connects us to the reverence, honour and respect that we have for our Saviour.
You see, everything that we will ever need in life is in God. He is our father and we can go to Him when we pray and He will give us what we need. As we learn about the names of God, we can activate those revelations of him in our daily lives through PRAYER.
Let’s jump back to El Shaddai, which means Lord God Almighty and All-Sufficient One. It’s first referenced in Genesis 17:1 “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”
These reveal to us not only the supreme eternal nature of God, but that he is also our sufficient source in time of need. This is important, for we need to understand that when we go to the source we will be sustained.
Let me further clarify.
Isaiah 60:16 “You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, And milk the breast (shad) of kings; You shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” and Isaiah 66:10-11 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom (shad), that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”
Shaddai comes from the root word shad, which is literally translated breast. These passages are used to describe the supply of nourishment, like a woman to her baby. So when God says He is El Shaddai, He is basically saying I’m the breasty one who supplies the nourishment needed to sustain your life.
What a revelation, God is the complete nourishment that we need to live every day. I’m pretty sure we need God in this capacity daily, so praying to El Shaddai is a great way to start the day off, and that is exactly what we did.
El Shaddai, the Jedi gave us nourishment for the day.