God's Powerful and Tender Name: El Shaddai


One of the most tender names God used for Himself was El Shaddai. Although El Shaddai is often translated "God Almighty," that is an inadequate translation and misses much of its beauty. The almightiness of God is expressed in El, a short form of Elohim, which means "the Mighty One." But what does Shaddai mean?

Some scholars believe that Shaddai is derived from the word Sadu, meaning "mountain," suggesting strength and power. 

"The Lord appeared to Abraham and said unto him, I am the Almighty God [El Shaddai]: walk before Me, and be thou perfect" (Genesis 17:1 KJV). Abraham might have thought, Lord, how can I walk before You and be perfect?
It is as though God said, "Remember, Abraham, I am El Shaddai, absolutely powerful, absolutely sufficient, absolutely able to keep you from falling."

Others believe Shaddai is derived from the word used in scripture for a woman's breast. As the mother is the all-sufficient one to her baby, God is the Satisfier of His people. It could be rendered "God All-sufficient." Plus it suggests exuberance and perfect satisfaction combined with irresistible power!

El Shaddai is most frequently used in the book of Job. If the Almighty, the Pourer-forth of Blessings, was the One chastening him, Job could stay true. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15 KJV). Those of us who know God as the One who has all power and perfectly satisfies us will always be able to say that. In difficult times, it may seem that He is far from being the One who pours forth blessings. But our faith rests upon the assurance that in the end we'll say with joy, "He has done all things well."

Thank You, Father, that in every situation You intend to pour out blessings on all who love You. You are God Almighty, El Shaddai.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" [El Shaddai] (Psalm 91:1).