Bible Society of South Africa

God Almighty – 11 June 2020

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

Circumcision, the Sign of the Covenant

1When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty God. Obey me and always do what is right.

Genesis 17:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

When I was a little boy, it was very important to be physically strong. My dad versus your dad led to fisticuffs more than once. Arguments about who was stronger; Hercules, Samson or Superman led to more fights. Boer van Rensburg was a very strong man, touring the country and producing stunts, showing his strength that made us gape in wonder. In the old religions and mythologies, there was also a constant struggle between the gods to see who was top dog.

Then the God of the Bible came to Abraham and said, “I am El Shaddai – the Almighty”. No contest. Nobody is like Him, nobody has more power in heaven and on earth than Him, nobody can make the rain come down or let the thunder rumble but Him. Above all, nobody can make a covenant with Abraham like Him.

Although there are quite different views on the translation of “Shaddai”, the consensus is that Almighty is the best. We find more than three hundred references to God as the Almighty in the Old Testament although Yahweh Sabaoth is also translated as Almighty. When we interpret the translation of El Shaddai only in the sense of strongest of all, we do not do justice to the rich meaning of the name. The name also refers to His completeness. The name does not mean he is a God who wants to bend everything by brute force to suit his taste. To be almighty actually means to be perfect or complete, the God who lacks nothing.

We cannot really comprehend that this Almighty God loved us so much that he left His only Son completely powerless when He died on the cross for us.

Prayer: We thank you, God Almighty, who has all the power in heaven and on earth, that you came down to us and made us your children. Amen

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