December 11, 2019
This message is the continuation of yesterday’s message
4. I am El – Shaddai – God almighty who takes care with tenderness and love (Genesis 17:1, 35:11)
It’s interesting to notice the moment of God revealing Himself as El-Shaddai in Abraham’s and Jacob’s life (Genesis 17:1, 35:11). Abraham just went through a time of inaccuracy that took a quite time because he has taken Hagar as his concubine and Ismael’s birth (Genesis 16:1-16) while Jacob just faced a big storm due to his family (Genesis 34:1-31)
God came in the lives of the heroes faith who were ‘shackled by big problem’ that had a chance to deviate their destiny that God had set for them as El-Shaddai. He corrected, directed and restarted their faith journey that was hindered because of their accuracy in the past.
In the New Testament, “El-Shaddai” (אֵל שָׁדַּי) translated as “God Almighty”. The reason is because the word “shaddai” (שָׁדַּי) considered to relate with the word “shadad” (שָׁדַד) or “lish’dod” (לְשְׁדוד) which means “to defeat, destroy”.
However, the word “shaddai” (שָׁדַּי) can relate to other word. The word “shad” (שָׁד) from the derivation of the word is closer with “shaddai” (שָׁדַּי), and in Hebrew Lexicon means:
1) breast, bosom, (female) breast
1a) breast (of woman)
1b) breast (of animal)
In short, “shad” (שָׁד) means “breasts”. The suffix “i” or “ai” is a suffix which denotes the owner, in this case the meaning is “Mine”. So literally “El-Shaddai” can mean “God (is) my breasts”. The Bible sometimes presents a feminine description of God and the name “El-Shaddai” is one of them.
According to Towns (1995), the name EL SHADDAI besides expressing God’s grace, also shows God’s tenderness in caring for us. That is because the words SHADDAI and SHAD in Hebrew have the same meaning as breasts or bosom (Genesis 49:25; Job 3:12; Psalms 22:10). It shows that God is like a mother who breast feeds her child gently and lovingly. So EL SHADDAI is both God Almighty and gentle in looking after His children.
In ancient society, breasts were one of the main symbols of sustenance. God is my breasts means God is like breasts that feed me, fulfill all my nutrition and primary needs, give me warmth and security. Breasts are also a symbol of God’s love that is delivered through parents’ love.
So, instead of translating it as “Omnipotent God” that sounds masculine, it would be better to translate it as “God suffices everything”. A breastfed baby doesn’t need food and other drinks besides milk flowing from his mother’s breasts.
According to Towns (1995), the might and tenderness of EL SHADDAI are very real when we face problems or needs. On the other hand, God is tender and full of love so He knows our problems. He cares. And God is also have a power to solve our problems
By accessing the dimension of EL Shadday, we will enjoy God’s tenderness in His love and might is willing to start something new in our lives – give us a fresh starting point.
I pray, no matter what inaccuracies we have done in the past, ih His love, tenderness and might, Holy Spirit will give direction and guidance again for us to lives. And when the spirit of obedience works in our lives, encouraging us to step in to follow His direction, we will start to find how God guides us to keep going on our destiny journey He has set long before this world exist for our lives! And again our lives are at the center of His perfect will! #IloveGod
Ps. Steven Agustinus