The Almighty Overpowerer
Tuesday - May 3rd
Scripture to Read Today: Job 40:1-5
El Shaddai: Boundlessly powerful and beyond mighty
The Names and Attributes of God
The Lord said to Job:
"Will the one who contends
with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God
One of the most frequently used names for God in the Old Testament is El Shaddai. The word "El" in Hebrew is the word for God. Shaddai speaks of power that is beyond. It is a power that has no boundaries. Sometimes folks simply say that El Shaddai means "God Almighty." While that is true, we lose some of the emphasis with that simple two-word description. Usage of a word says a lot about what the original readers understood the term to mean.
The Book of Job uses El Shaddai as a name for God more than any other Old Testament book. Job is the best example of someone who not only suffers but wrestles with deep discouragement. Job had lost all of his sons and daughters. He lost all of his wealth. He lost his own health. His suffering was great.
Some of his friends showed up to console him. The first seven days with him, they simply sat with him in mourning - saying nothing. That was the greatest encouragement they would give him. When they began to discuss his suffering, they questioned his integrity. They suggested the suffering had to be some form of judgment from God. Job began to wrestle with God's intentions in his loss and pain.
After many rounds of discussions between Job and his friends that leave Job doubting and confused, God steps in and addresses Job. While Job understood that God was almighty and had unmatched, boundless power, God rebukes him for questioning El Shaddai (God Almighty) in a contentious way (Job 40:1-2). If God is indeed El Shaddai as Job had told his friends, God wanted to know why Job had slipped into an improper complaint against God. It wasn't that Job was asking questions; his questions near the end of the rounds of discussions with his friends had turned caustic toward God.
God spends much of what He says in Job chapters thirty-eight through forty rehearsing why Job referred to Him as El Shaddai in the first place. He speaks of how His power has no boundaries, and He is beyond mighty.
We must be cautious when we doubt and question why God is doing something He is doing in our lives or in the world. Our God is El Shaddai - the Almighty Overpowerer. We cannot merely accuse God when we don't like something He has done or disagree with how He works. He is El Shaddai. Knowing Who He is should keep us from wildly accusing Him.
On the other hand, when we understand that El Shaddai (God Almighty) is for us, not against us, the fact that He is the Almighty Overpowerer means He can do anything and everything we need on our behalf. As God Almighty, He knows what is best for us - even when uncomfortable for us. The circumstances He allows into our lives might cause us to suffer and sorrow like Job, but we can trust Him. Nothing overpowers Him. Everything He allows into our lives; He allows for a purpose.
The Almighty God, El Shaddai, works His eternal plans for your benefit and His glory. You can trust Him!