The Names of God – El Shaddai

The Name of God – El Shaddai – June 5, 2022 – Pastor Marvin Engle



Charles Spurgeon once said, “The HIGHEST SCIENCE and the MIGHTIEST PHILOSOPHY which can ever engage the ATTENTION of a child of God is the NAMES, the NATURE, the WORK and the EXISTENCE of the GREAT GOD whom he calls, ‘Father.’” – January 7, 1855.   (age 20)

“No subject of contemplation will HUMBLE the mind of man more than thoughts of ALMIGHTY GOD.  The study of God is a subject so vast that ONE WHO THINKS OF GOD will have a larger mind than other men.  Nothing will so magnify the soul of man as a DEVOUT, EARNEST, CONTINUED INVESTIGATION of the great subject of DEITY.  I know NOTHING that can so COMFORT THE SOUL, so CALM the billows of sorrow and grief, so SPEAK PEACE to the soul in trial, and is a BALM for everyone like the subject of the GODHEAD.”

How well do you KNOW GOD today?  Do you REALLY KNOW the God of the Bible?  Do you REALLY WORSHIP the ONE TRUE GOD revealed in the Holy Scriptures?  The highest goal of man is the goal of KNOWING and UNDERSTANDING God – Jeremiah 9:23-24 – Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he UNDERSTANDETH and KNOWETH ME, that I AM THE LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.  The GOAL of the true believer is to GLORIFY GOD – Isaiah 43:7 – Even every one that is called by my name: for I have CREATED HIM FOR MY GLORY, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

The man who claims to believe in God, but who REJECTS the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, DOES NOT KNOW the God of the Bible – John 5:17-18, 23 – 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.            23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that HONORETH NOT THE SON HONORETH NOT THE FATHER which hath sent him.

John 14:9-11 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? HE THAT HATH SEEN ME HATH SEEN THE FATHER; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me or else believe me for the very works’ sake.                John 17:3 – And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW THEE THE ONLY TRUE GOD, AND JESUS CHRIST, whom thou hast sent.

God has chosen to reveal Himself to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in them – Romans 8:9 – But ye are … in the Spirit, IF so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

I Corinthians 2:9-12 –  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God HATH REVEALED THEM UNTO TO US BY HIS SPIRIT: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so THE THINGS OF GOD knoweth no man, but THE SPIRIT OF GOD. 12 Now WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, but THE SPIRIT WHICH IS OF GOD; that WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS that are freely given to us of God.

The highest goal of the true Christian is to know God…to glorify Him…and to serve Him!


GOD IS EL SHADDAI:  Genesis 17:1-8, 15-19            

Some of you know “the Law of First Mention” in the Bible which means that the first time something is mentioned in the Bible is a clue to its meaning throughout Scripture.  Genesis 17:1 is the first time the name El Shaddai is used of Jehovah-God in the Scriptures.

God had promised to make of Abram a great nation, using his seed – Genesis 15:3-4.  We saw last week that Abram slipped into doubting God when he listened to his wife and produced Ishmael of Hagar, he was 86 years oldGenesis 16:16.  Following this fleshly and carnal decision, Abram experience 13 years of spiritual barrenness – a time of silence when he had no known fellowship with God and God had not spoken to him.

Genesis 17:1-8, 15-19 – Wherever we find the name El Shaddai in Scripture, it speaks of His work in believers to make fruitful those who trust in Him.  It is significant that God often must chasten believers to make them fruitful or more fruitful for God.  His work is often like the cutting back of a vine to produce more and better fruit.  Hebrews 12:11 NKJV – 11 Now no ]chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

In Genesis 17:1 when he first heard the name, El Shaddai, Abram was now 99 years old.  God allowed Abram’s body to become dead; when now there was no hope of Abram producing a child from his aged body; then God reveals Himself to Abram as El Shaddai, the Almighty God.  God reveals Himself as the Almighty God, the all-powerful God, who possesses all power to perform what He has promised.  He has not forgotten His promises to Abram and He has now come to make a miracle birth occur in the lives of a 99 year old man and his 89 year old wife who has been barren all her life.

According to Genesis 18:10-14, when Sarah heard her name mentioned, she laughed like Abraham did, but his laughter was one of faith and her laughter was one of unbelief.  So we read that in the El Shaddai character of God, He is Almighty and nothing is too hard for Him!  God performed a miracle in the body of Abraham and the body of Sarah to make birth possible.  This miracle birth foreshadowed the miracle Virgin-birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s read about the mighty faith of Abraham in Romans 4:16-23 NKJV –  16 Therefore IT IS OF FAITH that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to… those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of HIM WHOM HE BELIEVED—GOD, who GIVES LIFE TO THE DEAD and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, CONTRARY TO HOPE, in hope BELIEVED, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And NOT being WEAK IN FAITH, HE DID NOT CONSIDER HIS OWN BODY ALREADY DEAD, (since he was about a hundred years old), and the DEADNESS of Sarah’s womb. 20 HE DID NOT WAVER at the PROMISE OF GOD through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and BEING FULLY CONVINCED THAT WHAT HE HAD PROMISED HE WAS ALSO ABLE TO PERFORM. 22 And therefore “IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. IT SHALL BE IMPUTED TO US WHO BELIEVE IN HIM who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,


El Shaddai is the Almighty God who has the ability to bring to pass all that He has promised to His children.  If Abram had known this truth about Jehovah, he could have patiently waited for the Almighty God to fulfill His promise of a son of his own seed.  He appeared to Abram as El Shaddai, changed his name and promised to make him fruitful – Genesis 17:5-6 – Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee EXCEEDING FRUITFUL, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

This is what Isaac said to his son, Jacob – Genesis 28:3-4 – And God Almighty (El Shaddai)  bless thee, and make thee FRUITFUL, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.

God appeared to Jacob as El Shaddai to change his name to Israel and assure him He will keep His promises in Genesis 35:9-12 – And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. 10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but ISRAEL SHALL BE THY NAME: and he called his name Israel. 11 And God said unto him, I am GOD ALMIGHTY (El Shaddai): be FRUITFUL and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; 12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

Jacob used the name El Shaddai when he spoke to Joseph of the blessings of God on him to make him fruitful – Genesis 49:22-25 – 22 Joseph is A FRUITFUL BOUGH, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of THE MIGHTY GOD (El Shaddai) OF JACOB; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the ALMIGHTY (El Shaddai), who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:


The classic example of this truth is in the story of Naomi in the Book of Ruth – Ruth 1:1-21.  She and her husband, Elimelech, made a decision to move from Bethlehem during a time of famine.  They did not pray or ask God’ guidance in their decision – Ruth 1:1-5.  Tragically, her husband soon died, and her sons died after they had married idolatrous girls of Moab.  The children of backsliding believers often marry the unsaved in disobedience to God – 2 Cor. 6:14.

Naomi recognized that what had happened in Moab was the result of God’s discipline – 1:13.  One of the widow-girls, Ruth, observed how she had seen Naomi’s God in her life and in her response to her sorrows and trials, and wanted Naomi’s God as her God1:14-17.  In spite of all her sadness, Naomi had won Ruth to faith in the true and living God of Israel.

Naomi recognized that El Shaddai had been the One who disciplined her, and the fruit of that discipline was salvation of Ruth who was in the ancestry of Christ – Ruth 1:19-21.


There is another great truth about El Shaddai that is very surprising and worthy of our consideration and understanding.  I will defer to the authors of books on the names of God to explain it to us, and I will quote them verbatim.

William Allen Dean – “There are scholars who believe that the word SHADDAI comes from the Hebrew word, “SHAD” which refers ALWAYS to a woman’s breast.  This implies that God is to His people all that a mother is to the babe at her breast.  He is the Comforter; He is the Satisfier; He is the Nourisher.  He is the One who POURS HIS LIFE into the FRAIL, WEAK LIFE of the child who trusts Him.  In this light, His name would also mean “The All-Sufficient One.”

            The Biola Hour Highlights of Biola College – “The word, SHADDAI, while having in it the thought of strength, comes from the Hebrew singular noun, “SHAD” translated breast.  It is invariably used in Scripture for a mother’s breast, through which she transmits sustenance, strength and satisfaction to her babe.  The hungry, dissatisfied babe is fretful, but when he receives nourishment at his mother’s breast, he is satisfied, he is quieted and restful.  All that a mother is to her baby, EL SHADDAI is to His own children. 

            He is the Mighty One, the believer’s Sufficiency, Sustenance, Strength and Satisfaction.  As the mother pours her life into the child at her breast, even so EL SHADDAI pours His life into His children.  This is one of the most tender names used of God, and its use is EXCLUSIVELY in relation to HIS CHILDREN.”

I remind you of what we read in Genesis 49:25 – 25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with BLESSINGS of heaven above, BLESSINGS of the deep that lieth under, BLESSINGS OF THE BREASTS, and of the womb:

Now, I want to share with you a story from Kay Arthur’s book, “Lord, I Want to Know You.”  The story of a woman who learned of EL SHADDAI – pages 43-44.



  1. Is there a need in your life that only an Almighty God can fill? You may be trying to fill the need, but your need is “  He can do the impossible – Ephesians 3:20 –

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Mark 10:27 – 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

  1. Do you desire a new life, a new name, a new reputation? You need to come to God for salvation; to call upon the name of God to save you and change your life.  El Shaddai has the power to change your life if you will only admit your need and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior – 2 Corinthians 5:17.
  2. Do you need to come to God and ask Him for a more fruitful life as a Christian? It is El Shaddai who is capable of meeting your every need and making you fruitful.
  3. Do you now sense you are under the discipline and chastening of God? The name El Shaddai appears 31 times in the Book of Job.  God blessed and made fruitful the latter part of his life, because his trials and child-training produced more fruitfulness in his life.
  4. Abram was told to “walk before God and be blameless” Gen. 17:1 NKJV. Are you walking with God, Christian?  Are you conscious of His presence every day?  Do you trust the Almighty God to work in your life and make you more like Jesus Christ?