Devotional: ‘Responding to El-Shaddai’

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Yesterday we considered God’s name – El-Shaddai. As you will remember, El-Shaddai means God Almighty. The Bible says-

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” (Genesis 17:1-2)

Today I would like for us to consider how Abram responded to God’s great name.

1) He Responded with Reverence

At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. (Genesis 17:3)

Have you ever gotten on your face before God? It’s an interesting way to worship. I remember a time when I heard Adrian Rogers tell about the night he surrendered his life to the Lord. He began face first on the ground. But that wasn’t enough. He then took his finger and dug a little hole in the ground and stuck his nose in that hole. Why would he do something so bizarre? He wanted to demonstrate that he recognized God’s greatness as well as his own weakness.

2) He Responded with Righteousness

“I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.” (Genesis 17:1)

Righteousness in the life of a believer can be manifested in two ways: righteousness with God and righteousness before God.

We become righteous with God when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. The Bible says – “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10)  Salvation clothes us in the righteousness of Christ.

Once we become righteous with God, we must seek to live righteously before God. The Apostle Paul writes –

Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  (Romans 6:12-13)

 3) He Responded with a Ritual

God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.” (Gen 17:9-10)

The sign of Abram’s relationship with God was circumcision. Circumcision was not meant to make Abram righteous; it was simply a way for him to demonstrate his faith and obedience. The Apostle Paul writes – “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” (Romans 12:28-29) Notice that it is not the circumcision of the flesh that makes us righteous before God. It is the circumcision of our heart.

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The LORD is king! Let the nations tremble! He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake! The LORD sits in majesty… Let them praise your great and awesome name. Your name in holy! Psalm 99

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