El-Shaddai – God, the All-Sufficient One
While El Shaddai is often translated “God Almighty,” it may have been more nuanced in the original Hebrew. Some say it is derived from the word “sadu” which means mountain and conveys the idea of towering strength. Others believe it came from “shad” meaning “breast.” In that scenario it suggests God’s nature is nurturing and life-sustaining.
In either case, He is the All-Sufficient One. He has everything we need, the strength to deliver it in the face of opposition, and the mother’s heart and desire to do so. After all, if we cannot trust his intentions toward us, how can we feel safe? Strong and powerful He may be, but is that for our benefit or our ruin?
The first appearance of this name is in Genesis 17:1. God appeared to Abraham, now the father of Ishmael by his servant girl, and assured him that it was still His intent to bless him and Sarah with a child of their own, through which all His promises would be kept. Even though Abraham didn’t think God would come through, even though he took matters into his own hands, El Shaddai showed that His plans had not changed. Ninety-nine-year-old dad? No problem. God is willing and able.
What do these verses show you about the nature of God?