A Short Study of Exodus 6:2-3

“And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”        
(Exodus 6:2-3)

When the LORD was about to deliver Israel out of Egyptian bondage, He spoke to Moses and said, “I am the LORD: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” When He was about to save His people, God revealed Himself by the name “Jehovah,” which means Deliverer, Saviour, God who saves. And when He sent the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob out to follow Him in strange lands, He appeared to them by the name “God Almighty.” That name, God Almighty, is translated in the margin of our Bibles as “El Shaddai.” El Shaddai means GOD ALMIGHTY. It identifies our God as one whose power is infinite and uncontrollable. It is the name of God who is omnipotent.

The name, El Shaddai, however, speaks of much more than God’s omnipotence. It has the idea of ONE WHO IS A NOURISHER. In fact, El Shaddai is said to bless His people “with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb” (Genesis 49:25). As a mother nourishes her children with the milk of her breasts, so the LORD our God, El Shaddai, tenderly nourishes His own elect from the fulness of His Being.

El Shaddai also means GOD WHO POURS OUT. He not only nourishes us, supplying everything we need to sustain us and keep us, but he also pours out upon us all the blessings of his grace. Our God is a Fountain, overflowing and gushing out with grace. Grace flows to us with constant fulness like a river from the throne of God.

And El Shaddai means GOD ALL-SUFFICIENT. The LORD our God is so great and glorious that He has all-sufficiency of Himself, for Himself, and in Himself, so that He needs nothing to make Him happy and complete. Nothing can ever be added to Him. Nothing can ever be taken from Him. He is all-sufficient. And El Shaddai is God all-sufficient for His people. As the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob made their pilgrimage through this world, they needed nothing but God, whose name is All-Sufficient. Do you know the God of Abraham, El Shaddai?


D. Fortner

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