El Shaddai ~ The All Sufficient One

“by the God (El) of your father who will help you, by the Almighty (Shaddai) who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath blessings of the breasts and of the womb.” Genesis 49:25

The passage above is the blessing that Jacob was giving to his son Joseph while on his deathbed. We know that Joseph and Benjamin were the sons that Jacob loved the most because they were sons he shared with Rachel whom he loved more deeply. That love was possibly more compounded in Jacob because Joseph was the son he thought he had lost. He wanted Joseph to know the strength, the blessings and the sufficiency of El Shaddai. 

Shaddai is mentioned in the Bible 48 times. Seven times it is mentioned as El Shaddai with five of those being in the book of Genesis. Then in the book of Job Shaddai is mentioned 31 times. You know the book of Job has always seemed to me to be about the pain and suffering of Job. For years I almost couldn’t read it at all because of the sadness and the pain of it. But the more I have read it and studied it, the more I have come to realize the book is more about the sovereignty of God than it is the suffering of Job. 

In the book of Job Shaddai is used in many references. 

He is the God who chastens men. (Job 5:17; 6:4; 23:16; 27:2)

He is a just God. (Job 8:3; 34:10). 

God hears prayer. (Job 8:5; 22:26; 27:10)

His power cannot be resisted. (Job 15:25)

He is the God who punishes the wicked. (Job 21:20; 27:13) 

And the God who rewards and protects those who trust Him. (Job 22:23, 25; 29:5) 

The God of providence. (Job 22:17, 23; 27:11)

And the God of foreknowledge. (Job 24:1)

He gives to men understanding. (Job 32:8)

And life. (Job 33:4)

He is excellent in power, in judgment, in justice and we cannot fully know Him. (Job 11;7; 37:23) 

The book of Job can tend to be a hard read. As Christians we tend to think if God loved me so much why does he allow suffering in our lives. Job was someone that God was proud of yet he allowed Satan to inflict much suffering on him. Job lost everything he had, his wealth, his children, his health, yet He still hung onto the only one he knew could see him through. 

Friends we were never promised that if we followed Jesus that we would have rosy lives and that there would be no trouble. In fact Jesus said it in the book of John. 

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

He says it right there that there will be trouble and tribulation. We see in the book of Job sometimes it is brought about by nothing we did to cause it and we know that sometimes it is our own poor choices. But what we can always cling to no matter what is the sovereignty of God, and the peace that Jesus gives us to deal with the day to day junk of life. Our El Shaddai is sufficient! He is enough for us to walk out whatever is in front of us. 

El Shaddai ~ God Almighty 

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless,” Genesis 17:1

Twenty-five years before this, God had made a covenant with Abram that he would be a father of a multitude. (Genesis 15). But it had not come to pass yet. Abram and Sarai had had no children. Abram had begun to doubt God’s promise so much so that when Sarai suggested he have children through her servant girl, Hagar he complied and what a mess that made. (Genesis 16). 

But now after twenty-five years of waiting on the promise of God, the Lord appeared to Abram again and declared to him “I am God Almighty”. Which in Hebrew is El Shaddai. 

The translation for this name of God is God Almighty. We know that El means God. I found a couple of meanings for Shaddai – one is Almighty, another is mountain. When put together it most commonly means God Almighty. God is Almighty and he will do what he purposes to do. Another meaning for Shaddai is enough. Which when all of these meanings put together would mean that God Almighty is enough! 

Let that sink in to you today. No matter what you are facing God Almighty is enough! No matter if you got that diagnosis that seems too big, El Shaddai, God Almighty is enough! No matter if the relationships in your life are broken, El Shaddai, God Almighty is enough! No matter if your child has gone off the rails and you don’t know how to bring them back, El Shaddai, God Almighty is enough! No matter what that thing that feels like a mountain in front of you El Shaddai, God Almighty is enough. 

It’s really hard sometimes to get to the end of yourself and realize that is all you have left to pray. But friends when we get to that point we have to hang onto the God Almighty who is bigger than our diagnosis, our fears, our wants, our desires, anything that is in front of us we must put in front of Him, He is still El Shaddai and He is bigger. He is enough! 

Adonai ~ My Savior

Many times, people who are not christians view our loyalty to Christ as bondage. Because they view christianity as a list of rules and dos and don’ts that we have to follow but that is not it at all. I know that for me I feel more freedom because of Christ. My life was in bondage before I gave my life over to Him. I always felt there were things I had to live up to, and/or things in my past that I would worry what people would think of me if they had known. My heart is in bondage to Christ now but that bondage gives me the freedom to be who I am, who He has made me to be. 

Recognizing God as Adonai means that I give it all over to Him, my direction, my family, my friends and my life. It means that I recognize His authority over my life and I desire to do His will and to submit to His direction. If I feel the Lord is giving me a task, I know that He will see me through to complete that task. He has me, He bought me with a price and the least I can do is submit to His will and His way for my life. 

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, fo you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

When I became a christian I became His. Now I can promise you I did not always live that way. There were things in my life for many many years that I wanted to do my own way. But as I’ve grown and come to know Him more and more it is much easier to submit to the things He wants me to do. I find that when I submit to Him, even though a job, or a calling He may give me seems huge and much more beyond myself that He will walk with me though that job or calling and it somehow ends up not being near as big in reality as I made it in my mind. 

To recognize Jesus as Lord of your life is to give it all to Him. It’s not just to say it. It is to have the desire to live the way He intends for us to live. Sometimes people will call Him Lord yet they do not completely believe it or at least they are not living it. But He knows it, whether everyone around us know it or not. 

“Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46

I want to be careful to always be authentic and real in my walk with Christ. He is the Lord of my life and I want to live for Him and I want Him to direct my steps and to help me though every single day. 

The truth and the heart of the matter is that whether people acknowledge Jesus as Lord right now one day everyone will acknowledge Him as Lord. 

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

I for one have discovered that making Him Lord of my life now is the much better way to go than to wait on the rest of the world. What does that mean to me? It means that I ask Him for my next step when I don’t know where to turn. It means that I daily spend time with Him and learn from Him and ask Him to show me His will and His way for my life. It means that I hand my heart, my hurts, my joys and my victories over to Him so that He can heal and so that He can rejoice and be glorified when it is right. It means my cry of my heart is: 

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord (Adonai), I have no good apart from you.’” Psalm 16:1-2

Adonai ~ My Master

Elohim speaks of God of creation. He is the God of the universe. He created the universe, He set the stars in motion and told the water just how far it could go so as to have dry land. But Adonai speaks of His right to rule and reign over us. You know God has that right, just because He created us and this world anyway. But while God is Jealous for you and He wants to be Lord of your life, He gives us the right to decide that or not. And that is where Adonai comes in. If we recognize Him as Lord of our life He is our Adonai. And while you may or may not have heard that term prior to this study anytime you have given it all to Him, surrendered your life to Him, I think that is what He heard. 

Adonai is a Hebrew word. I read that the Jews of the day felt that using the name Jehovah or Yahweh was too holy. They would replace that name of God for Adonai because they thought that it was disrespectful to call God Jehovah or Yahweh, that God was too great for them to use the term. I find that interesting because Adonai is such a personal term to me. It speaks of His rights to rule over us and that we are giving Him total submission. I also read that when the term Adon is used which is the singular form of lord and speaks to the relationship between a master and slave that the relationship was always one of protection by the master and loyalty by the slave. While the master may have had the rights to rule and reign over the slave, he treated the slave with respect and love and gave protection to the slave, and in turn the slave would be loyal and would feel the protection and not fear of the master. It was a relationship when this term was used. 

Let’s look quickly at another place that someone used Adonai in the Bible. We will look today at Moses. He had grown up as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. But even with all the privilege that would have given him, Moses still felt drawn to the Israelites, because he was one of them. One day Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave so Moses killed him. When this was found out Moses feared for his life so he fled Egypt and went to Midian. Many years later when God hears the groaning of the Israelites, He appears to Moses in a burning bush to tell him that He will send him back to Egypt to free the Israelites from Pharaoh. As if a bush burning, in the dessert that was not burning up mind you, is not enough to make you do whatever God is asking of you, Moses argues with God about sending him. However, even when he is arguing with God, he still is recognizing God’s lordship over his life. God gave him other signs to prove that He really was sending him and still Moses argued. 

“But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh my Lord, (Adonai), I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and tongue.’” Exodus 4:10

Moses clearly knew he was arguing with God. How many times when I feel like the Lord is leading me to do something do I argue with Him even when I clearly know that it is Him I am arguing with? More than I’d like to admit I can tell you. However, when I look backwards at my life at the things God asked me to do that had me shaking in my flip flops, I can now see the hand of God clearly on my life as He carried out my assignment through me and many times in spite of me. Oh that I would do better. Oh that I would just go ahead and submit and not argue and that I would know that whatever He is asking me to do He will see it through and all I have to say is My Adonai! 

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Lord please use me, this jar of clay, and show your surpassing power through me. 

Adonai – My LORD

This name for God is, well, it’s more than a name. It actually speaks more of relationship with God. The other names of God, Elohim, Jehovah Rappha, El Elyon, etc. that we have studied thus far are names of God whether we recognize them or not. But if God is your Adonai that is personal. That means He is Lord over your life, over all aspects of your life. 

Adonai is the plural form of the word Adon. Adon means master, lord and in most cases it would be referring to a slave and his master. Whereas Adonai is the plural form, it could be pointing to the Trinity, God, the Father, God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But it is also pointing to submitting all of yourself, everything you have, your future, your past, your present to the Lord. It speaks of being God’s total possession and the only way to that is through our total submission. 

Abram was the first who referred to God as Adonai. It comes in the book of Genesis, specifically in Chapter 15 verses 1 – 6. It was when the Lord promised Abram that his offspring would outnumber the stars. Abram recognized that God had lordship over him. Not just that He was God, Elohim, El Elyon but that He was his Lord, his Adonai. 

“Abram said, O Lord God, what will you give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Genesis 15:2

I can be guilty of not giving Him total submission. I may think he is Adonai to me in one area of my life, but am I allowing Him to be Adonai over all of my life? So many times when I realize things aren’t working out the way I want them to, and definitely not the way that feels best for me, if I look deep I realize it is because I am wanting to fix it rather than give it over to Him. We already saw that one of God’s names is Jealous. He is Jealous for us in that He wants all of us. Not just our Sunday mornings and occasional bible studies here and there. He wants to be Lord of our lives. He wants my submission of all the good, the bad and the ugly, hurt places. You know sometimes I find it easy to hand Him my hurt places and maybe hold close to me the good times and tend to want to do my own will rather than submit to Him. 

Today I am praying that I hand it all to Him, I am going to lay it at the feet of Jesus and crawl up into my Abba~Daddy’s lap and I am going to say My Lord and give it all over to Him. You know what’s so great about God. There is room for you to do the same. 

Abba – Daddy

We saw yesterday that Jesus introduced the idea of addressing His Father as Father to the disciples. One of the first places that He did that inclusively to the disciples is in Matthew when He was teaching the disciples to pray. 

“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.’” Matthew 6:9

Jesus let them know right then that while Jesus was truly God’s Son, that we were inclusive of that right, or at least we would be. Paul goes on further to explain it to us in Romans 8. 

In the first eleven verses of chapter 8 of Romans Paul taught that there were only two types of people, those who live by the flesh and those who live by the Spirit. When we are born, we are born with a selfish, sinful nature. When you look at a brand new baby it is hard to imagine when you look into their sweet face that they will ever have a sinful nature. But the fact is, that as that baby grows that sinful nature will reveal itself eventually. It does for us all. But one day we pray that they will accept Jesus into their heart and they will no longer live by that sinful nature. When we accept what Jesus did for us on the cross and we become children of God, we then can live by the Spirit. It’s like this, before we accept Jesus we are living like a slave in God’s kingdom. A slave gets food from the master, and may live in the master’s house or at least on his land, but does not get to enjoy the benefits of the children of the master. But once you accept Jesus you are then adopted by God and get to enjoy all the benefits of being God’s child just as Jesus is God’s child. You get to sit at the table! 

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:15-17  

Let that wash over you today. If you have accepted Jesus then you are a child of God, adopted into His family. We are fellow heirs with Christ! And that means we get to call God Abba! Father! Calling Him Abba is like calling Him Daddy! It’s not formal, it’s not stuffy! It’s like crawling up into your Daddy’s lap when things aren’t going right and you just need your Daddy. I talk a lot about laying things at the feet of Jesus, but sometimes I need more, I don’t need to just lay it down, I need my Daddy’s lap. 

One of the sweetest things I love about staying with my son’s family or when they come to my house is the morning and seeing my grandchildren crawl up and snuggle with my son. My granddaughter left my lap one morning and looked over her shoulder at me and said “I want my daddy.” It is so precious to me to see them feel safe and snuggle with him in the mornings and to know that he is making them feel safe and loved. 

Don’t miss the privilege that not only do we receive our salvation from Jesus, but because of what He did for us on the cross that we get to call God our Father! Our Abba! Our Daddy! We are no longer slaves to fear, we are no longer slaves to our sinful nature, the flesh. But we are adopted into the kingdom of God! 

“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:6

Hold your head up today my friend! If things are tough, close your eyes and go sit in your Daddy’s lap and tell Him! Then walk into the day as a child of the King because you have just spent time with your Daddy! 

Abba – Father

Before Jesus, the Jewish people would never have even considered calling God Father. God was considered the father of the Israelites, the Jewish nation yet, they would have thought that was too intimate a term to call God. The first recording of Jesus referring to God as Father was in Luke when the boy Jesus was left behind as his family started home to Nazareth. The family would have been traveling in a caravan of family members and friends and they probably assumed Jesus was among other family members, yet when they couldn’t find Him they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. Three days later they finally found Him in the temple sitting among the religious leaders of the day. Jesus was only twelve years old yet there He was sitting among religious leaders and asking questions. When his parents questioned Him, Jesus responded 

“And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know I that I must be in my Father’s house?’” Luke 2:49

This was Jesus first recorded reference to God as Father. He would go on in His earthly ministry to model and to teach the disciples to call God Father and to think of God as Father too. In turn, when Jesus was baptized by John, as He was coming out of the water we hear God affirming Jesus right to call Him Father. 

“And behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:17

Now Jesus would have had the rights even without affirmation. But maybe, just maybe this was what the people of that day, and maybe even us, needed to see in order to believe in Jesus’ rights to call God Father. 

Jesus goes on to teach the disciples many times to call God Father. In John when Jesus was trying to explain to the disciples that He would be departing but that they knew the way, he put it this way. 

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him!’” John 14:6-7

He goes on 

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?” John 14:9-10

Jesus calling God Father to them, was one of those things that had to be taught over time. The idea that they couldn’t have called God Father would have been deeply Ingrained. But our study today is really about the word Abba. 

Abba Father is an even more intimate term for God. It’s not just calling God Father, it is calling God “Daddy”. Young children usually always call their fathers Daddy. As we grow up I have heard some people eventually shorten the term to Dad but when children are younger they almost always say Daddy. It’s an intimate term, that conjures up images of a strong father comforting his children. We see Jesus use this term in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had gone there to pray to His Father the night before His crucifixion. He knew what was about to happen and in His despair, he fell on the ground and prayed. 

“And he said, ‘Abba, Father all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’” Mark 14:36

Jesus knew what was coming. He was fully God and fully man. He knew that He was about to be led like sheep to a slaughter and in His manhood, he cried out to His Daddy! Tomorrow we will look at our rights to call Him Daddy too! 

El Elyon – Three in One

“Just as you cannot separate the sun from its brilliance, you cannot separate the Son’s radiance from the glory of His Father.” ~ Wendy Blight

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:1-3

One of the hardest things to understand in christianity is also one of the most wonderful things about christianity, the trinity. How are God, the Father, Jesus, the Son and the Holy Spirit one in 3 persons? I don’t really know the answer to that, I just know it to be true because scripture says it. 

“Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’” John 10:27-30 

In this passage Jesus had been asked who He was. He had told them before and they didn’t believe them so He answered them by telling them first of all that they had already been told and didn’t believe, but that everything about Him would bear witness to the Father. I love how He goes further and is telling them, my sheep will know me, they will know my voice. But also isn’t it great to know that if you know Him, that you, your circumstances, your life, are in the Father’s hands and no one can snatch them out of His hands. 

To me knowing that all things filter through His hands, even the things in my life that don’t feel good, the circumstances in my life that hurt and are hard, somehow makes it more bearable. One of my favorite ever verses in the Bible can be found in Romans. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

In my feeble mind sometimes there are hurts that are hard to reconcile to that. How do you tell a mother who has had to bury a child that all things work for good? How do you tell someone who is young, who has had to bury both parents that all things work together for good? First of all, I think we just keep turning it over to Him. When things get hard and it hurts, I pray for God to show me His goodness and His glory. And when I know people who have hurts that are bigger than my mind can conceive I keep  asking God to hold them and to show them His goodness and glory. And you know what? If I, if we, if they will keep going back to Him I believe He will do it. I can’t explain how He does it. I just know He does if we give it to Him. 

Before Jesus died on the cross, He prayed a prayer that is recorded in the Gospel of John in chapter 17. He was talking to His Father about the people who had been given to Him then, as well as the people who would be given to Him in the future (us). 

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21

Jesus prayed for us, that we would know the Father, just as He knows the Father and just as they are one, that we may be one with them! Isn’t that incredible! Just as Ms. Wendy says that the Son’s radiance can’t be separated from the Father, we should be radiating the Father as well! We should be letting the light of Jesus and the Father shine through us. We get to be a part of His glory! 

Who is El Elyon? ~ The Most High God! Let that sit with you today and remember that You get to radiate the glory of the Most High God today and that nothing that you encounter can snatch you out of His hand. He’s got you! 

El Elyon – My Refuge

In the book of Daniel in chapter 4 there is a story that is being recounted by King Nebuchadnezzar. King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon at the time that the Israelites were taken captive there. He had four young Hebrew men in his court that you may have heard of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar had enjoyed great wealth which the king had mistakenly attributed to himself. If you go back and you read chapters 1 – 3 of the book of Daniel, it seems to me that God had tried to get the king’s attention a few times already. In fact chapter 3 gives the story of the 3 young men in that fiery furnace you may have heard about. However, our story today is in chapter 4. 

Now this is a recount, a testimony by the king himself. 

“King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.” Daniel 4:1-2

The king had a dream, actually this was his second one that only Daniel would be able to interpret. At first the king had all the wise men in Babylon come to him to try to interpret the dream but they couldn’t. So the king finally sends for Daniel. Now since Daniel had already interpreted dreams for the king, I am not sure why he was the last person that the king sent for, but then, I could say that about my own life too sometimes. Why do I put myself in positions to have to relearn things the Lord has already taught me? I ask the Lord all the time to remind me in my mind of the lessons He has already taught me. Especially the ones that came from some of the hard things in my life. I pray that I will remember those lessons in my mind so I don’t have to relearn by circumstance. 

But anyway, Daniel realizes as the king tells him the dream that the dream is about the king himself, and his kingdom. Basically God was trying once more to warn the king in a dream that He was going to get his attention one way or another. In the dream God is trying to tell the king that he, the king is about to lose his mind and be driven from his kingdom to live among the wild animals for seven years. Daniel warns him. 

“this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, the you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Daniel 4:24-25

“Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” Daniel 4:27

Well the king heard the interpretation but apparently he didn’t really “hear” the interpretation because a year later he was walking along the roof of his palace and praising himself for the kingdom that he had built and for his own might and power when ~ 

“While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken” the kingdom has departed from you” Daniel 4:31

And immediately the king was driven from his kingdom into the wild and for seven years he lived as a wild animal. In the king’s testimony, he doesn’t really tell how those events took place, how he was driven from the palace, he just tells us that they did. It appears it was insanity of some sort. But he leaves the details of his insanity out. But one thing he has pointed out to us, is that God had given him a way of escape. God had warned the king in a dream that this was going to happen. He had sent messengers, in the way of Daniel to tell him that this would happen. It appears to me that the king could have turned this story around had he heeded Daniels words of warning but he didn’t. I can’t help but think of times in my own life that I can look back on now and see where God was trying to get my attention on a matter and I didn’t heed the warning. I pray that my ear will be more attuned to God’s voice now and that I will heed His warnings when they come to me. 

This story does have a happy ending and King Nebuchadnezzar realizes that God is the Most High God and that He is the reason for the blessings that had been bestowed on him. That it was not because of His own will, might and power but that it was because of the Most High. 

“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:34

God had restored the king’s mind and when He did, the king realized who had rescued him from the depths of his despair. Have you ever known someone who had been rescued from the depths of despair, possibly an addiction, or just a series of some of their own bad choices and when God rescued them from it, when they got their mind back, and they realized that they had been living in a pit but that the Lord was restoring them, they couldn’t help but praise. This was King Nebuchadnezzar and then God blessed him even more than he had before. 

“At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble” Daniel 4:36-37

When the king learned that the Most High God was the King of Heaven, was when his kingdom was restored to him. King Nebuchadnezzar finally knew where his blessings came from and he gave great testimony of that. 

Don’t you just love a good redemption story? I know I do. I love the fact that God not only restored the king’s sanity, but also his kingdom. And I truly love that King Nebuchadnezzar gave his testimony of his return to sanity and worshipped the Most High!  

Friends I will leave you with the first 2 verses of Psalm 91 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2

Turn to this Psalm and continue reading it today and dwell in His shelter and hold fast to Him the one who will rescue, restore and redeem. 

El Elyon – Most High God

We know from our previous studies that El means God. This repeat of El here is like saying as high as you think God is, only higher. At least that’s how my little simple mind describes it. God that is higher than anything and/or anyone else. The Most High God is who we are talking about. In everything we do and study it should point to the Most High God. 

We first see this name of God used in Genesis chapter 14. Remember Abram, Abraham only before God changed his name to Abraham. Abram had just gone to war with Chedorlaomer and rescued his nephew Lot and defeated Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. As he returned he met up with the king of Sodom and the king of Salem, Melchizedek. 

“After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was the priest of God Most High.) Genesis 14:17-18

Melchizedek is unusual for many reasons, one being here it points out he was a king and a priest. The name Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness”. Many times in the Bible, names of people point them out to be who they really are. You can identify what kind of person, what their values were just by their name. Melchizedek was one of the good guys. Also in Hebrews it gives us a further explanation of who Melchizedek was 

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham, returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.” Hebrews 7:1-3

This guy Melchizedek, had no beginning of days nor end of life, in other words he wasn’t born and he didn’t die. His priesthood stands forever and ever. His priesthood is forever. I know this is stuff I can’t understand, so I am not really sure how to explain it, except this way. No matter how high you think of God, He is even greater and Melchizedek’s priesthood is of the God Most High, El Elyon points to that. Melchizedek’s purpose was to rule and to reign and point to God. As I read commentary on him it said that some scholars try to make him a pre-incarnate Jesus, others try to make him Shem, Noah’s son, or Job, or an angel. One thing we know for sure is we don’t really know where he came from or exactly who he was but we do know that his name and his very presence pointed to God. And when he encountered Abram he blessed him. 

“And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:19-20

It was almost like Melchizedek and Abram were going to try to outdo each other giving gifts in the name of God Most High! This passage goes on to point out that the king of Sodom who was also present at this encounter was almost standing by jealous of what was taking place between Abram and Melchizedek. He was an outsider looking in. 

The way Abram and Melchizedek wanted to bless each other could be a lesson for all believers. Melchizedek gave Abram a blessing of the Most High God. Abram in turn blessed Melchizedek with a tithe from the plunder he had received in the battle that he had won because of the God Most High. Think of how much better our churches and communities could be if we were trying to outdo each other’s blessings in God’s name. Unfortunately, our human nature gets the best of us sometime and we let jealousy creep in and get upset because one person “seems” exalted above the other. But if our goal was always to bless each other and to build each other up and to give in the name of the Most High God. Well, I think then the blessing our churches could be to our communities would be the light that we were meant to shine in our world, don’t you? 

So today, let’s see if we can bless one another in the name of the Most High God, our El Elyon!