Our characters this week are Abraham and Sarah. Let’s look at what they knew about God.
Later Yahweh spoke his word to Abram in a vision. He said,
“Abram, don’t be afraid. I am your shield. Your reward will be very great.”
Abram asked, “Adonay Yahweh, what will you give me? (Genesis 15:1-2)
Adonay (sometimes spelled Adonai) means “lord” or “master.” In most English versions of the Bible, it is translated “Lord.” Sometimes applied to a human, Adonai means someone in charge.
Yahweh (in most English versions of the Bible, translated “Lord”) is actually spelled YHWH. Jewish tradition says this name of God is too holy to pronounce, so they say “Adonai” instead of YHWH when they are reading aloud. This name of God tells us that he is the absolute ruler.
Then King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of El Elyon. He blessed Abram, and said, “Blessed is Abram by El Elyon, maker of heaven and earth. Blessed is El Elyon, who has handed your enemies over to you.”… (Genesis 14:18-20)
El means God, and is often used in combination with other words to show us different character qualities of God. Elyon means “Most High” and tells us that God is sovereign and majestic. When the two words are used together, they mean “the most exalted God.”
When Abram was 99 years old, Yahweh appeared to him. He said to Abram, “I am El Shadday. Live in my presence with integrity. (Genesis 17:1 Names of God Bible)
Shadday or Shaddai probably comes from a Hebrew word (“shad”) which means “breast.”
This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying and supplying His people with all their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing. He is our sustainer.
Abraham and Sarah knew that God was in charge. They trusted that he was their sustainer, the one who would provide for them. I looked back at the scriptures we read the last three days, and I saw these truths within them.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might
and come to save us! (Psalm 80:1-2)
When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you, (Isaiah 64:3-4)
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (I Corinthians 1:9)
Which name of God brings you comfort today? Use the name in your prayer.
Look back at your treasure verses this week. Which was your favorite? How will you treasure it today?
you are my shield today, protecting me from worry and despair.
You are also my nourishment.
Open my eyes to see the ways you are blessing me and providing for me.
Footnote: I found information on the names of God at blueletterbible.org.
Photo credit: Amy Mayfield