From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Three, Day Four
God revealed himself as El Shadday, God Almighty, to Abram and told him of the everlasting covenant he was establishing with him and with his descendants. Until the time of Moses, when another divine name was revealed, the patriarchs considered El Shadday the covenant name of God. When we pray to El Shadday, we invoke the name of the one for whom nothing is impossible.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers." (Genesis 17:1-2)
PRAYING THE NAME
Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady . . . because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. (Genesis 49:22-26)
Reflect On: Genesis 49:22-26
Praise God: Because it is his nature to bless those who love him.
Offer Thanks: For the way God has persistently blessed your life.
Confess: Any tendency to believe that God would desert you.
Ask God: To help you become a blessing for others.
It all started with a dream of great blessing that Joseph had when he was a young man, the second youngest of twelve brothers. In the dream he was binding sheaves of grain in a field alongside his brothers. Suddenly, Joseph's sheaf stood upright while his brothers bowed down to it. The dream was so vivid that he made the near-fatal mistake of sharing it with his brothers. Offended by the suggestion that they would ever kowtow to Joseph and jealous because their younger brother was their father's favorite, ten of them decided to get rid of him. Most of us know the story well. But it's worth recapping the obstacles Joseph faced:
- He was kidnapped.
- He was almost murdered.
- He was sold into slavery.
- He was falsely accused of rape.
- He was thrown into prison.
Imagine what it would be like to suffer just one of these calamities. But despite them all, Joseph kept rising to the top of the heap. Potiphar, his first Egyptian master, quickly put him in charge of his whole household. When Joseph was jailed, the warden gave him responsibility for running the prison. And finally, Pharaoh was so struck by the young man's wisdom and his ability to interpret dreams that he made him governor of all Egypt. Joseph was like a ball that keeps popping back up whenever it's pushed under water. The further it's pushed, the higher it pops. Joseph's resilience in the face of so many obstacles is compelling evidence of the Almighty's power to bless our lives, regardless of who or what stands in the way.
Remember that the next time you're tempted to doubt God's promises. Nothing can prevent El Shadday, our Almighty God, from carrying out his plans and pouring out his blessings on those who belong to him. Pain there will be, confusion, struggle, and difficulty, but God can use even these to bless us as long as we trust him.
As you read the passage above from Genesis, capturing Jacob's blessing over his favorite son Joseph, think about all the ways the Almighty is capable of blessing a person, of all the ways he is capable of blessing you.
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.