Category Archives: Lessons in Wilderness


GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I?

Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names

PART 2 – eBook 2

And the Lord said to Joshua . . . “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.'”

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God [lessons in the wilderness]. . . . ”     Joshua 3:8-9

Part 2 is comprised of the second three modules of the book and is Part 2 of the FREE eCourse Bonus on this Web site. They are:

Module 4 – Chapter 6: God is Jehovah-Shalom [The Lord is Peace]

Chapter 7: Because God is Jehovah-Shalom, I am Like a B-E-A-R

Module 5 – Chapter 8: God is Jehovah-Rohi [The Lord My Shepherd]

Chapter 9: Because God Is Jehovah-Rohi, I am Guided

Module 6 – Chapter 10: God is El Shaddai [The All Sufficient One]

Chapter 11: Because God is El Shaddai, I Am Blessed

M6C Conditions to Receiving Blessings of El Shaddai

God Almighty gives two very important conditions to being blessed in Genesis, chapter 17:1-2: “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.”

Conditions of El Shaddai

TRUST: first of two conditions to be blessed

I am God Almighty, walk before me” (Gen. 17:1 emphasis added). The Amplified version says, “. . . live habitually before Me.”

The bottom line of walking before the Lord means trusting in Him. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (emphasis added). (See also Prov. 16:20; Ps. 84:12). The psalmist also says, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways” (Ps. 128:1 emphasis added). If we are following Jesus as our Shepherd, we are walking before him—in His presence. Walking blameless adds another dimension.

BE BLAMELESS: second of two conditions to be blessed

“. . . and be blameless” (Gen. 17:1)

The Hebrew word for blameless is Tâmîym: the divine standard for man to obtain. It means “entire (literally, figuratively, or morally) whole, complete . . . upright in one’s conduct, especially toward God, innocent, simple, honest, sincere, secure, integrity.”[1] The Amplified Bible gives an interesting amplification: blameless, whole-hearted, complete. Remember Joshua and Caleb, who followed the Lord whole-heartedly, were the only ones left of the original generation coming out of Egypt and are now leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land. It all comes down to facing our life honestly before the Lord one day at a time.

The psalmist again gives a great summary of what it takes to be a blessed child of God: “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart” (Ps. 119:1).

God’s Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways

God’s ways are higher than our ways, therefore, we may see times when His blessings of health or family are taken away, and we cannot figure out why. We see ourselves as blameless and completely trusting in the Lord. Chapter 14 of this book examines this life situation in detail.

As important as these two conditions are to being blessed, there is another condition that we absolutely cannot ignore! And, it’s the very first condition God laid down. When the Lord called Abram to leave his father’s household and go to the land that He would show him, He finished His blessing to Abram with these words: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse” (Gen. 12:3).

We know God is referring to “Israel,” the nation of the Jewish people, Abraham’s descendants through Isaac—the child of a promise fulfilled—and Jacob whose name is changed to “Israel.”


“. . . between me and you” (Gen. 17:2)

God is talking directly to Abraham, of course, and the me here is El Shaddai. He is also talking directly to you and me. Galatians 3:29 tells us so, “And if you belong to Christ (are in Him, Who is Abraham’s Seed), then you are Abraham’s offspring and (spiritual) heirs according to promise” (Amplified). We are Abraham’s spiritual offspring because we belong to Christ and are a child of the only One and True God. These promises and every promise in the whole Bible belong to us, and have already been given to us.

The Prayer of Jabez

Jabez passed the conditions testThese blessings come only to those who dare to look for and receive what the Almighty has given, men like Jabez who cried out to God, “‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request” (1 Chron. 4:10).

Bruce Wilkinson, in his book, The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, says, “I’ve met so many Christians who think that such an idea is wrong. They assume that they’ll seem greedy or immature if they ask God for too many blessings. But that’s not what Jabez believed. Somewhere in his bones he knew something that most of us miss. He was convinced that God loved him and wanted to really bless him and that He could because He had unlimited power and resources. That kind of trust in his heavenly Father made it natural for Jabez to pray exactly the kind of request God wants to hear.”[2]

[1] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1792.

[2] Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, (Multnomah Publishers, Inc., Sisters, Oregon 2001) p. 32-33

M6B Purpose, Deliverance & Protection of El Shaddai


God is El Shaddai

El Shaddai’s promise of a homeland—purpose and heaven

Isaac blessed Jacob with these words, “May he [God Almighty] give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham” (Gen. 28:4). With this promise, Jacob knew he would someday return from his Uncle Laban to claim possession of God’s purpose for his life. We know now that he became the father of twelve sons who would personally possess the land of Canaan that would become known as Israel. In fact, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. [This is only one of many times the Israelites left their homeland to later reclaim it.


Denise and Joe had been trusting God for their future and life purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 meant much to them, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

After Joe’s ten-year managerial job ended, he struggled to find something that utilized his skills and desires. In four years he had four jobs. Denise kept encouraging him and together they kept standing on the promise that the Lord is able to restore the years the locusts have eaten (see Joel 2:25). Seeking the Lord’s direction and purpose, they felt God shepherding them to move, but not knowing where.


The promise of a homeland refers also to  heaven of which the Promised Land of Canaan symbolizes. The word crossing, as of crossing the Jordan River (see Josh. 4:1), is the Hebrew word âbâr, which means “to pass over . . . to go beyond . . . to depart . . . to impregnate . . . going beyond a certain physical point.”[1] It also symbolizes entry into our destiny purpose and God’s best for our lives here on earth—going beyond our present state, possessing all God has for us.

El Shaddai’s purpose to promise deliverance from bondage

El Shaddai powerful and mighty oneJumping from Jacob’s story to the story of Moses, we learn that in obedience to The Almighty, Moses returned to Egypt where he tried to persuade Pharaoh to free the people. To Moses, El Shaddai reveals himself as The Powerful One, the Mighty One, and changes, or replaces, his own name to “Jehovah,” [Chapter 22 of this book explains this in-depth name of God] with the same self-sufficiency as El Shaddai. The fullness of time had arrived for Jehovah also, because now, through Abraham and his descendant’s obedience and influence—Moses and the children of Israel (Jacob)—He obtains greater influence upon the earth. With increase in influence, comes a name change. The Lord, meaning Jehovah, said to Moses,

“I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord, I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.”   —Exodus 6:2-4

He remembered His covenant—the blood.

The Almighty promises deliverance from bondage—spiritually and physically on this earth. That is His job, His purpose, and His desire. But, the deliverance of the children of Israel did not manifest until the most important last plague occurred. The Lord, through Moses, instructed them to sprinkle blood over the doorposts of their houses—from a sacrificial lamb. The blood protected them from judgment that Passover night when the death angel took the life of the firstborn sons of Egypt, including Pharaoh’s son. All this pointed to Jesus, our sacrificial Lamb, and the deliverance from sin, death, and bondage we have through his blood.


Denise and Joe felt they were in limbo land, much like when the children of Israel traveled around the same mountain, getting nowhere. She went back to work after six weeks at home with the baby—while Joe was still on unemployment. In the evenings, she took over baby care, fell into bed at 11:00 p.m., and awoke at 5:30 a.m. to care for baby again.

During this time Joe made a number of trips to Texas to take a test to get on the railroad, driving his only mode of transportation, his motorcycle. He passed the test three times, but could not get hired. Unemployment ran out. He was offered another dead-end job. He and Denise finally had enough; it was time to take a leap of faith.

Friends in Texas offered Joe a place to stay, so Denise pushed him out the door and stayed behind to sell the house. After only eight days, Joe was hired on temporarily with Northwest Pipe Company—with great pay and benefits. After two and one-half months and permanently hired, he rented an apartment and went back for Denise and the baby. They left town on a Sunday; the house sold on Monday. This time they were driving a pickup truck that a friend traded him for his motorcycle. Proceeds from the sale of their house paid their debt. The best part: Denise was now able to stay at home with their year-old daughter.

El Shaddai’s Purpose: Shadow of Protection for His Children

El Shaddai's purpose shadow of protectionOne of the most comforting verses in the whole Bible comes from Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” This shadow can be equated to the shadow the Lord gave the children of Israel in the cloud by day to give them shade to protect them from the hot sun of the desert. It can also be thought of as the protecting wings of a mother hen as she shelters her chicks from the storm. Referring to Chapter 5 of this book, the shadow is the protecting red umbrella dipped in the blood of the Lamb over our heads. Psalm 91:1 is one of the forty-eight times where the Almighty (El Shaddai) appears in the Old Testament. He is our Protector.


Many stories of God’s protection can be told, but for Joe, it was with his motorcycle. On one of the trips to Texas, Joe’s motorcycle had mechanical problems. It just so happened to be in a place where a mechanic was able to help him. All Joe had to do was buy the part, and the man told him how to put it on, saving Joe labor costs, and he safely made his time deadline while being protected on the interstate highways—carried by El Shaddai.

[1] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1756

M6A God is El Shaddai [The All-Sufficient One]

 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty [El Shaddai]; 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

God is El Shaddai

Francy’s story is the best thing to help us understand who El Shaddai is . A few weeks after the birth of her second child, she left both children with her husband Scott while she escaped to the hairdresser. Returning later than planned, she found her house in total uproar. Both children were crying. Since the baby had not yet learned to take a bottle, Scott was unable to meet the needs of his infant child. Within minutes, peace ruled as Francy nursed the baby, and Scott was able to console his two-year old son.

This is the concept God was teaching Abraham in Genesis 17:1-2—His all-sufficiency is everything we could ever need—“able” to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. As our parent, He blesses us as both our mother and our father. As a nursing mother is able to completely meet the physical and emotional needs of her child, God is able to care for, and console, us above all we can ask, think or dream of—the essence of El Shaddai.


El Shaddai pours outThe Hebrew name for God, “El Shaddai,” appears as “God Almighty” seven times in the Old Testament until the time of Moses. Almighty means Shaddai. The “El” of El Shaddai (and of El Roi and Elohim) means mighty, whereas some scholars say that El Shaddai means the Powerful One, or the Mighty One. “Rabbis believed the term meant the ‘One who is self-sufficient.’”[1] The root word comes from shadah, to shed, to pour out. “I am that God who pours out blessings, who gives them richly, abundantly, continually.”[2]

As you can see, scholars differ on the meaning of the root word of El Shaddai, which is no mistake, because He is all things. Kay Arthur in her book, The Peace & Power of Knowing God’s Name, leans toward the definition set forth by Andrew Jukes in The Names of God, explaining that the Hebrew word shad refers to “the breast,” or more exactly, a “woman’s breast.”[3]

The Hebrew word for blessing means God’s favor, benefits, happiness and peace.[4] What are these blessings poured out for us that we can expect from our Heavenly Father, El Shaddai? What are the conditions to receiving them, and who can receive them? The blessings are: increase, fruitfulness, promise of a homeland, deliverance from bondage, and protection. Let us review how Scripture relates each of these to El Shaddai.

Increase by El Shaddai

Remember, God’s confirmation of the covenant blessing God made to Abraham was nine months before Isaac was born. El Shaddai reassured him that he truly would increase his numbers through a child from his wife Sari. Abram meant “a high or exalted father;” whereas, God changed his name to Abraham (see Gen. 17:5), meaning “a father of a multitude.”[5]

Increase for Abraham was not only in numbers of descendants, but in influence and leadership. His faithfulness, trust and obedience to God influenced the whole world, like water spilling over a barrel covering the earth. Who is not familiar with the reputation of Abraham and of his faith which claimed a new nation? Especially since the war in Iraq, we see the descendants of Ishmael claiming him as their father also.


Christmas was always a sad time for Denise and her husband Joe, because they had no children. Finally, able to give it over to God one Christmas, Denise prayed, “Lord, if You want me to be a career woman and not have kids, I’ll accept that. If You want me to be a mother, it’ll have to happen soon. If You want us to adopt a child, You’ll have to drop one in my lap because we can’t afford one. If You’re not going to give me a child, then You’ll have to take away the desire.” In seeking God’s will, Denise was to find He was willing for increase.

Fruitfulness by El Shaddai

Before Jacob left for his Uncle Laban, Isaac passed on the blessing to him, “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples” (Gen. 28:3). In turn, Jacob blessed his son Joseph with these words, “Joseph is a fruitful vine . . . 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” (Gen. 49:22, 25).

Fruitfulness in every way is the promise of El Shaddai. Abram had to wait until he was ninety-nine years old, and Sari until she was ninety, to receive the child of promise, but it did happen. And, at the fulfillment of the promise came a name change for them both. [God told Abraham in Genesis 17:15 to call Sari, Sarah.]


Less than one month after Denise’s prayer, at an uncle’s funeral dinner, Joe’s mother approached him and Denise and said, “An unwed couple from within the family is expecting their sixth child and wants to give it up for adoption. They want to know if you want it. They want to keep it within the family.”

Denise’s heart leapt at those words, but they were almost like gossip, not a fact. The baby was to arrive in only two months, so they called the expecting man’s father. A meeting was planned with the parents. The couple did want to give the baby up for adoption.

The adoption cost only $1,000 for lawyer fees, but it was a fortune to Denise and Joe; however, just as a mother cares for her child, El Shaddai met their needs. Co-workers and friends gave of their best, and for the last remaining amount, Joe liquidated some assets. After a Bible study and sharing time, a friend named Patty donated her valuable social-service expertise for the background check for the adopting parents.

Denise had only two months to prepare for the baby. One particular day, with an unusual feeling of urgency, Denise shopped for her final baby supplies. The next day, the baby was born—one month earlier than expected.

After arriving at the hospital the night before, Denise and Joe heard the mother might be changing her mind. They prayed all night long in great anguish. The next morning, a beautiful baby girl was born, with one major complication, metopic crainiosynostosis, where the sutures of the cranium are closed rather than open to allow for growth of the child’s brain.

In the final outcome, the baby belonged to Denise and Joe. Surgery corrected the defect before the baby was six months old. Her forehead had appeared trianglar when looking from the top, but now she was normal, and the pressure on the brain was alleviated. The $100,000 hospital costs and surgery for the baby was paid with insurance from Denise’s job and financial aid. Meanwhile, two weeks after the adoption, Joe was laid-off from his job.

[1] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1990) p. 1782.

[2] Adam Clark, LL.D., F.S.A., & C., Clark’s Commentary Volume 1, Genesis-Derteronomy (Abington Press, New York, Nashville), p. 113.

[3] Kay Arthur, The Peace & Power of Knowing God’s Name, (Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, 2002) p.

[4] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, Hebrew word 1293, p. 1717.

[5] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary,” p.8.