God’s Tender Name: El Shaddai

This is a devotion written by Aletha Hinthorn, executive director of Come to the Fire Conference (a WONDERFUL, and free, women’s conference!  My friend, Stacey, sent it to me, and I love to read and re-read this devotion. May it be a blessing to you, too. 🙂

One of the most tender names God used for Himself was El Shaddai. Although El Shaddai is often translated God Almighty, that is an inadequate translation and misses much of its beauty. The almightiness of God is expressed in El, a short form of Elohim which means “the Mighty One.” But what does Shaddai mean?

God was using vivid imagery, because Shaddai is derived from the word invariably used in Scripture for a woman’s breast. As the mother is the all-sufficient one to her baby, God is the Satisfier of His people.

The title El Shaddai quite literally means “the Mighty One of Resource or Sufficiency.” Shaddai suggests perfect supply and perfect comfort. It could be rendered “God All-sufficient.” Plus it suggests exuberance and perfect satisfaction combined with irresistible power!

“The Lord appeared to Abraham and said unto him, I am the El Shaddai: walk before Me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1 KJV). Abraham might have thought, Lord, how can I walk before You and be perfect?”

God says, “Remember, Abraham, I am El Shaddai, absolutely powerful, absolutely sufficient, absolutely able to keep you from falling.”

El Shaddai is most frequently used in the book of Job. If the Almighty, the Pourer-forth of Blessings, was the One chastening him, Job could stay true. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15 KJV). All of us who know God as the One who has all power and perfectly satisfies us will always be able to say that.

In difficult times, it may seem that He is far from being the One who pours forth blessings. But our faith rests upon the assurance that in the end we’ll say with joy, “He has done all things well.”

Thank You, Father, that in every situation You intend to pour out blessings on all who love You. You are God Almighty, El Shaddai.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” [El Shaddai] (Psalm 91:1).

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I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. Cioara Andrei says:

    Foarte interesant subiectul deybatut de tine.M-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place ce am vazut, cu siguranta am sa mai revin o zi buna!

  2. Empty Nest Full Life says:

    I am so thankful that He is my all sufficient one. Continuing to pray for you. Jackie

  3. Congrats Jen! You won the painting on Joy Treasure! I was asking for examples along with references and you were the only one who answered that way. Everyone else cited only references. Congrats!

  4. Thanks for the beautiful devotional today. I have never heard the true meaning of El Shaddai before…. very good.