God Almighty, God of Heaven

David prayed, “Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness.” 2 Samuel 7:21

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIV

You may be familiar with the Amy Grant song, El Shaddai (lyrics below). It’s an oldie but still packs a powerful and true message. The mighty God has saved his people through powerful acts of redemption and rescue. The line of the song that always stops me is, “your most awesome work was done through the frailty of your Son.”

God does mighty works. Sometimes we are able to see them. A cancer diagnosis goes suddenly away. The need for surgery is averted – with no medical reason to explain it. A long-standing feud is forgiven and forgotten and estranged friends are restored. Wanton sinners are brought to faith in Jesus. Miracles happen. More often, however, we see the awesome work of God through the veil of our blurred vision. We don’t understand as much about God and his was as we claim.

God does all these things because of his character and nature. He is good. He never willingly brings harm upon the children of men (cf. Lamentations 3:33). That God is both good and powerful makes for a potential conundrum. If he is good but allows pain and suffering then perhaps he is not all that powerful. If he is powerful and allows the innocent to suffer, then he must surely not be good.

But what if you could wish for your children or your closest loved-one that no harm or trouble or struggle would come their way? You might think that is good. Perhaps an illustration from the Biodome will help here. Scientists were puzzled when, in this perfectly-controlled environment – free from storm, wind or hail, without famine or flood – fruit trees were losing their branches. The weight of just a few apples would cause the apple tree to lose its branches. “Why?” They wondered.

As it turned out it was the lack of wind and stressors on the trees that was the problem. Winds and other stressors would cause microfractures in the branches. These would heal over time and the branch would become stronger. The total lack of trouble weakens us. We do not learn by having everything simply handed to us. For most of us, the most valuable lessons of life come from the school of hard knocks.

God is good – all the time. And God is powerful – above all powers. That is a supremely good combination. We can entrust ourselves to him with absolute confidence.

El Shaddai
El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonia,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
We will praise and lift you high,
El shaddai.
Through your love and through the ram,
You saved the son of abraham;
Through the power of your hand,
Turned the sea into dry land.
To the outcast on her knees,
You were the God who really sees,
And by your might,
You set your children free.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonia,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
We will praise and lift you high,
El shaddai.
Through the years you’ve made it clear,
That the time of christ was near,
Though the people couldn’t see
What messiah ought to be.
Though your word contained the plan,
They just could not understand
Your most awesome work was done
Through the frailty of your son.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonai,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
I will praise yo ’till I die,El shaddai.

El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonai,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
I will praise you ’till I die.
El shaddai.
Songwriters: Michael J. Card / John W Thompson
El Shaddai lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

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