Summary: All human strength fades, but our God is God Almighty. What hope and strength that name brings to us, just as it did to Abraham! A. A name that can terrify B. A name that gives hope because of the covenant C. A name that strengths us to live for him

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Text: Genesis 17:1-5

Theme: El Shaddai (אל שדי) Can Do Anything

A. A name that can terrify

B. A name that gives hope because of the covenant

C. A name that strengths us to live for him

Season: Pentecost 2c -- God’s Names

Date: June 6, 2010

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Through this word from God recorded in Genesis 17, the Holy Spirit brings us the comfort of our almighty Savior.

"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty (El Shaddai, אֵל שַׁדַּי). Walk before me and be complete. I am confirming my covenant between me and you, and I will make you increase very much."

"Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, "Behold, my covenant, yes mine, is with you. You will become the father of a multitude of nations. You will no longer be called by the name Abram. Your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations." (Genesis 17:1-5)

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

He claimed to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." Sports Illustrated crowned him the "Sportsman of the Century." His nickname was "The Greatest." He was the three-time World Heavyweight Champion, Muhammad Ali.

But where is that left hook followed by the hard right to the face that brought down George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle? Now at age 68 and debilitated by Parkinson’s disease, Ali is no longer the powerhouse he was. How the mighty have fallen!

"Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Soon bears us all away; We fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the op’ning day" ("O God, Our Help in Ages Past," Isaac Watts, /Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal/ 441:5).

But there is One whose power does not fade. His strength does not fly away. For he is not simply mighty; he is almighty. /El Shaddai/, אֵל שַׁדַּי, God Almighty. He needs no help or aid, for he is all-sufficient. He is the source who provides all for everyone and everything. He is /El Shaddai/, אֵל שַׁדַּי, God Almighty, the Omnipotent, the all-powerful. He can do anything. Remember that theme.

What hope and what strength that name brought Abraham, and what hope and strength it brings for you and me today. For /El Shaddai/, אֵל שַׁדַּי, can do anything.

A. A name that can terrify

1. How well have you met God’s standard?

In the 1940’s there was race, a race to get the mightiest weapon this world had yes seen. The United States had the Manhattan Project. Hitler had his heavy water experiments. After the war it was learned that Hitler was much farther away from developing the atomic bomb than some had feared. But what if he had gotten the bomb first? What would the world be like today? Might and power are good in the hands of an ally, but in the hands of an enemy -- what terror!

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