When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty (El-Shaddai)”
When God came to Abram in Genesis 17, it wasn’t for the first time. Abram had received the promise of God when he was 75, but it hadn’t manifested yet. Abram had been over in Hagar’s tent, trying to make it happen, and here he was still wavering.
Yet Romans chapter 4 reports that Abraham didn’t stagger at the promise of God; that he was strong in faith. So what happened?
Genesis 17 was a turning point for Abram, because God revealed Himself to him as El-Shaddai.
Like many languages, Hebrew has gender attached to words. The name “El-Shaddai” literally means “The Many Breasted One”. The image is of a child nursing at her mother’s breast; of nourishment, comfort, security and rich supply.
Up to that point Abraham had only met the God of power, the one who was ready to speak to his sense of purpose, to stretch him to maximize his potential and draw out his greatness.
Yet however much had been prophesied over him, he didn’t have the ability to lay hold of it because he lacked a sense of reassurance. He knew he didn’t deserve the fulfillment of such a great promise. He knew that God had seen how he had treated his wife with Abimelech and Pharaoh. God had seen him with Hagar. How could he have confidence in God now?
And then God showed him his private affection and exclusive loyalty. Abraham understood for the first time that God would do things for him that he wouldn’t do for anyone else.
God let him know, “This isn’t a casual church arrangement. I will go to the death for you and there is nothing you can do to run me away.”
Right then Abram and his family were circumcised. A cut was made in a place so private that only the most intimate can see. Since God would give Him everything, He did not withhold anything in return.
What is it that has taken you 24 years? You have come up with plan B because of the passage of time, and now you feel you are too old. Hope has all but died.
You can have all that He is. He sees you where no one else sees you and He refuses to hold your sin against you. He will help you with your weaknesses.
You can still win!