What’s in a Name?

Paul Dickinson has written a book called, What’s in a Name?

It grew out of his hobby of collecting strange and unusual names.

 Sometimes, he says names seem to be prophetic:

  • In 1941 there were two men who were executed in the electric chair in Florida and their names were Will Burn and Will Frizzle.
  • There was a window washer in Montreal who fell while he was washing windows and died. His name was Will Drop.  
  • Others, he said, seemed destined for certain occupations.
  • Dan Druff became a barber.
  • Jeff Treadwell became a Podiatrist.
  • Goforth and Ketchum, two guys, became police partners. O’Neil and Pray became partners in church equipment.
  • Zoltan Ovary, a gynecologist.
  • A plaster contractor was named Will Crumble.

God refers to Himself by several names because each name of God reveals His reputation, character and authority. 

One of God’s names is El Shaddai and it appears in Genesis 17:1:

“Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless.'” 

It is translated here as God Almighty.

El Shaddai combines the Hebrew words El, which means the Strong One, and shad, a Hebrew word for breast.

This would imply that God is to us all that a mother is to her baby at her breast.

This is a very tender and compassionate name for God.

The idea conveyed is that God comforts, satisfies, nourishes, nurtures, sustains and pours His life into us. 

A better translation of El Shaddai is The All-Sufficient Strong One.  

El Shaddai, therefore, is all we need and sufficient, even when we don’t understand what He is doing in our life.

Just remember this one thing, He has enough strength, comfort and sustaining power and to make our life valuable. 

When we are tired, beat up or damaged, El Shaddai is sufficient and pours His life into us.

He can transform us into more than we ever dreamed or imagined! 

The All-Sufficient Strong One is in the business of fixing broken people.  

Have we been dealt a nasty blow by life or by people?

Are we at the end of our strength, our thinking process and our ability to withstand the pressures? 

  • El Shaddai is strong enough and sufficient for us when we are insufficient!  
  • El Shaddai is enough for us when we don’t have enough.
  • El Shaddai is adequate for us in our time of inadequacy.

Whatever we are dealing with in others or in our own life, He is The All-Sufficient Strong One

We can go forward through His name, El Shaddai, and He can be trusted for our future.


Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries

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