I know a town in the Dominican Republic with a poverty rate 74.5%, where the average family income is a slim $101 a month. Take note: that was family income.
Let that sink in for a minute. Where I live a lot of people’s income is 100 times that. Meanwhile one in nine people in the world will go to bed tonight hungry, and one in three suffer some kind of malnutrition, but scientists and NGO’s tell us that our world produces plenty of food for everyone to have enough.
We live in a world where sometimes people die of starvation, sometimes babies die, children work in sweatshops, and human beings are bought and sold as slaves for manual labor and prostitution. And I know everyone can list their own things, their own injustices, things that happen in the world that bother them. The truth is we need a God who is Almighty - a God who is big enough to handle all that.
Thankfully, we actually have one.
God is called by the name “Shaddai” exactly forty eight times in the Old Testament. But Shaddai is a mysterious name - no one can agree on where exactly it comes from. In ancient times when Greek and Latin speakers translated the Bible they rendered this word in a bunch of different ways: all powerful, all powerful lord, God of heavens, maker of all things, the sufficient one, highest, strongest, sublime God. But most often when it is translated into English we just have one word: Almighty.
Again, this word is only used forty eight times in the Old Testament, and thirty one of them are in the relatively off-the-beaten-path book of Job. But in our creed we say, “We believe in God the Father ALMIGHTY.” Indeed, one of the most important icons of Jesus is Christ Pantokrator, Christ Almighty.
On this episode of Three Dimensional Theology we are talking about what we mean when we say God is “Almighty.”
God is big, and God is good. God is omnipotent and philanthropic. God is way stronger than Super Man, and God is way more morally good than Mother Theresa. Sometimes these two things are thought of as incompatible. But the fact is that we also have a God who promises to put things right. Believing that promise, believing that God is true to His word - this is what we mean when we say we believe in God the Almighty.
God is big. God is good. God will put things right.
May you put your trust in that promise, and may you live your life in its light.