158 – THE ALMIGHTY
What is “Almighty”? It is that who can everything. It is that who has the power over all things, both good and bad, for if one does not have power over bad things, it is not almighty. Jehovah presented himself in person to Abraham, saying, “I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless” (Gen.17:1). Almighty in the Hebrew language is SHADDAI, and god almighty is EL SHADDAI.
El Shaddai, or Almighty, defined himself like this: “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life, I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand” (Deut.32:39). “For Jehovah of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Is.14:27).Jehovah, the almighty El Shaddai, is making sure the future of his people Israel is safe through these two declarations. He said, “For Jehovah’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance” (Deut.32:9). “But now, thus says the Lord, your creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” (Is.43:1). “I am Jehovah who sanctifies you” (Ex.31:13). He repeated the same words inLev.20:8. Ezekiel repeats it, saying, “And also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sanctifies them” (Ex.20:12). Jehovah also said to Jeremiah, “‘Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I shall announce My words to you.’ Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter, so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of Jehovah came to me saying, ‘Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as the potter does?’ declares Jehovah. ‘Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel” (Jer.18:2-6).Isaiah said, “But now, O Jehovah, Thou art our Father, we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and all of us are the work of Thy hand” (Is.64:8).
If Jehovah declares himself to be the Almighty, saying that no god could interfere with his work, and also declares that he created and formed Israel for his glory, and also that he sanctifies his people, Israel should be the best people in this world, what is not the truth. Israel was corrupted and prostituted himself against the will of the potter. In reality, the potter who formed Israel was the devil, and this is why Jesus told them, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44). The potter was the devil, and in this case Jehovah says that he is almighty when he is not, or Jehovah worked for Satan, making vessels for doom. Paul registered the following: “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory” (Rom.9:21-23). Only Jehovah has the power to operate in the behavior of humans, therefore Isaiah declared, “Even from eternity I am He; and there is none who can deliver from My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Is.43:13).
In fact, Satan does not have any power. He only takes advantage of the situation, or, rather, the surfer Satan knows how to ride the waves.
Since El Shaddai forms the character of the people, and since no other power is able to interfere, change or upset what he does, when he elected Israel as his people, no one, in heaven or earth, had the power to interfere. “You are the sons of Jehovah your God; you shall not cut yourselves, nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead. For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God; and Jehovah has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deut.14:1-2). He gave statutes and laws so that the people would be holy, for this was the will of the potter, the almighty. But his will was not fulfilled in his people, as if Jehovah was not the potter that he said he was. What amazes us is that Jehovah has the power to move the character of men, for he changed the hearts of the Egyptians to hate Israel (Ps. 105:23-25). Israel was pleasing to the Egyptians because of Joseph, but Jehovah made them odious. When Pharaoh was moved to the point of letting the people go, Jehovah, the Almighty, hardened his heart (Ex.4:21). It was Jehovah who formed the heart of Ishmael to be and adversary of his brothers (Gen.16:11-12).
The wonder is that he did not cause his people to be good, faithful and holy, as he desired, for the people were corrupted. Jehovah cried out, “I planted you a choice vine, a completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?” (Jer.2:21). The potter either failed, or he is forming a degenerate people. It seems like Jehovah was interested in corrupting Israel, for Isaiah said, “Why, O Jehovah, dost Thou cause us to stray from Thy ways, and harden our heart from fearing Thee?” (Is.63:17).
We get to the conclusion that the Almighty Jehovah has all power over evil, but does not have power over good, for he changed the hearts of the Egyptians to be evil, but he did not have the power to change the hearts of the people of Israel to be good. On the contrary, he caused them to err. Let us see. Jehovah forms the spirit of men within them (Zach.12:1). Job affirms that the spirit of all human flesh, and also their souls are all in the hands of Jehovah (Job 12:9-10). But men are evil since their childhood. We read this in Gen.6:21. Jehovah declares that all men are evil (Ps.14:2-3). This leads us to the understanding that the spirit formed by Jehovah within men is evil. It is thus proven that Jehovah is the Almighty to make men evil, but not to make them good. The proof is that he destroyed all humanity in the flood because it was evil; and since he did not have the power to change their hearts, he destroyed them.
Jehovah himself confesses that all the evil that may befall men comes from him (Amos 3:6).
The Almighty has so much power over evil, that the very Satan asked permission of El Shaddai to do evil to Job, for he did not wish to bear the responsibility for such an infamous evil. We read this in Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-7.
The proof that Jehovah has all power over evil is in Jer.18:11: “So now, then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, ‘Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you.’” The proof that Jehovah does not have power over good is in Rom.8, which says, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom.8:20-21)
This deliverance comes through Jesus, who received all power from the Father after the resurrection(Matt.28:18). And Jesus does not do evil, only good (John 15:13).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira