On the evening of leaving for his Russian campaign, Napoleon detailed his schemes to a noble lady with such arrogant positiveness that she tried to check him by saying, “Sir, man proposes; but God disposes.” “Madam, I propose and I dispose, too!” he haughtily replied. A few months later he lost the war, his crown and everything he had. God alone disposes!
It’s always been that way, throughout all of history. God’s power is greater than any power of man. “El Elyon,” “Most High God,” clearly shows this. “El” is the generic name for God, the creator and sustainer. “Elyon” is an intensified form of “El,” showing the God of the Jews is greater than any other ‘god.’ ‘El’ is strong God, ‘Elyon’ is the superlative form, the strongest of the strong. It focuses on the great power of our creator God.
According to Einstein (E=MC2) a birthday candle has enough pure energy to equal 20,000 tons of TNT or enough power of electricity to supply a town of 40,000 for a whole day. That power comes from God Himself, El Elyon. As much power as is in a birthday cake candle, it doesn’t come anywhere near comparing to the sun. The sun uses up enough energy in 1 second to supply all the earth’s energy needs for billions and billions of years. What power! But there is even more, for there are trillions of suns in the universe, most far larger than out son. How many is a trillion? If you would count as fast as possible (4 numbers a second) it would take you 1,000 years to reach 100 billion, and that is only a fraction of the way to trillions. That’s El Elyon’s awesome power! Imagine how great God’s power must be if He can just speak and call all these planets into being. His power is far greater or He wouldn’t be able to form them and fill them with power.
Melchizedek calls God ‘El Elyon’ (Genesis 14:18, 19, 20, 22) when he meets Abraham after Abraham rescued Lot. It was through Most High God’s power that Abraham was able to defeat the armies that had overthrown Sodom and Gomorrah. In response Abraham gave 10% of his riches to El Elyon through Melchizedek.
Other Gentiles, such as Balaam, referred to God by this title (Numbers 24:16). Moses (Deuteronomy 32:8) and Isaiah (Isaiah 14:12-14) also speak of El Elyon’s power. Daniel calls Him by this name often (3:26; 4:2, 25, 34; 5:19,21; 7:18, 25, 27). David praises El Elyon for delivering him when he hid from Saul (Psalm 57:1-3). That same power is available to us as well – Jesus Himself says so (Luke 24:49). Next time you don’t think you have enough power for the task required of you, turn to El Elyon, the One with enough power to do anything that is needed!
Read Psalm 46 and thank God for His mighty power and protection. Martin Luther wrote “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” based on this Psalm. Write or pray your own psalm of praise to God for His mighty power in your behalf!
BIBLE STUDY ASSIGNMENT
In Gen 1 God is represented as speaking (v. 3), then as seeing (v. 4). He walks in the garden in the cool of the day (3:8). Elsewhere we read of the human form of God (Num 12:8), of the feet of God (Ex 24:10), of the hand of God (Isa 50:11), of the heart of God (Hos 11:8). In addition to physical characteristics, emotional qualities appropriate to man are also ascribed to God. Thus He is jealous (Ex 20:5), angry (Ps 77:9), merciful (Jonah 4:2), mighty (Ps 147:5), gracious and loving (Ps 103:8). The Lord can resolve and He can also repent (1 Sam 15:11). He is a shepherd (Ps 23:1), a bridegroom (Isa 62:5), and a warrior (Ex 15:3). While anthropomorphisms are in general less frequent in the NT, they do occur. There is a reference to the finger of God in Luke 11:20. In Matt 19:10 the angels behold the face of God. In John 10:29 it is said that none can pluck the disciples out of the hand of God. In John 1:18 the only begotten Son is in the bosom of the Father. The ascended Christ is seated at God’s right hand (Heb 1:3). In many verses (e.g., 2 Tim 2:13; Eph 2:8; 1 Tim 1:16; Eph 2:4; 1 John 3:1) we read of the faithfulness, wisdom, longsuffering, mercy, and love of God. God can also act as man acts. He speaks (Heb 1:1), sends (John 17:18), chooses (Eph 1:4), purposes (Eph 3:11), is wrathful (Rom 1:18), judges (Rom 2:2), reconciles (2 Cor 5:18), loves (John 3:16). He is described in human categories as father (Matt 6:9, etc.) or as king (Rev 4:2). (from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)
What human characteristic is attributed to God in each of these verses? Why? What is the significance? Matthew 18:10; Psalm 38:18; Psalm 32:8; Hebrews 1:13; Isaiah 5:9; James 5:4.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)