Abraham, like so many of us, is a study in contrasts. One minute he’s trusting God; the next he’s devising his own plan. His beginning was remarkable. Though not a worshiper of God, when God appeared to him and told him to leave his familiar and fertile homeland, he did. He traveled to a place he had never visited, through lands he had never navigated, to a future he did not know. God promised to make him a great nation though he was childless.

His trust in God was unbelievable.

When his herdsmen couldn’t get along with those of his nephew Lot, Abram literally took the high road and let Lot choose the more fertile Jordan valley. God responded again with a promise. “I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.”

His trust in God was unbelievable.

When Lot got in trouble, and armies came against the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abram rallied 318 of his finest men and rescued his nephew. God was pleased. “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

His trust in God faltered.

But Abram said. This is the first time in any interaction with God that the dreaded conjunction but shows up. But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” God sent Abram into a deep sleep, told him once again that he would have offspring who would inherit everything from Egypt to the Euphrates. God sealed it with covenantal language.

Abram woke up and went about his business. For ten years he remained faithful. Finally Sarai, his wife had enough. She gave Abram her servant Hagar. Abram had sex with her and Ishmael was born. Sarai became jealous, mistreated Hagar, and Hagar fled with her newborn into the desert.

His trust in God faltered.

Abram turned 99, Sarai 90. God showed up again. “I am God Almighty (El Shaddai), walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly. Then Abram fell on his face. and God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.”

God called Abram Abraham before Abraham was even close to being Abraham. Sarai got a new name too: Sarah–mother of nations. Their bodies were dead (when it came to childbirth), but God’s promise was very much alive.

God Almighty remained faithful.

This is one of God’s most mysterious names. God (El) alone implies might and power. Shaddai seems to double down on that–but what kind of power? El (think Elohim) is the powerful creator God. El Shaddai is the God who can take bodies unable to give birth and  undo the natural course of creation. God created, God Almighty re-created.

Sin has wrecked the planet. The coronavirus is proof that sin unravels God’s original design.

But when God Almighty speaks, he makes better what was made worse.

Abram, exalted father, becomes Abraham, father of a multitude. Sarai, my princess, becomes Sarah, mother of nations.

If you are not who you once were, it is because God Almighty stepped into the existence of your life and changed your name. Oh, you may still be Margaret, or Ray, or Mark, but you are a different Margaret, Ray and Mark. You’re hardly recognizable as the person you once were. Why? Because God Almighty changed your name, and you too.

We don’t define God, He defines us.

The coronavirus doesn’t define God, He defines it. He is God Almighty, creator and life-changer. Pray this prayer to Him today:

Father, I thank you that you created the world and everything in it. But I thank you even more that you are involved in the details, big and small, and that nothing escapes you. I thank you that you make Abram Abraham and Sarai Sarah and that you’re making me who you’ve called me to be. God Almighty, determine my direction, my destiny, my purpose. Name me…and by your grace help me to walk in that name. I thank you that you gave your son Jesus the “name that is above every name, and that at his name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord.” God Almighty, today I bow and confess…and one day, when this life has ended, I will bow and confess with Abraham and Sarah. Amen and amen.

He named you. This powerful song (with 60 million views!) reminds us that he will never forget your name.


  1. Thank you, Pastor Jerry, for your daily enlightenment, encouragement, and for sharing our precious Savior’s love with us in such a beautiful way! What a blessing!


  2. I am a child of God, He knows the hairs on my head, he knows the thoughts in my mind before I do, He knows my name.Thankful for my Savior and the hope we all can have if we call on his name and confess our sins.


  3. Just now reading this… I love this song… and am so glad I’m not who I was. Today, if I have absolutely nothing else, I have hope that rests in my Savior!


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