(Day 6) EL OLAM (Everlasting God)
First used of God in Genesis 21:33. Can also be translated, ‘Eternal God’. Psm 90:2 ‘From everlasting to everlasting’. In the context, Abraham is having difficulties regarding a well that belonged to him but that Abimelech’s servants had seized. Abimelech knew nothing of it and wanted to keep the peace with Abraham and to have him as an ally. So they made a treaty together at Beersheba, (well of oath) Abraham planted a Tamarisk tree there and there he called upon the name of the the Lord, the Everlasting One.
It is not easy to know why Abraham used this new name, but for me, the context has some clues. 1) Verses 22-23, Abimelech here recognises that God is with Abraham and wants him to swear to deal well with him and his decendants. So we see here that we are dealing not only with the present, but future generations! 2) Verses 24-31. Abraham wanted to ensure that his future generations had this well of water to draw from, so in the context here we are looking at future generations as well as present ones. 3) Verses 32-34. With all this in mind, Abraham calls on Jehovah the Lord and asks Him to be everlasting God to all his generations. Thousands of years later Jesus, who is the eternal God (Romans 16:25-26) cried out, “Come to me all you who are thirsty and I will give you water to drink’.
God not only is for every generation, but He is able to be for them through every successive generation. Abraham recognised that though God would bless future generations, He would not have grown old, weary and worn out. Abraham recognised the immutability of God. God is always at His peak and never has an off day. Abraham knew His people would need water in the future, but He also knew they would need God ‘the water of life’ in the future and Abraham calls upon El Olam to be just that to His people.
H Stevenson writes “In earlier generations, God dealt with His people according to the needs of their day: and now, His grace is sufficient for us in these very troubled days. How very different are our times and circumstances from those of Abraham Isaac and Jacob! But the same everlasting God meets our daily needs as fully and graciously as He did theirs: and He shall do so as long as life shall last”
And lastly, let us allow Isaiah to have the final word which fits beautifully in the context! “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God (El Olam), the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary…He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…..But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” [Isa 40:28-31].
Everlasting God and Father. Thank you that you are from age to age eternal, you never grow weary and faint, and praise be to you for you do not grow weary of our prayers to you, but graciously listen to all who call upon you. Father, Abraham sought to have water for his decendants, we don’t have that problem as water is very available to us, but what I cry out to you for today is revival for mine and the next generation. We are in dire need of your water of life! Oh God, we are weary and thirsty, desperate and beyond ourselves. Our next generation hardly knows you O merciful God. Please intervene, rend the heavens and let showers of revival and blessings hit the UK once more. Thank you God everlasting. Thou changest not thy compassions they fail not, great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me. Amen.