By the time of the 17th chapter of Genesis, it had been 24 years since God's first promise to Abraham that he would have a seed and that the land would be given to his seed.
When God now appears to Abraham, He appears to him as "the Almighty God" (v. 1). The Hebrew name for God here is actually El Shaddai. El means "God" or "the Strong One." Shaddai means "nourisher" or " strength-giver." As El Shaddai, God is "the all-sufficient One."
Thus, when Abraham was 99 years old, God appeared to him and gave him a promise that was greater than ever: "I am the Almighty God ... [I] will multiply thee exceedingly" (vv. 1,2).
Whereas Abraham longed for physical seed so that God's promises could be fulfilled, do we long for spiritual seed--for others to come to know Christ under our ministry?
Perhaps in your life you have found times when spiritual fruit does not come. This frequently happens to pastors and evangelists. The tendency then is to resort to unworthy methods to produce results, maintaining that the end justifies the means.
How patiently God bore with Abraham! After the first promise 24 years earlier, God now reveals Himself to Abraham as "the Almighty God." No one but the all-powerful, all-sufficient God could meet Abraham's need at this time.
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (Ps. 91:1).