Names of God

Adonai

This month we are studying the beautiful name of God, Adonai — Lord. When Abram encountered Adonai in Genesis 15, he acknowledged that God had control over his life and his family’s future. Abram likely understood the concept of lordship more than most since he bore the title lord/master/owner over a huge tribe, including 318 soldiers. In those days, this relationship was not angst-filled. The purchased slave enjoyed closeness and compassion that a hired servant did not, and was free to come and go as he wished. Slaves joined the family for Passover while servants were shunned.

When you give God rights to your life, you are acknowledging His lordship over every area. The saying goes, “If He’s not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all.” Is Jesus your Adonai?

Adonai (Lord)

By Laura Sowers

We are drawn to the idea of an all-powerful, all-loving God, and we embrace the idea that the God of the universe is standing by to bless, lead, and protect us. Yet in Scripture we repeatedly find Him referred to as Adonai, the Hebrew word for Lord, which means “Master” or “Owner.” This is a term of respect and deference to someone of wisdom and position. The singular adon always referred to a man, while Adonai is a plural and possessive noun that refers to the Trinity and to God.

Slavery is usually a repulsive notion. However, in ancient Israel, a slave under the care of a good master enjoyed benefits such as help, direction, protection, and affection. The relationship was clear-cut: the slave was the possession of the master and was expected to submit and obey. In return, the master had the obligation to care for the slave.

In Psalm 123:2, we see a picture of the dynamic between a servant girl and her mistress: “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.” The servant was obediently ready, watching the hand of her mistress for the slightest gesture indicating “Come,” “Wait,” “Go.”

Submission is difficult. When Moses asked God to find someone else to speak for Him, God reacted in obvious anger. Moses’ fear revealed doubt that God had the power to compensate for his human insufficiencies.

Jesus was the example of both the perfect Master and the perfect Servant. He surrendered His will to the will of the Father and paid His servants’ debts. Remember our Lord is our Master, our Adonai, who bought us with the price of His perfect blood. We are not our own, but we are completely free in Him.

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