Adonai – My Lord, My Master

“Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” (Genesis 15:2)

Names in the Bible denote a person’s character or attribute. We can look at the name Abram as an example. Abram means “exalted father.” Abram’s name was changed by God to Abraham which means “father of a multitude.” Jewish names had meaning and relationship to the person they were identified with. This week we are looking at another name that was attributed to God, “Adonai.”

Adonai is a Hebrew name and occurs 434 times in the Old Testament. The Prophet Isaiah used the name extensively in the Book Isaiah. The Prophet Ezekiel uses the name 200 times and Daniel 11 times. Its first appearance is in the Book of Genesis in chapter 15 verse 2. Adonai translates into English “Lord.” A Lord has ownership or mastership over his possession. Strong’s defines Adonai as the Lord used as a proper name of God only. A land lord then would be in lower case as upper case is reserved for reference to God. It could also mean My God also. In the Bible Lord indicates the truth that God is the owner of every member of the human family and claims unrestricted obedience from all. The companion word to Adonai in the New Testament is Kurios and is defined by Strong’s as the Supreme authority and controller and is the respectful title for God, Master and Sir.

Adonai holds the identity of Lordship. Lordship carries a two sided meaning. One is the complete possession and the other is the complete submission of the Lord’s possession. God is not only our ruler but we in obedience must submit to His will. How lucky we are that our God is not an unpredictable or evil Master. He does not ask of His subjects that which cannot be accomplished. Our Lord and Master does not ask of us to perform a task without equipping us to accomplish that task. All that our Lord and Master asks of us to do will be good and just and we can trust Him to enable us to complete the work that we have been given.

In the book of Judges we read of a time when the Israelite nation had forsaken God. God allowed the Midianite people to invade Israel and take their harvest leaving them with no food to support their families. Then God found Gideon who was in the winepress beating his wheat where the Midianites could not see him. God called Gideon to lead the people of Israel to drive out the Midianites. Gideon answered, “He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15)

Gideon had doubts that he could accomplish such a daunting task as to drive out the armies of the Midianites. But the Angel of the Lord who had appeared to him answered, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” Gideon trusted the Lord (Adonai) and went out and raised an army of Israelites numbering 32,000. The Lord came to Gideon and told him he had too many men and that the halfhearted should go home. 22,000 men went home leaving Gideon with 10,000 to face the 135,000 Midianites.

Again the Lord came to Gideon and told him that he had too many men to fight this battle. He told Gideon to take the men to the river and all those who drank the water as a dog lapping with their tongues were to be sent away. Gideon in his faith did as the Lord had said and those men who drank water by cupping their hands numbered 300 hundred. Gideon now had 300 hundred men to face the 135,000 Midianites.

Gideon was given specific battle plans and he and his men followed them as they were instructed. As a result the Lord confused the enemy and they fought themselves giving Gideon and the Israelites the victory. God choses men who trust and obey the words of His commands and have the faith to see the victory that lay just ahead. The Lord called Gideon and 300 hundred to go against the 135,000 Midianites. He equipped the few to overcome the many because they trusted in His provision.

Those who come against God’s people will be sustained by the Lord their Master who sits upon His throne in heaven and laughs at their folly. He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.” (Psalm 2:4)

Adonai is a name given to God that makes know His true ownership that He alone has of man His creation in His image. He is the Master of man by His creation and He owns the Christian by the price of his redemption. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19) God alone is our Master and God alone is our judge.

God’s grace is sufficient to provide us with all our provision to accomplish the task that He has set before us. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Where God guides He provides. With all the choices that man has in life here there are only two to consider at this juncture. We can obey Adonai in this live or wish that we had in death.

It is this that we must do submit ourselves unto the Lord our Master in faith that here on earth His will be done as it is in Heaven. That we trust Him to equip and empower us to do the good work and sustain us until we accomplish the task that He has set before us. In this we bring the abundant life both now and forever more. “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” (Romans 7:4)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, October 18, 2015

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