Names of God: Adonai

isa24_44We have stood in awe of our Mighty Elohim, we have raised our hands to praise the Eternal YHWH, and today we fall to our knees before our Lord and Master, the great Adonai.

Adonai (ah-doh-noi) means “Master” or “Sovereign”.  This Hebrew word is translated “Lord” in our English Bibles (only first letter capitalized).  It, also, is plural and is sometimes used in place of YHWH in order to avoid using and profaning God’s personal name. It is used in the singular form to refer to earthly masters.  The Google definition for “master” that seems to best fit here is “a person who has dominance or control of something”.  Our Adonai has complete dominance and control over everything.

We first see this name in reference to God in Genesis 15.  In this world-changing story, God is about to use one man to blessing all the people of the earth, his name is Abraham.  When Abraham uses this name, he acknowledges God as Lord, one who has power and authority over his life.  It was important for Abraham to believe this, because the promises God was making were going to change Abraham’s life (and the lives of his descendants) forever.  He had to believe in God’s authority to enact these changes.

Ironically, when God desires to send Moses to Egypt, we see Moses reject God as Lord when he refers to Him as Adonai in Exodus 4:

“But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh, my [Adonai], I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’  But he said, “Oh, my [Adonai], please send someone else.” (10-13).

The complete authority of God is woven throughout the Bible.  In the beginning, as we have already seen, God has authority over creation.  He merely had to speak and things came to order, just as a king commands his servants.  Romans 13:1 says “there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God“.

We see He has authority over all the nations, every ruler is subject to Him whether they submit or not:

“O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.” – 2 Chron. 20:6 ESV

He has authority over time, itself.  He makes plans and carries them out.  Our Adonai even has the end of the world planned and even though Jesus says, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:7 ESV) we can rest assured that God’s plans will be carried out in the time He intends.

Adonai is Lord over life and death:

The Lord kills and brings to life;
    He brings down to Sheol and raises up.” – 1 Sam. 2:6 ESV

“Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.” – Job 33:22 ESV

Adonai is worthy of all our obedience and devotion.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.” – Psa. 28:7

This video is pretty poor quality, but it is the words I’m going for.  “Oh Lord, Our Lord”


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