Names of God: Adonai

Musings, Names of God
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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  ~ Matthew 7:21

It is sobering to think that all who call themselves Christians might not really have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  In the New Testament, Lord, is Kyrie but its counterpart in the Old Testament is Adonai. 

Adonai is one of the three names most often used for God in the Bible behind Elohim and YHWH. Elohim is formal and almost more like the title “God” where YHWH is more personal and identifying specifically the Hebrew God but Adonai means Lord or Master.

Adonai, like Elohim, is the plural form of Adon but when referencing YHWH it is used with singular verbs for an emphatic form indicating the plural of majesty or the “royal we” as it were.  Both Elohim and Adonai are sometimes applied to other Semitic deities and the singular adon could mean any lord or master and has been attributed to men and angels.  

Where there is a Master there is a slave or servant.  This name is first introduced in Genesis 15:2 when Abram speaks humbly before God inquiring how the LORD will make him the father of nations when he does not yet have even a single heir and again when he speaks on behalf of the residents of Sodom.

Another use of Adonai is a long-standing sign of reverence and humility.  The vowel points of Adonai are used to insulate the personal name revealed to Moses at the burning bush. See more about this in the post about YHWH.  Observant Jews even substitute the name Adonai when they read YHWH out of reverence for the personal Name.

There are heavy uses of Adonai in Isaiah and it occurs 200 times in Ezekiel and 11 times in Daniel Chapter 9. 

The use of the Name, Adonai, challenges the one who speaks it to live like they mean it.

If we call Him our Lord and Master are we willing to live subject to His will? 

Are we willing to submit our plans and aspirations for His Glory?

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FATHER, 

YOU ARE our ADONAI! You are our Lord and Master!  You are not just our Creator but YOU are our Sustainer and You Will holds the heaven and earth together.  

It is the height of arrogance to believe that we know better but our sin nature temps us again and again to question Your Supremacy and love for us.

You are Holy and You are more Righteous than any other being.  Christ’s love on the Cross and the power of the Holy Spirit reminds us of this and we pray that YOU will continue to teach us Your Ways!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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