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Devotional Names of God

Adonai – Lord

Christopher D. Hudson

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In turning to God on His terms, you acknowledge that He is your Adonai, your master and owner. Submitting to His authority feels scary, but it is actually quite freeing.

“Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.” Psalm 148:13

Maybe you hear the title Lord and immediately think of some old movie about Victorian England, featuring Lord and Lady Blabbington living a privileged life with dutiful servants rushing about, tending to their every whim.

As far as you can tell, being a lord means being treated like royalty and with great honor. To be fair, this picture has some elements of truth—although the divine name Lord (Adonai in Hebrew and Kurios in Greek) involves much more than that.

Because ancient Hebrews considered the divine name YHWH (Yahweh) too holy to pronounce, they substituted Adonai instead, which is translated “Lord.”

Inherent in the title or name Adonai are the ideas of sovereignty, rulership, and honor.

Sovereignty. As our Creator, God possesses the owner’s deed to our lives. Isaiah 45:9 reads, “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground.

Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘The potter has no hands’?” As the One who both made and sustains us, the Potter has full authority and control over our lives.

Rulership. Paul wrote, “You were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Bought? We bristle at the thought of being “owned” by anyone. Why should we have to do what another tells us? We’re not slaves, are we? Yes and no.

We were bought (redeemed) out of slavery to sin and into a new life of service to God. But God isn’t just a master or Lord who rules over us arbitrarily. He is a loving Father who uses His lordship over our lives to bring out His glory and our good.

We are His servants, yes; and He is our adoring Father who wants to see us grow (Philippians 1:6).

Honor.

In turning to God on His terms, you acknowledge that He is your Adonai, your master and owner. Submitting to His authority feels scary, but it is actually quite freeing. Dedicating your life to the LORD’s glory is a great act of faith that pleases Him (see Hebrews 11:6).

You are essentially saying, “Lord, even as I seek to honor You with my life, I am trusting that You have my life in Your hands. Because You will take care of me, I can give myself fully to Your service and Your glory.”

God is our sovereign. Our Ruler. He is worthy of all honor.

In what areas of your life do you have trouble surrendering control to God?

Prayer:
Lord, You have bought me at a price. I am Your servant and slave. Help me live in a way that reflects Your kingship over my life and that also brings You honor. Amen.

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