These are some of the names through which God has chosen to reveal His nature and character to us. This evening we want to consider another name God uses. Adonai, which means Lord - sovereign, master, is used 300 times in the O.T. in reference to God.
Adonai signifies ownership or lordship and when used of God it indicates the truth that He is owner of each member of the human race, and that He consequently claims the unrestricted obedience of all.
(Malachi 1:6) A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
I. The Use of Adonai in the O.T.
A. The first time the word is used in reference to God is by Abraham in Genesis 15:1-2.
B. Abraham understood that this name Adonai meant complete possession, and complete submission.
(Genesis 15:1-2) "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord [Adonai] GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?"
C. The name Adonai speaks to us of lordship.
D. It has to do with our being a purchased slave, not a hired servant.
1. The hired servant was as a stranger, and did not have his master's affection or protection.
2. But purchased slave was like a member of the family, they were to observe Passover with the family, and they were afforded their master's protection and affection.
(Exodus 12:43) And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover:
(Exodus 12:44-45) But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.
3. This is why Abraham thought that his servant, Eliezer, would become his heir.
4. Moses understood this slave-master relationship.
(Exodus 4:10) And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
5. Gideon understood this slave-master relationship.
(Judges 6:15) And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
6. David understood this slave-master relationship.
(2 Samuel 7:20) And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.
7. It is Adonai who commissions the prophets.
(Isaiah 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
(Jeremiah 1:6) Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
(Ezekiel 2:4) For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
(Daniel 9:8) O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
II. The Use of Adonai in the N.T.
A. Here the meaning of Adonai is found in the word 'Kurious' translated Lord.
B. We find that since we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus, we belong to Him.
(1 Corinthians 6:20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
(Romans 12:1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
C. As our Lord He is the One who bestows gifts for service.
(Ephesians 4:11-12) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
D. As Lord He is the One who protects and sustains His servants.
1. Paul giving testimony of how the Lord sustained him through the storm at sea.
(Acts 23:11) And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
2. Paul writes to Timothy from prison.
(2 Timothy 4:16) At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
(2 Timothy 4:17) Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
3. Listen to Paul's confidence in His Lord's deliverance.
(2 Timothy 4:18) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
4. How can Paul be so sure of these things?
5. Because He realized that he was a purchased possession.
6. We are not left to fend for ourselves, but rather our Lord [Adonai] will provide and protect us.
The name Adonai speaks of a very special relationship that we have with God. He is our Lord, we are His servants. That why He asks this heart searching question in Luke's gospel.
(Luke 6:46) And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
To know God as Our Lord is a wonderful experience. He has purchased us…we belong to Him. We ought to love and serve Him not as a hired servant, but as member of His family!
(Psalms 8:9) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!