Summary: God is the rightful ruler of the universe. This is revealed by one of the names God uses for Himself in Scripture: Adonai - Lord. It describes God as the Divine owner of all that exists, the master of Creation.
Text: Genesis 15
Proposition: You must serve the Lord
Interrogative: Why? He is Adonai
Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from Pole to Pole, I thank whatever god’s may be for my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced or cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.
You may have heard these famous lines somewhere along the way. They are the words to the popular poem Invictus, by William Earnest Henley. They have been widely used over the last hundred years as an expression personal independence, a declaration that no matter what happens, the human spirit refuses to bend. This is humanity’s declaration that it will rise above circumstances and take charge of life, not matter what difficulties are encountered. It was quoted most famously by Timothy McVeigh as his last statement before being executed for the Oklahoma City bombing.
It is a promise to stand unafraid, without whimpering, without submitting. It is the announcement to any who will listen that even though a person cannot always control the events that surround him, he alone has control of himself. He is the master of his fate, and the captain of his soul.
It is the proclamation of a godless society, the result of a culture that has done everything it can to erase God from the collective consciousness. But God is not so easily destroyed. He is the rightful ruler of the universe, regardless of whether we acknowledge Him as such. In the end, it becomes a struggle for mastery - primarily a question of who will rule our lives.
Today, we will answer this question as we look at another name God is know by in Scripture. It is the name Adonai - Lord. It describes God as the Divine owner of all that exists, the master of Creation. There is only one master of our fate, He is Adonai Jehovah, the Lord God. He alone is captain of our souls, and we are each His servant.
Read Text - Genesis 15:1-6
As we begin reading this morning, we find ourselves somewhere in the middle of the story. The passage opens, “And after these things.” Abram is not a young man as we find him this morning. He was already an adult when God called him to leave his ancestral home in Ur and travel to a land he knew not of. Over the years, God had revealed Himself in many ways to Abram. Most recently, Abram had just returned from a successful military operation. His nephew Lot had been taken captive in a raid on the city of Sodom. Abram had mustered his servants and gone to rescue Lot. He defeated the combined armies of four city-states and rescued Lot and the other captives of Sodom. Returning, he met the king of Sodom and the Priest/King of Salem, Melchizedek. Now he has returned to the women, and his tents and livestock. After all these things, all that had already happened in Abram’s life, and all the growing his relationship with God had experienced, we arrive on the scene in Genesis chapter 15.
It is here, as God talks with Abram, that we find a new name for God. It is the name Adonai that Abram uses in verse 2. It almost slips in without notice, especially in our English Bibles, but it a significant name if we are going to properly understand our relationship with God.
I. Who is Adonai
A. He is Lord
1. LORD - Yahweh/Jehovah
2. Lord - Adonai
a. Used of men 215 times
(1) little “L”
(2) or more often master
b. Used of God nearly 300 times
(1) speaks of the trinity
(a) singular adon always refers to a man
(b) plural usually used of God
(2) primarily speaks of ownership and mastery
B. Adonai owns all things
1. Lordship indicates possession
a. A concept well understood by Abraham
(1) owner of a vast household
(a) many possessions (livestock, tools, housing, utensils)
(b) many slaves
ii) 318 servants to rescue Lot
iii) hirelings not common, too uncertain
iv) treated them like slaves, as we will see later
(2) slavery was common
(a) middle eastern Bible times saw many slaves
(b) a slave was an additional possession of the owner like he owned livestock and tents
i) owner completely controlled the relationship
ii) slave had no say right to a say in the relationship