Summary: Freedom comes when I realize that I am not in charge of the universe … God is … and I let Him do His job and I do mine … which is to be an attentive and obedient servant of the Lord and Master of the universe.
I am a slave.
Not because I am being forced to be a slave but because I want to.
Under Deuteronomic law, an indentured servant could choose to be a free man when his seven years of service were up or he could choose to stay and work for his master. If he loved his master and wanted to continue to serve his master as a slave for the rest of his life, his master would take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he would become his master’s servant for life … willingly … of his own free will. The same would apply to an indentured female slave (Exodus 21:1-6; Deuteronomy 15:17). At the end of seven years, she could leave, stay on as hired help, or willingly and permanently become her master or mistress’ slave.
I am a slave … willingly … permanently. I took a nine-inch nail … like the kind that the Romans used to nail criminals to a cross … and I nailed my heart to the cross of Jesus Christ as a sign that I will serve my Lord and Master … my “Adonai” … for the rest of my life here in this world … and forever in the next.
“The first duty of every soul,” says pastor and author Warren Wiersby, “is to find … not its freedom … but its master” (“The Integrity Crisis.” 1988. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc; p. 22). So true. Let me repeat that: “The first duty of every soul is to find … not its freedom … but its master.”
On the evening of March 23rd, 1743, King George the Second did something no other king had ever done before. He stood up during the Hallelujah chorus of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “The Messiah.” Standing up in the middle of a performance of a major orchestral and choral work today or in King George the Second’s day is never encouraged. In fact, it would be considered rude and not something a king would likely do without a very compelling reason. King George was a Christian and knowledgeable of the Scriptures. When the singers reached the “Hallelujah Chorus” and began singing hallelujah to the King of kings and Lord of lords, King George knew that the words were referring to his Lord … to a King greater than himself and it was only appropriate for him to stand in the presence of a King far superior to him. The King of kings was the King of England’s superior. Even though he was the king of the English empire, King George knew that he was a mere subject of The King of kings and Lord of Lords. As a Christian, King George understood that his authority and position as ruler over England was bestowed upon him by the divine Creator and Sovereign of Heaven and Earth. If the Triune God were to walk into the same room as the King of England, King George would be compelled to rise and bow in honor of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Do you remember the first name of God that we studied last week? That’s right. It was “Elohim” … the Creator God … the Source and Sustainer of all creation. Today’s name, however, is not just a title but a description of the kind of relationship that we are to have with God. “Adonai” … our “Supreme Lord and Master.” Abram was the first one to call God “Adonai” … [read Genesis 15:1-6.]
Did you hear it? Or spot it? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t. It’s found in verse 2. This is why I asked you to bring your Bibles. In verse 2, Abram says “O Lord GOD.” Notice anything about the way that the word “Lord” is written ? It is written with a capital “L” and the rest of the letters … “ord” … are lower case. That a pretty common way for us to designate nouns that are special or unique. It’s also the way that we designate them as a proper noun or a title. A “lord” is a noun … a person … when it’s lower-case … but it is a title or designation when it starts with a capital letter. When the word “president” starts with a lower-case “p,” it is a generic term that refers to any ol’ president. When the word “President” starts with a capital “P,” it refers to a person who holds … or has held … the office of president … President Bush, President Clinton, President Obama, President Trump.
Look at the word “God,” however … what’s different about the way it is presented here? It is all capital letters. Why? Well, if you don’t already know this, I’m going to introduce you to an interesting feature in the Bible.