Summary: Today we are going to learn that the name "Adonai" is different from most of the other names for God because it describes a relationship with God and not just characteristic of God. We are all born with the mistaken idea that we are owners. We talk about
Purpose: To extol the lordship of God over our lives.
Aim: I want the listener to see themselves as God's slave.
INTRODUCTION: Today we are going to learn that the name "Adonai" is different from most of the other names for God because it describes a relationship with God and not just characteristic of God.
It is one thing to understand that God is "The Mighty One" or "The Eternally Self-existent One," but today we will see that Adonai ("The Supreme Lord") pictures what our relationship with "The Mighty and Eternally Self-existent One" should be like.
Every person here struggles with authority. That struggle began at a very early age for each one of us. If you have a child or have ever spent much time around children you have seen this truth in action. One of the first words a child learns is the word "mine." If one child is playing with one toy, then bring a second child into the room. The second child will attempt to snatch the toy away from the first child who will clutch the toy tightly and say, "Mine." He will say "mine" about a toy that he did not pay for and he does not necessarily deserve. He wants authority over that toy.
We are all born with the mistaken idea that we are owners. We talk about "my car" or "my house" or "my job" or even "my free time."
The name "Adonai" changes all of that.
I. What is Adonai Like?
First we need to understand clearly what the Hebrew name "Adonai" means. Adonai is a plural name for God like Elohim. It comes from Adon (singular) and means master or lord. Adon usually refers to men and only a few times does it refer to God in the Bible.
When the plural Adonai is used it never refers to a person. It always refers to God. In the Greek translation (Septuagint) of the OT Adonai and Jehovah or Yahweh are translated with the same Greek noun "kurios" used in the NT which means "sovereign power, supreme authority, absolute ownership."
In the NT, Jesus is called Savior 20 times and over 700 times He is called Lord (kurios)! When the two titles are mentioned together, Lord always comes before Savior.
Adonai literally means "my Lords" and is usually translated "my Lord" or just "Lord" capital "L" followed by small letters. Jehovah or Yahweh is always rendered in all caps [LORD or GOD] in the NAS, ESV, and KJV.
R C Sproul points out that the Suffix ai intensifies the meaning of the word Adon, so that Adonai means "the supreme Lord, the Lord of all." This word stresses the sovereignty of God as the ruler of all.
A. Adonai is a generous provider
Abraham is the first one to use the name "Adonai" and that was when he asked God to give him a son even in his old age. Genesis 15:1--6 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great." Abram said, "O Lord GOD, [Adonai Yahweh] what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir." Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir." And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. (NAS)
Adonai has the power to do the impossible and to do it abundantly.
Isaiah 40:10--11 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. (NAS)
B. Adonai is supreme over all
Psalm 135:5 For I know that the LORD is great and that our Lord is above all gods. (NAS)
Joshua 3:11 "Behold... the Lord of all the earth.... (NAS)
Psalm 97:5 The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. (NAS)
Psalm 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! (NAS)