January 24, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 55: Adonai


Adonai: Lord, Master

"Moshe answered the people, 'Stop being so fearful! Remain steady, and you will see how ADONAI is going to save you. He will do it today—today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again!'" (Exodus 14:13 CJB)

Oh, dear friends, there's so much about this name I'm excited to share with you that I gave up trying to organize the pieces into coherent paragraphs and just decided to bullet-point them so you can see which ones hit you today.
  • I chose the Complete Jewish Bible translation for this name's representative Scripture because I wanted you to see that Adonai is one of the specific Hebrew words usually translated "Lord" in our English versions. According to the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words, "adon" is one of two Hebrew words translated "lord" in the Old Testament (the other being Yahweh). The basic word "adon" means "lord" in the sense of a superior, master, or owner and does not necessarily refer to God. But a special intensified plural form, "adonay," is found over three hundred times in the Old Testament and only refers to the one true God. Here's what strikes me about this: whereas "adon" can mean one human master or lord (lowercase "l,") the plural form "Adonai" represents the many attributes and titles of the Lord (uppercase "L"), Who alone deserves to be our Master.
  • "Remain steady, and you will see how ADONAI is going to save you." I hope that thrills you, because this promise wasn't just for the enslaved Israelites; it's for us right now. Take in these other slightly different but equally thrilling variations from a few other versions:
               *"Stand firm and see the Lord's salvation He will provide for you today." (CSB)
               *"Stand your ground, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today." (GNT)
               *"Stand firm. You will see how the LORD will save you today." (NIRV)
               *"Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today." (NLT)
  • "Today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again!"  I'm wondering if you've got something today you'd like to never see again? Regret over something that happened a long time ago? Shame that was born in the past but keeps living in the present? God is surely part of our past, and He brings conviction about it and healing for it. But if you sense God telling you, "Today you have seen ________, but you will never see it again," maybe this is the day to start claiming that victory.
  • The NIRV translation of Moses' next directive to the Israelites in Exodus 14:14 reads, "The LORD will fight for you; just be still." Just. Be. Still. How on earth could God's chosen people "just be still" in the face of so much action against them? One possibility is that they could "just be still" because of the promise that came before: "You will see how the Lord will save you today." 
This is the promise that has already gone before us, too. Don't be afraid. Stand firm. You will see how the Lord will save you today. The LORD will fight for you. Just be still.

"Adonai, I lift up my heart and I cry,
My Adonai.
You are the Maker of each moment,
Father of my hope and freedom.
Oh, my Adonai."


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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!