From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Seven, Day One
Adonay is a Hebrew word meaning "Lord," a name that implies relationship: God is Lord, and we are his servants. As a word referring to God it appears more than three hundred times in the Hebrew Scriptures. As you pray to Adonay, tell him you want to surrender every aspect of your life to him. Pray for the grace to become the kind of servant who is quick to do God's will. Remember, too, that the Lord is the only one who can empower you to fulfill his purpose for your life. In fact, it is in knowing him as your Lord that you will discover a true sense of purpose. The New Testament depicts Jesus as both Lord and Servant. In this latter role he exemplifies what our relationship to Adonay is to be.
You are my Lord; I have no good besides you. (Psalms 16:2 NASB)
GOD REVEALS HIS NAME
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD [Yahweh] did not appear to you'?" Then the LORD [Yahweh] said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.
The LORD [Yahweh] said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD [Yahweh] said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. "This," said the LORD [Yahweh], "is so that they may believe that the LORD [Yahweh], the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.". . .
Moses said to the LORD [Yahweh], "O Lord [Adonay], I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
The LORD [Yahweh] said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD [Yahweh]? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
But Moses said, "O Lord [Adonay], please send someone else to do it."
Then the LORD's [Yahweh's] anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do." (Exodus 4:1-5,10-15)
Lord, forgive me for the times that I have only paid lip service to your lordship in my life. I have prayed one thing and done another.Help me as of this moment to experience the joy of serving you, living with the knowledge that you are my Adonay, my Lord and God.Amen.
Understanding the Name
Adon is a Hebrew word that means "lord" in the sense of an owner, master, or superior. It is frequently used as a term of respect and always refers to people. Adonay (a-do-NAI) is the plural form of adon and always refers to God as Lord or Master. In the Old Testament it is rendered as "Lord" (distinct from "LORD," the rendering for the Hebrew name Yahweh). When Adonay and Yahweh appear together, the NIV renders the name as "Sovereign LORD," while older translations of the Bible render it "Lord God." Adonay is first used in Genesis 15:2. In the New Testament, the Greek word most often translated "Lord" is Kyrios.
Studying the Name
- How is the lordship of God displayed in Exodus 4? (Note that Pharaoh's headdress included a metal cobra, symbolizing his sovereignty.)
- Why was the Lord angry with Moses?
- Notice that Moses expressed reluctance to doing God's will at the same time he was addressing him as "Lord." Have you ever done the same? What held you back from doing what the Lord was asking?
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.