Adonai carries with it the notion that God is Master over everything. The promise is that He will be a good steward of what He owns, making things work out for good. The idea of being owned can conjure up pictures of one person possessing another, and that kind of slavery has no place in today’s world. But we need to remember that the concept of Adonai has to do with God’s position of leadership in, not oppression of, our lives.
Scripture clearly says that God is always present and that He is still rightfully Lord over all. We are to submit to Him, our good Father, not to any other human or idol. His Word also teaches us why this is part of God’s best plan for us.
1. We are created to need Him as our Master.
It’s said that there is a God-sized hole in each of us. It isn’t there to make us feel weak and hopeless, but to lead us to the One who can fill that need. Trying to fill ourselves up any other way will only lead us into danger: bad judgment, lack of sensitivity to God’s leading, and ultimately, surrendering to sin.
2. God is a good Master.
One truth about life is that everybody eventually serves someone, and we have a choice about who that will be. Imagine serving a Master who returns your loyalty with unconditional love, comfort, and abundant provision. That is the loving Lordship that God offers, and we don’t want to miss out on it.
3. Jesus taught that God was His Master.
So many times in His earthly ministry, Jesus acknowledged God as Adonai. The Son willingly came to earth in obedience to His Father. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work. (John 14:10)
Jesus showed His disciples what it looked like to be fully submitted to God as Master. He taught that by following Him and surrendering ourselves to God, we would receive great blessings. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)
The name Adonai is truly a gift from God to us, His people. It is a reassuring reminder that God is in control. The more we acknowledge Him as Adonai, the more we will see of His goodness.
When we allow Him to correct us, we will grow in wisdom. As we give ourselves to His rule, we will experience more joy in serving and peace in waiting. Letting God be our Master draws us closer to His amazing grace.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.’ [Psalm 16:2] (HEATHER ADAMS)