Friday, April 12, 2019

Adonai: Sovereign Lord

"Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since You have spoken to Your servant” (Exodus 4:10a).

Yesterday we looked at the name Yahweh, which focuses on God’s self-existence and the fact that only God has life in Himself. Often in our Bibles, this word is written LORD, or occasionally GOD, with all capital letters. When we encounter the word Lord, typeset in upper and lower case letters, the Hebrew term behind it is Adon, which means “Master.” The addition of the suffix ai intensifies the meaning of the word, so that Adonai means the supreme Lord, the Lord of all. This word stresses the sovereignty of God as All-ruler.

The word sovereignty is virtually anathema to many people. From the early stages of childhood, Americans are subtly educated to despise sovereignty. We pride ourselves in our independence, freedom, and democratic spirit. But the kingdom of God is not a democracy. When the Lord speaks in the Old Testament He utters His law unilaterally. He does not rule by referendum. The Ten Commandments are not the “ten suggestions.” God says, “Thou shalt not,” exercising absolute authority over His creation and His people.

Sovereignty is essential to God. The moment we negotiate on this point or dilute the concept of sovereignty, we are playing around with God’s character. Think about it: If God is not sovereign, God is not God.

If we worship a god who is not sovereign, we are worshipping an idol. Idols can be controlled. They can be dominated. But when I stand before Almighty God, I am standing before the One who has absolute authority over my life, an authority based on authorship. He created me, and everything I have that is of value I receive from Him. He is my King. He is my Sovereign.

When we enter the church on Sunday and bow our heads, we ought to say to Almighty God, ‘ “Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way. Thou art the Potter; I am the clay.’ You are the Authority, the Sovereign One. I am Your subordinate.”

God is not an absentee landlord accepting rent from us one day a week. Our acknowledgment of His sovereignty must not be limited to the Lord’s Day; it must be the attitude of our hearts every day.

The Bible is the Law-Word of the Sovereign King, not merely the advice of a good friend. It reveals the extent of God’s sovereignty and the required response of man. Read Psalm 119:129–144 and consider whether your “zeal has consumed you” in delighting to obey God’s sovereign commandments and precepts.