Sunday, December 10, 2023

Adonai—God Is Lord (Psalm 110)

"The LORD said to my Lord, “sit at My right hand …” (Ps. 110:1)

One way that we gain a deeper understanding of the God we worship is by knowing the meaning of His various titles or names. We have already looked at Yahweh and its personal implications concerning the intimacy of God’s relationship to His creation. Today we will look at the most frequently used title in the Old Testament, which is Adonai. The Jewish people were acutely conscious of violating the first commandment and abusing the name of God, Yahweh, so they commonly substituted the title Adonai for Him in their worship. Adon means steward, administrator, or Lord. Joseph was called Adon by his brothers in Genesis 42:10 when he was governor over Egypt. The addition of ai to adon intensifies or elevates its meaning, changing it to mean the ultimate Lord, the supreme Lord, or Lord of all. The title Adonai, therefore, emphasizes the sovereignty of God, or the Lordship of God.

A frequently used New Testament title for Jesus is Kurios, the Greek translation of Adonai. The New Testament writers deliberately chose a title for Jesus that had been reserved for God. Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus’s name was to be “Lord.” In the most commonly quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament, Psalm 110, David says, “The LORD said to my Lord” or “Yahweh said to my Adonai” (Ps. 110:1). The New Testament application of this verse saw it stressing the divinity, authority, and sovereignty of Christ when Yahweh, the Father addressed Adonai, the Son.

In the account of Thomas doubting Christ’s resurrection, he felt Jesus’s wounds, and being convinced, he responded, “My Lord and my God,” acknowledging that Jesus is the Lord Yahweh. His conquering death was a testimony of His power and His sovereign Lordship even over the grave.

Essential in any proper worship of God is recognition and submission to God’s sovereign rule over creation. It was this aspect of His nature that God wanted Job to consider when He proclaimed His power and dominion over all things, the creation of the world and the sustaining of all life. To be a Christian, one’s soul must be in a position of subordination to God’s sovereignty in a posture of humble submission.

How can you honor God’s sovereignty and recognize Christ as Lord every day? Read Romans 12 and 1 John 2:1–11, 15–17. How do you consistently ignore the authority of God in your life? As you worship God this Sunday, praise Him for His sovereignty and confess your disobedience and lack of humility.